Keith Koh Hao

From a hawker stall to a British gastropub.

Published on 30 Apr 2024
Alumni Stories

If you'd asked any British expatriates here for the best recommendation of British food in Singapore, you won't be surprised to hear them rave about LAD & DAD. LAD & DAD is a modern British gastropub, serving cold beers, whiskey, gin and ales, and British comfort food like fish & chips, beef stew, bangers & mash, etc.


The "Lad" in LAD & DAD is Keith Koh, who graduated from Nanyang Polytechnic (NYP) with a Diploma in Marketing, class of 2012. Keith was one of Singapore’s young hawkerpreneurs when he first started LAD & DAD at a hawker stall in Serangoon Gardens Food Centre back in 2016, before moving to Maxwell Food Centre in 2018.


Since gaining popularity over the years, LAD & DAD has moved to 7 Tanjong Pagar Plaza (along Craig Road), a popular, quaint neighbourhood of hipster bars and eateries. Last year, LAD & DAD won the Class 95 Foodie’s Choice award for ‘Best Fish & Chips in Singapore’. He has also opened a 2nd outlet, LAD & CO, at 56 Tanglin Road. It is a fast, casual fish & chips shop.


Let's find out more about Keith's life after graduation and his best days in NYP!

What motivated or inspired you to start LAD & DAD?

I studied and worked in the UK, and the idea was born there.


Can you share with us the activities in your day as a gastropub/food and beverage (F&B) owner?

Initially, I did everything myself - from preparation, service, cleaning, and to closing. However, I have the best team now to help me with these, and I focus more on the quality and consistency of food, team well-being, culture and the growth of the company.


During the pandemic, what challenges did you face running LAD & DAD?

High overhead costs and lower revenue due to many restrictions, keeping up with the constant changes of regulations, and maintaining a positive mindset and morale amongst team members.


Can you share with us one of your most memorable moments as a hawkerpreneur/F&B owner?

It’s been a memorable journey, and the best part is getting to meet people from all walks of life.


What's next for LAD & DAD in 2022/2023?

We opened another outlet called LAD & CO in December 2021. Once this outlet is stable, we will look to expand with more concept outlets.


Could you recall some of your best days/experiences in NYP?

Teaching enterprise project and internship, which allowed me to apply what I’ve learned in real life and in the business world.


Do you still hang out and catch up with friends from NYP?

Yes I do. They visit my outlets quite often, too.


What advice or tips would you like to share with NYP students and alumni who want to start their own F&B business?

Think twice, and then, think again. It will be your toughest journey but also the most fulfilling one.


Photo credits: Keith Koh