We go behind the scenes at the latest F&B openings to check out the highlights and challenges faced.
What are you in the mood for today? Be it Chinese, Japanese, Thai or Western cuisine, you’ve most likely dined at one of Creative Eateries‘ many concepts. The group is no stranger to bringing authentic flavours in lip-smacking broths at Suki-Ya or at the crowd-pleasing Bangkok Jam. Their newest (and only) cafe, Typhoon Cafe (read our review here) serves the best of Taiwanese comfort food and over-the-top desserts at a cheery corner of Plaza Singapura. We sat down with one half of the illustrious sister-duo, Bonnie Wong, who helms the marketing and business development, to learn more.
Typhoon cafe is creative eateries group’s first café concept. What was the inspiration behind it?
Eight years into Eat at Taipei, we noticed a demand for fresh perspectives on Taiwanese cuisine. Combined with our many trips to Taiwan and visits to indie cafes serving modern desserts, Typhoon Cafe was born.
What can diners expect from typhoon cafe’s menu?
Expect elevated rendition of classics from Eat at Taipei. Oyster fritters are served with our Mee Sua to add texture without changing its flavour profile. As for desserts, they are based on acts of nature as our shop name translates to both “flavours of Taiwan” and typhoon. There is a fluffy miso soufflé, Cloud Nine and a crumbling Earthquake Waffle. We are also proud of our artisanal fruit and floral teas.
How do you balance a dish’s instagram appeal versus its taste?
We would never compromise taste for the sake of a pretty photo. When the Hell Valley Volcano was first launched, it was too dry. We added a hot chocolate sauce, which gave more flavour and improved the texture. The temperature difference between the solid chocolate and sauce imparted realistic cracks onto the “volcano”.
Typhoon cafe doesn’t look like a typical Taiwanese restaurant.
It goes back to the many cafes we enjoyed during our Taiwan trips. My sister, Bernadette, and I want to bring back the same cheerful and cosy space so guests will feel like staying on. We want everyone to relax and enjoy the simple things in life. It is also perfect for the multi-faceted crowd we get at Plaza Singapura. Be it the interior or the menu, there is a something for everyone.
Singapore is a bubble tea country. What makes your handcrafted beverages stand out?
Instead of the many bubbles and toppings, we serve an extensive selection of fruit teas in clear teapots to showcase the vibrant colours of our fruit juice-infused tipples topped with a colourful variety of fruits. It is perfect for a leisurely afternoon, or any time of the week.
Creative eateries group currently has 18 concepts, covering various cuisines. what is the biggest challenge when managing all these restaurants and chefs?
The biggest obstacle is maintaining the integrity of every cuisine. It is not uncommon for the flavours to merge together, especially with many restaurants operating concurrently. This is why we have head chefs for each division overseeing their respective restaurants.