Spotlight Series – Tea Lounge at Regent Singapore
Quisine’s Spotlight Series takes an inside look at the food and beverage industry by speaking with the folks who know it best – restaurant owners, chefs and managers. This time around, we get the inside scoop on Tea Lounge by talking to Alex Chong, the executive pastry chef at Regent Singapore.
For those who don’t know, Tea Lounge offers the quintessential Afternoon Tea in a stunning and contemporary colonial garden setting, located inside Regent Singapore. You can have artisan coffee, perfectly decanted tea or even a Manhattan-inspired cocktail, all while enjoying a relaxing afternoon of live piano music and cucumber sandwiches. And to make it all easier, you can even book it through Quandoo.
Relatively new to the Quandoo platform, we decided to take the opportunity to get to know them a bit better. We sat down with executive pastry chef Alex Chong and asked him a few questions, which we hope you enjoy as much as we did.
What made you choose this line of work? What inspires you?
I love the feeling of making something that is not only edible, but also a beautiful piece of art. A sugar showpiece of a snail by my mentor chef Cassian Tan ignited a dormant passion inside me when we were working together at Hilton Singapore. I now approach things not just from a functional standpoint, but also an artistic stance.
If you could sit down for a meal at your restaurant with any two people in the world, who would you choose and why?
My mother and my wife have been my main drivers as they are such a constant source of support. They root for me and they worry about family matters, letting me focus and concentrate wholeheartedly on work. They have also been my biggest supporters throughout my competitions.
Is there a dish on your menu that you’re most proud of and is there a story behind it?
Yes, the Golden Apple. It was a dish created especially for the Culinary Olympics in Germany, which I won in 2016. It’s essentially a tarte Tatin reimagined in a contemporary way and involves four cooking methods: steaming, baking, cooking and freezing. When we had it on the high tea à la carte menu, it attracted a lot of positive response.
What are your food trend predictions for the coming years?
Sustainability has and will continue to be a trend. There’s also increasing spotlight on dietary preferences such as gluten-free desserts. This used to be a contradiction to the realm of desserts but it is entirely possible to produce gluten-free desserts that look and taste great. The challenge is how to continue to push the boundaries in this regard, elevating the levels of these creations.
What has been the biggest business challenge for your restaurant?
Attracting experienced, committed chefs for the long haul are a challenge in any F&B [food and beverage] industry.
We’d just like to thank Alex Chong once again for chatting with us.