If you are reminiscing about the delicious food in Hong Kong and wondering when the borders will be lifted so you can fly there for a feast, wonder no further, for Joy Luck Teahouse has brought three of Hong Kong’s most famous F&B names to Singapore.
The editorial team at SG Lifestyle speaks with Hong Kong-based, Singapore-born television producer, Robert Chua, who also brought Tim Ho Wan and Kam’s Roast to Singapore.
SGLS: Why did you choose to open Joy Luck Teahouse when so many F&B establishments are exiting the market amidst a dismal economic backdrop, off the back of the COVID-19 pandemic? Why do you think your latest F&B business venture will thrive?
RC: Opening of Joy Luck Teahouse was already in the pipeline since a year ago. It was due to open in April 2020 but had to be delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. We pushed through with the opening as we believe that it is still a good opportunity. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, people are unable to travel, and I can take this chance to bring in authentic Hong Kong signature snacks and beverages to everyone.
We are unique as we are a socially responsible company that will give back to Singapore’s society with something special, especially to our senior citizens.
SGLS: How did you convince and persuade these 3 iconic Hong Kong Brands to enter the Singapore market?
RC: It took around a year with much negotiation to convince them. I told the owners about the success of Tim Ho Wan and Kam’s Roast in Singapore, and they trusted me to assist them in expanding their brands overseas.
SGLS: How do you plan to safeguard the quality and standard of food at Joy Luck Tea House to ensure that it’s up to par with the original back in Hong Kong?
RC: Where we can, we are using the same ingredients of the recipes that are also used in Hong Kong so as to keep as close as possible to the same authentic taste. In Singapore, we have also engaged experienced chefs as consultants to take care of R&D to make sure that the taste and quality are not compromised.
SGLS: A word of advice you’d like to share with young, budding F&B owners in Singapore.
RC: Never give up! Be passionate, enthusiastic and get your hands dirty in the set-up and operation of the business.
SGLS: Which are your top 5 personal picks from Joy Luck Teahouse’s menu (ranked) and why?
RC: Hoover Cake Shop’s (豪華餅店) Egg Tart, Kam Kee Café’s (金記冰室) Pineapple Bun and Hong Kong Milk Tea, Tak Hing Fishball Company’s (德興魚蛋公司) Curry Fishballs and HK Milk Bubble Tea.
Bonus Question: Given that August is Singapore’s independence/National day, tell us what you miss/love most about your country of birth and why?
RC: I love Singapore’s hawker culture and I miss the hawker food here. Food such as Hainanese chicken rice and rojak are not easily available in Hong Kong. I love durian too!
On a more serious note, I love the stability that Singapore provides to its residents, as well as the senior citizen benefits that Singapore provides for its pioneer generation. This inspired to me give a permanent 50% off Hong Kong milk tea and Eight Treasures Tea for those aged 60 and above when Joy Luck opens.
Joy Luck Teahouse (歡樂冰室), which offers the three famous culinary treasures of Hong Kong: Egg Tarts, Pineapple (boluo) Buns and Milk Tea (Hong Kong style), opened on Friday, 28 August 2020. The kiosk is located at ION Orchard, #B4-61 (nearest MRT: Orchard Station). Operating hours: 9:00AM – 10:00PM
Joy Luck Teahouse’s Opening Specials:
- 50% Discount for Singapore’s Pioneer Citizens (60 years old and above)
- 10% off regular items with no minimum spending for all walk-in customers
- 20% off regular items with SGD10 minimum spending with membership signup in the first two weeks of opening
- Buy 1 get 1 Free Hong Kong Milk Tea (Hot/Cold) or Pearl of the Orient (Hong Kong Milk Tea with Bubble) with membership signup in the first two weeks of opening. The free item will be the lower priced item.
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