6 / sept to nov 15 / cut the cake
note NINTH, oh NINTH. You’ve been such a pain. You can kill. You can stretch tolerance levels to the highest of the highest. You can make one cry at 4am. It’s always between you and school work - why the love triangle, my dear? You’ve tested limitations. You’ve thrown us right smack in the middle of a road - becoming the 21st Century tourist attraction in Chinatown. Okay fine, that was my fault. Yet, my little one, you’ve been a pure joy to watch. You pump adrenaline into one’s creative blood like no other. You’re living proof of how big a person can actually dream. You’ve brought creatives close and friends even closer. A year ago, NINTH and I started out with lots of experimentation. Imagine me, shaky with obstacles while that cool cat of a magazine sat there, waiting to be filled. That being said, the end result of every new issue felt like a good high-five in the air. Don’t get me wrong though, this wasn’t a two-man show. Chris (translating absurdity into beauty, high-five to you partner-in crime), Natasha (always at the ready to point out grammatical mistakes) and Sarah (always visually capturing hearts, that girl) have made this issue nothing less than an epic reunion of regulars. To perfectly wrap things up, I got to sit down with Dylan Ong, co-brainchild of a group of restaurants that are close to my heart. Once a boss I’ve worked for, Dylan is now someone that I exceptionally respect for his beliefs and love for something often taken for granted. The fact that we’re standing here with a food-dedicated issue in hand still comes to me as excitingly peculiar. The best part about fashion and food coming together in marriage has to be the space for completely absurd ideas. And you can actually get away with it. Like every other issue, cheers to another one down. Thanks for sticking it out with us and raising some eyebrows along the way we quite like that reaction. And of course - happy first birthday NINTH, you cheeky little adrenaline-pumping fella.
ARE WE AL-DENTE YET? Not yet. We’re going to have to iron things out. Don’t call it quits with the hair-straightener just yet. 2015’s Fall/Winter collections have brought it back once again - sealing the deal with hairspray.
DON’T GET SPOILT ROTTEN. That’s going to be tough with the year’s uneding contributions to the shoe department. Brace yourselves, lace-up and conquer - be it in sneakers or gladiators.
STICKY SITUATION Just like a sticky toffee date pudding, bags are always worth the investment. Except that they now come with customization perks. Even better. Do yours up like Anya Hindmarchâ€™s and ÂŁ70 leather stickers. Except less painfully. We got our stickers from a stationary shop. (Prices start from 70 cents)
RC E IT’S IT L CA IKE KE Cel ebr with ate a Lig some birthd ht a c alo some andle y ng s sam the w lantern . s e pie goes ay. The rcin for g nev e er t s - you ar oo ’ r e mo old fo re. r
THE DEAL ABOUT A LADYâ€™S FINGERS The blacker the wintry skies and wardrobe, the brighter your nails deserve to be. Sharpen your knives, nails and go gold.
mashed potatoes & gardens
Photos by sarah tan / Words by Tessa Lin Wang
Art - hung on a solid wall. Kept dry in proper temperature. Barricaded ten thousand kilometres away for your viewing pleasure. Art, also - cultivated from birth, through warmth and love. Then translated onto a plate for your eating pleasure. While the former still hangs strong in The Louvre, we decided to explore the latter in the heart of Far East Plazaâ€™s Saveur, with chef and co-owner Dylan Ong, and his very own gastronomical canvas.
You wouldn’t know what to expect from a chef until you hear one speak. I came to know Dylan as my very first boss. This was two years ago. As tendencies went, I perfectly fit the bill of a first-time waitress. Broken cups. Water spilled on customers. Endless apologies. Yet, the show always had to go on in Dylan’s books - which, of course, was an attitude that I couldn’t help but ask about two years into the future.
per usual - who are the lucky diners to get these fresh batches?
“[Whatever the situation is,] you have to deal with people. Somebody can tell you that your tenderloin isn’t cooked. But what if it actually is? How do you react? Do you take it as dejection?” Not in his dictionary, of course - “or a challenge to cook it to perfection for that one person?”
“For all of us, the simplest expression [of love] would have come from our parents,” the 28 year-old chef continued, “even being breastfed - that’s already an expression of ultimate love.”
THE CONTAGIOUS JOY IN DUCK Imagine with me - as we speak in the Far East Plaza outlet, the clinking of Merlot in polished glasses are heard from the opposite end of the underground space. Plates of duck confit stream out of the kitchen, five plates spread across the waiter’s arms. Excitement fills the air as
When Dylan started Saveur in the Alibaba coffee shop with his friend, Joshua, they sought to create an affordably enjoyable french dining experience. With his own beliefs, Dylan strived to put warmth and love onto every diner’s plate.
Having been rooted to beliefs of such sentimental value, it is no surprise that the simple joy of savouring food has become contagious around the restaurant that they’ve landed in today. SITTING ON ROCKS Eventually, the stronger becoming of Saveur owed it to the marriage of gastronomy and art. That did not stop there however with two Saveur outlets, Concetto and most recently, Saveur Art
...the 28 year-old chef continued, “even being breastfed - that’s already an expression of ultimate love.” blooming to form The SAVEUR Group. I ask Dylan what art is to him. “With art, you can go from one tier to another - from being very creative to simple.” To explain the combination, he points Concetto out - Saveur’s Italian sister. If Concetto was human, you would imagine her gardening by morning and sticking flowers onto her paintings by night. Where actual food is concerned, Concetto’s chefs use them to fill a plate whilst envisioning a garden. Everything is enlivened into a natural, artistic landscape across the dish. In contrast, the environment stays subtly within a comfort zone. “We bring you into a garden,” he
means an actual indoor herb garden, by the way. “We go back to sitting on rocks. We go back to simplicity.” “So you see, there is no definite in-between, but we like to watch both ideas grow and bring those aspects of art together.” When Concetto first opened its doors, it easily became every Instagrammer’s dream come true. MASTERING COUNTERPARTS With a herb garden growing in one outlet and paintings filling the store in the French counterpart, you start to wonder if these guys are ever bad at anything. “You can’t be a master of all trades,” he admits. Hard to believe. At that moment, plates
of Barramundi leave the kitchen. “We started out as specialists in our craft, but the foundation remained the same. In cooking, you must put in a hundred percent, not just thirty.” It is then, he says, that visual art comes into play - like the beautiful chunks of fish, served atop a lively combination of colour and texture, that just pass us. Eyes on the prize, everybody. Fish are food, not friends. So does that make them perfectionists? “We do try,” he laughs, “the good part is hitting the highest satisfaction of achievement. Question is, though, is there even such a thing?” Sure, like that Saveur’s pasta. Or that bowl of buttery lentils - every person’s pot of edible gold. “I’m sure there is none,” Dylan continues, eyes scanning the restaurant - now fully packed with diners of diverse ages, ethnicity and walks of life. “If you’re never going to be satisfied, it isn’t love already.” It is then that real art appears - spilt across an underground canvas, knitting the crowd together with a same love bound harmoniously on plates and bowls. You wouldn’t know what to expect from a chef, until you see how his food can fill any canvas.
Tessa Lin Wang TessaLinWang.com
assistant editor Natasha Vanessa Michelin cover story Photographer / Christopher Leow ithinkitschris.com
Art Direction and Styling/ Tessa Lin Wang Assistant / Teri Kym Wang
interview Special thanks to / Dylan Ong www.saveur.sg
Photographer / Sarah Tan sarahisabelle.com