Caroline Lai

Caroline Lai, Entrepreneur and Restaurateur

What do you do and how did you get into the industry?

I used to be a flight attendant with Singapore Airlines and had always had a passion for the service industry. Traveling around the world, I had the privilege of trying new food and places which inspired me to want to built new and creative spaces of my own. With the help of my business partner Andrew, we’ve successfully started The Good Batch Cafe + Bar in 2013, and now have 4 F&B outlets (The Good Batch, Hyde, Nara Kitchen & Co. and 61 Monarchy) each with their own identity and unique offering.

What’s the best/ worst part of your job? 

The mental/emotional stress (worst) are the same challenges that make you stronger and the end journey so much more rewarding (best)!

What’s your favourite meal/ drink? 

Favorite meal and drink at TGB – The ‘Hangover Mess’ and our hand-crafted Fresh Citron Presse; HYDE – Truffle fries to snack on, and the ‘Bees Knees’; Nara Kitchen & Co – Lobster Roll and the Secret Garden mocktail; 61Monarchy – any whiskey recommended by the staff (because they always know what’s best!).

What’s one of the saddest things you’ve seen behind the scenes? 

The ugly side of people in the Internet. I won’t deny how amazing social media has been in pushing the industry to a completely new height, but with that advantage, it also has its shortcomings. The world wide web really is scary, and it’s really saddening because this vast magical space (of supposed opportunities) gives people the mask to be mean, and handling rude and unkind behavior from behind the scenes (behind the keyboard) is never easy – more-so when it’s incorrect and you’d rather be silent than create a viral-drama.

The perfect day off would be… having the phone shut (going offline, completely!) and spending the entire day with the loved ones/family.

A day in the life of an entrepreneur  is…  never ever mundane! There’s always a new and exciting challenge to learn and grow from!

What’s something you’d like guests to know about the founders? 

We’re merely two humble new friends who got together (in 2013) and took a step into F&B (The Good Batch) not knowing how big and fast we’d grow. It’s still extremely challenging after less than three years running four outlets under our wings with just the two of us! Our main goal is always striving to give our customers good products alongside excellent services in order to provide that wonderful experience. It’s surely not an easy task, but everyday is a new journey and we’re always learning to be the best that we can be!

What’s your favourite (s) food and wine pairing?

I personally love the New Yorker (hotdog) at The Good Batch with a pint of iced-cold beer. And with wine, a glass of white goes well with almost everything at Nara, especially with the Pink Lobster Salmon Pasta!

What’s your view on the food scene in KL? 

It’s definitely growing rapidly! I’m really proud to see KL fast-becoming a F&B hub for not only its local street food, but also cafe and restaurant’s integrating local cultures to bring us amazing fusion cuisine with phenomenal experiences alike. You can also see many international F&B brands entering the market creating awareness on what’s out there. So this growth really is great for all of us to learn from one another as it not only just us a sense of challenge, but also plentiful of inspiration to create bigger and better things!

What’s in store for you in the upcoming months?

We’ve got a refreshing menu 2.0 our for The Good Batch! Nara will be kicking-off it’s midday Hi-tea bubbly sets in April! While Hyde will be having guest mixologist Mr Rizal Junior joining us for the ‘Tropical Tiki Takeover’ night this 8 April!

There’s always something new each month – do check out our official website which will be launching soon as it’ll be updated with all the upcoming events! As our company has also been expanding so quickly over the last few years, we’re really hoping to grow a strong and substantial team and have more passionate mind-like people coming on-board because we’ve got some exciting plans ahead which we hope to share with all of you in the year’s end!

Official Websites (coming soon in April):

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  1. Caroline has a lovely smile! I understand what she means about the ugly side of people on the internet! I am also grateful for the good people out there and the friends I have made through my blog and FB. Great post, thanks so much for sharing.

  2. All the best, Caroline. Ooooo…real flowers! Lovely! A cut above the rest!

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