Shuan Ong

Interview with Shaun Ong, Mixologist at Skillet@163

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

At my younger age (3-10) I had been very close to my father. He is a cook and cooked a lot at home for the family. That is how I started to have bit of interest in cooking. During my high school days, there were times when I came home late and I had to cook some food for myself. I started to learn a bit here and there about cooking and got much more in to it. Not long after that, I decided to pick up a culinary course from KDU University College and I did my diploma and degree. During my college life I did some service and I found it interesting as well, therefore I started to learn about and enjoy the whole industry.

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

The best part of my job is doing what I like to do – trying different flavors, different textures and doing something different for others. Having my boss’ support and advice, I get do try even more and do even more to improve myself. And what’s the best is seeing my guests coming into the restaurant with a smile and leaving the restaurant with a bigger and wider smile and looking forward to seeing them again. The worst part of my job is customer’s complaints. There are times that the customers did something wrong by accident but they did not notice and we get blame by them. But this will give me a chance to try to solve the problem and improve my handling problems skill. Seeing a guest leaving with an unhappy experience is a downside.

What’s your favorite meal or drink?

I don’t really have a favorite meal or drink. It’s because I like to keep going around and try different things. But if I have to choose. Food will be a home cooked meal from my father. Drinks will be The Wild Sheep Chase’s Oolong milk tea. I find The Wild Sheep Chase is a very nice place for me to have my tea. And it’s really relaxing having my tea there. The owner and staff do know what I’m looking for and always give me a very warm welcome.

The perfect off day would be….

It depends, if I have money to travel. It’s nice to travel to different places and try different food, drinks and learn the different culture. ( long off days hahahah)
If just for an off day, it will be perfect when my loved ones and I just go around the city, grab a few drinks relax and have a nice meal and maybe catch a movie together. But if I’m alone, the best off day is to have dinner with family or friends and have a good rest.

A day in the life of restaurateur is….

Life of restaurateur will be work, work ,work and go home to sleep. I know it sounds boring but trust me if you love what you do it’s more like fun, fun, fun and not ready to go home. If you pick to be in this industry make sure you love what you do. If not your life will be lifeless. As my bosses always tell me, working in this industry will be long hours, and that cannot be changed. Since working hours will be long why not make the best of it and enjoy? Right? This will turn it from work to fun.

What do you do for fun?

Hang out with loved ones, family and friends. Just chat with friends and talk about our lives and enjoy some drinks or games together. I also like to learn something new.

What’s something you’d like guests to know about Skillet@163?

At Skillet@163 we do things differently than other places. We like the guest to feel homely, amazing, and always have different experiences (in a good way). At Skillet, we like to play with our human senses to let the diners have a different experience in a restaurant. Coming to Skillet@163, you must not miss out on the signature dessert!

Check out our experiences at Skillet@163 here and here.

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  1. “The best part of my job is doing what I like to do…” Indeed! Sad that many are stuck with what they do not enjoy, all for the money (or doing what they think they should do or what the parents want), for the rest of their lives.

  2. Especially today with all the stress and hustle and bustle of life, it is so important to enjoy our job! Many times people work a 40 hour (or more) week and are miserable. It is very sad, because for myself, even an hour at a job I don’t enjoy can seem like an entire day, so a 40 hour week is even worse. Great review, thank you so much for sharing.

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