I attended the official opening of L’Rez and L’Cafe at Nanyang Polytechnic yesterday. At the event, I also had the opportunity of meeting and speaking with Ms Sim Ann, Minister of State for Ministry of Communications & Information & Ministry of Education. 🙂
The training cafe (L’Cafe) and 120-seater training restaurant (L’Rez) are part of Nanyang Polytechnic’s Teaching Enterprise Project (TEP). The TEP has already started an on-campus TV station, a retail departmental store, a convenience store, and a gym. This reminds me of the store set up by students from Singapore Polytechnic, and which is still in operation at Changi Airport.
The Minister being interviewed for Nanyang Poly’s on-campus TV:
I do wish I had studied at a polytechnic!
At L’Rez and L’Cafe, the pioneer batch of 43 students from the Diploma in Food & Beverage Business learn about quick service, front-of-house and back-of-house over a period of 6 months, with hands-on experential learning.
Also, they benefit from the Celebrity Chef Programme: Renowned chefs like Michael di Placido from Brussels Sprouts, and Violet Oon have not only taught the students but also hired them for internships.
I tried the signature mocktail called L’Breeze (mint, rose syrup, soda)
The food was delicious and very exquisite:
If you’d like to visit L’Rez or L’Cafe, take note of their opening hours:
L’Rez: Open to public 11.30am to 2.30pm from Mon to Fri. Reservations: 6451 4384 / L-Rez@nyp.edu.sg
The VIP room at L’Rez:
L’Cafe: Open from 9.30am to 7pm, Mon to Fri
I also had the opportunity of speaking with two students, namely Robson (a chatty dude with a good sense of humor) and Regina (who wants to start her own bistro business in future!)…
Robson shared with me that nothing beats real-world experience, like working in an actual restaurant and serving paying customers, and managing their expectations. This is very different from cooking for one’s lecturers.
Robson being interviewed for FM95.8:
Regina and me:
Regina has been working at Violet Oon’s restaurant for 3 weeks and her dream is to start her own fusion concept restaurant.
She shared with me an interesting nugget: When one person breaks something (a plate, glass, etc) at L’Rez, everyone cheers. This is so that the person who accidentally broke an item doesn’t feel too bad about it. The students are taught to encourage each other instead of pointing fingers at someone who has supposedly done something wrong, as accidents in the F&B line are commonplace! I was very impressed!
When I asked Regina about how ready she is to start her own business, she said that she might need to work for a few years first to gain more experience in the F&B industry and also to save up enough capital. I asked her how much money she thinks she’ll need for her restaurant, and the spunky girl said “A million dollars”. When I expressed shock at the sum, she said she will start small, with a cafe first, and then work her way up to owning that million-dollar restaurant. Smart girl! 🙂
Meeting the Minister:
I was delighted to meet Minister of State, Ms Sim Ann, and I found her most friendly and obliging. She even thanked every single student from the NYP Percussion Team who led us from L’Cafe to L’Rez, even though it was a rather long walk and the shoe on her left foot did not fit very well and was slipping off half the time. (I know ‘cos I was walking right behind her). I’m impressed by how she did not complain about the walk, and still managed to thank each student who led the way. 🙂
Check out L’Rez and L’Cafe the next time you are in the Yio Chu Kang / Ang Mo Kio area! *wink*