FOOD & BEVERAGE | Krisana Gallezo-Estaura, Singapore

Opera Estate welcomes a little bar simply called ‘Slake’

It wants to be your living/dining room outside of home.

From the folks that brought okb bistro comes another venture that aims at serving the residents of Opera Estate with affordable and high quality drinks and food. Slake, which opened last June 4, wants to be your living/dining room outside of home.

The owners, Alicia Koh and Jeremy Cheok grew up in the east and have always wanted to have a space to call their own in the area. According to Jeremy, the construction of the new food hub cost them under $200,000. Jeremy admitted of facing problems of raising funds under the conditions that they wanted.

Believing that their staff are equally valuable with customers, the management of Slake created profit sharing programs in place to incentivize them as well.

“What we are aiming for is to serve our community and maintain a space where people would be happy to come back to. We stocked our drink list with things we like to drink and the food menu is planned around stuff we like to eat. We are not aiming to be unique, just very welcoming,” said Jeremy.

When asked about their future plans, Jeremy said that they are focusing on getting operations together. “Further down the road, we are considering opening up for lunch and pushing the items made in house for retail sale. Items like ice cream and the sauces we use in our cooking,” Jeremy said.

Slake’s founders

Alicia Koh is the General Manager of Slake and rules the dining room. She is adamant that pomegranate seeds be used as garnish because they are such opulent little jewels.

As a highly motivated individual passionate about food and making people happy, Alicia brings fresh perspective and a friendly face to Slake. She has amassed valuable experience and concepts of customer service, administration and management throughout her schooling and working years. The combination of a variety of sharpened skills in relationship management, her aptitude for leadership with integrity, and her positive attitude makes her the ideal choice to enhance the productivity, and positively influence the culture here.

She is armed with a Bachelor of Arts - Double Major in Psychology & English, and Honours in English from The University of Western Australia. Back in those days, she also worked part-time in a pie shop and the university library. Her love of travel and learning has brought her thus far.

Her friendship with the Head Chef and Co-owner of Slake spans more than a decade. Having only worked at private dining events and ad hoc with Head Chef Jeremy Cheok in the past, she ventured into the corporate setting but found that she missed the F&B industry.

Eventually, she forayed into managing a restaurant last year before being eventually persuaded to take the plunge with Slake.

Jeremy Cheok helms the kitchen and is in charge of flavour direction and styling. The only drink he insists must be available is Guinness on tap.

He previously handled sauces and desserts at JAM, a private dining outfit originally set up by a trio of friends that provided highly customised meal solutions for its clients.

Culinary curiosity runs in his veins thanks to his Peranakan heritage and his kitchen education started when he was 8 years old, pounding rempah for his grandmother. He got his first tastes of the fast paced professional cooking world by selling chicken rice at a hawker stall in Siglap and later on, with stints at Artichoke Bar + Café, the Brown Sugar Bistro and the Coriander Leaf Restaurant, where he assisted in corporate bonding and cooking classes.

A 7 month stint in Hanoi brewing beer opened his eyes to the wonders of Vietnamese cuisine, specifically to the joys of fish sauce. After graduating from university, he opened a bistro, okb, nestled in the Blair Road conservation area, which features contemporary Southeast Asian dishes with homage paid to Vietnamese and Peranakan flavours.

Slake is his second outlet and presents the challenge of bringing high quality dishes to a residential locale.

Although his passion lies in the kitchen, Jeremy also possesses some skill with the pen and was a contributing writer for the first two Miele Guides. He has also written and published his own cookbook, Campus Cookin’, in collaboration with the Nanyang Technological University where he completed an engineering degree in Materials Science. His firm grip of scientific principles gives him a unique perspective of the processes that lead up to the finished dish.

Do you know any restaurant which recently opened or will open soon? We'll be glad to hear from you. Just send us a message through Lee Anne Babierra at research@charltonmediamail.com.  

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Opera Estate welcomes a little bar simply called ‘Slake’

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