Eat, Drink, Be Merry

Text by Yishan Lam
Photography by Jovian Lim

How do creativity and business work hand in hand? We often ponder this question. As tastes evolve, how do we as creative producers continue to feed growing appetites for good, fresh ideas?

We spoke with Teng to pursue this line of thought. As the man behind The Lo & Behold Group, he has forged a path from young upstart with no food and beverage (F&B) experience to tastemaker and creator of several food and hospitality concepts, each with their own following.

And behind every business is a creative process—of staying relevant, of sensing the desires, of raising the bar. Where people get awakened to the possibilities, and suddenly the city has new grounds for celebration. And behind every public success is a journey of getting there. In this interview, we meditate with Teng on his process, gazing out on rooftops together.

Hi Teng, please introduce yourself and what you do.

I oversee The Lo & Behold Group, an ideas-driven organisation that specialises in F&B and hospitality. We operate Loof, The White Rabbit, OverEasy, Tanjong Beach Club and Extra Virgin Pizza. Separately, I co-founded For the Love of Laundry, an eco dry-cleaning service provider.

The phrase ‘Lo & Behold!’ has traditionally been used to introduce something original and distinctive, and that’s something we strive for in all our projects. We always hope to form a strong connection and lasting impression on all our guests.

How did it all begin?

It started with a simple idea: to bring an empty rooftop space to life. Back in 2005, Loof was a real exercise in taking on colloquial elements of Singapore and transforming them into a fresh, tongue-in-cheek bar concept relevant for the modern consumer, down to the drinks, food and identity of the space. We could have cut-and-pasted a non-differentiated, Western outdoor bar concept for Loof but saw the opportunity to create something that this generation of locals would gravitate to and connect with. We’ve been lucky enough to continue growing organically, while contributing to the landscape in Singapore.

Each of your businesses has a different voice. How does each come about?

By having a voracious curiosity and appetite for experiential places and concepts both locally and internationally—you begin to develop an instinct for what people want, where they want it and how they want to feel when they are there.

Read more in The U Press N˚1 (Singapore edition).