Photography by Denise Hung
How did it all begin and fall into place?
The motivation was really something as innocent as yearning for, and not finding a simple cup of coffee, a proper pot of tea and a good pour of beer in the neighbourhood we were living in.
Oddly enough, the end that was Henry Park Apartments was ironically the beginning of Henry Congressional, the precursor to Necessary Provisions.
What challenges did you face and how did you overcome them?
The physical space aside—which we had to completely gut and transform—the biggest challenge and dilemma we faced were the constant struggle to keep our products as simple and basic as we feel should be. Our hope has been, and still is, to create a space where the community can enjoy some drink and food, whether over 5 minutes or 5 hours.
Resisting the urge to put out products that pretend to be more than what they are took a fair bit of discipline. By and large, I believe we managed to achieve that, just letting the craft speak for themselves.
Please introduce the people behind Necessary Provisions.
There are too many of us and everyone plays as important a part. There is a coffee tea/guru, beer snob, food nazy, brand-genius, business czar and so on.
What is the philosophy behind your menu?
We want to recreate and share some experiences that we really enjoyed or had left an indelible impression, rather than reinvent things. So really keeping it basic and focusing on the ingredients has been the catalyst for the entire menu. At the end of the day, being welcomed as part of the community will remain our honest wish.
Visit Necessary Provisions at Eng Kong Park, 21 Eng Kong Terrace.
Read more in The U Press N˚7 (Singapore edition).