Around two weeks ago, we chanced upon Cheeky Chicky, a great bistro along North Bridge Road (Singapore) that serves Japanese / Western fusion food.
Read our full review: http://www.eatandtravelwithus.com/2014/12/cheeky-chicky-north-bridge-road/
We were blown away by the quality of the food (the signature Beer Can Chicken was A M A Z I N G) and were curious to find out more about this establishment.
Jakvyn and Kelvin, the bubbly and affable founders of Cheeky Chicky, happened to be at the bistro when we were dining and agreed to an interview with us.
They provided many insightful answers and we were most impressed by their unyielding dedication to provide a wonderful dining experience for customers.
Read the full interview below!
Left: Jakvyn Right: Kelvin
Who we interviewed:
Kelvin, Jakvyn and Yi Ling (3 founders of Cheeky Chicky)
1. Tell our readers briefly about Cheeky Chicky.
JaK – Cheeky Chicky is a local startup Bistro with a Japanese/Western Fusion Restaurant food concept of offering unique twists to popular recipes. We don’t just aim to simply serve good food, but SOUL good food!
We also bring to the table a very unique dish as our House Special, after giving it a Singaporean Twist to its tastes and appearance, the Beer Can Chicken!
2. Can you elaborate on your food menu and signature items?
KeL – Singapore is a fast paced and stressful environment for our working friends and customers both in the private and public sectors. What we aim to bring to them, isn’t just another dining option to have their meals but rather, another place to call home, to rest their weary souls and dig into what we try our best to bring out as Soul Comfort Food. We design our menu items to be most fun and enjoyed in groups (or simply a cosy date for two). We aim to be daring, adventurous and most of all, Cheeky, with our recipes.
If you noticed during your meal here, we aren’t your run-of-the-mill kind of dining place.
Our Signature House Special, Beer Can Chicken, which has been carefully marinated for over 24 hours and painstakingly grilled for 2 hours, is a dish all our customers enjoyed it finger diggin’ good down their tummies!
What we offer to customers are all twists to recipes they have all grown up on.
Dishes like Salted Egg Chicken (remember to try it out with our very popular Okonomiyaki), Hainanese Garlic Chicken Rice, Curried Garlic Butter sauce are all very familiar aromas and ours have been tweaked to the most delectable of tastes, we know that when our valued customers take their very first bite into our creations, they get a wonderful shock to their taste buds.
3. Why did you decide to start Cheeky Chicky?
KeL – Cheeky Chicky was a childhood dream for me ever since I entered the kitchen at the age of 15.
JaK – For the past 8 years that I’ve been working for various banks in their enterprise banking segment handling such corporate accounts, I have seen and heard how these bosses set up multiple businesses and the inspirational bug probably hit me hard in the head because I know that’s where I want to be immediately.
Yi Ling – Opening a restaurant/café is also part of my dream and I am glad to be able to meet Kel and Jak, and subsequently work with them as a team. I think it is mostly due to our strong teamwork and clear communications that we are able to survive in this often unforgiving and tough industry.
ALL – What our friends who came together in the creating and building of Cheeky Chicky, on the very tough journey that is Entrepreneurship, share in common, is the vision we have. All of us envision the creation of a place our customers can feel at ease, stressless and above all, simply dig in into comfort food. We don’t want to be simply just another restaurant or dining option.
What we hope to do is to make Cheeky Chicky a “club” for our customers whom we treat as guests who grace us kindly with visits.
4. What are some of Cheeky Chicky’s current marketing plans?
ALL – We have not really thought much about marketing as these are costs up-front. What we have in the pipeline is distributing flyers and doing some promotions. We are also open to customized events and corporate tie-ups.
5. Where is Cheeky Chicky’s next growth opportunity? Any plans in the pipeline?
ALL – We are always on the lookout for new opportunities but there are no concrete plans for now.
6. Where do you see the business in five years?
ALL – Hopefully we are able to expand our business overseas in countries like Malaysia or Thailand where the F&B industries are booming.
7. What is your business’ Mission Statement?
ALL – Our Customers are our Priority in everything we do, from churning new products out for their dining pleasure or organizing events. We place our Customers’ best interests before business, before our own. We aim to serve and bring to the table quality food at affordable reasonable prices.
We, the team of Cheeky Chicky, aim to have all our customers feel like welcomed guests and have an enjoyable dining memory to take home with them.
Beer Can Chicken Platter for One ($19.90)
8. What is the biggest challenge you face in your business?
Jak – As with all F & B establishments across the board, manpower and hiring is always going to be a problem. But we will not allow manpower constraints to cut down on our ability to serve our guests well. If it means coming in in the wee hours of the night to prepare for the day ahead, that’s exactly what our team will do.
Yi Ling – We had planned for two years before saving up enough to start the restaurant but realized that it was still not enough after we started running it. Being the overall in-charge of our financial health, I can still remember the challenging months in which we searched high and low for investors and business partners.
Luckily, there was a small silver lining in the clouds for us.
We had many close friends in the F&B industry and through their kind sharing and subsequently learning from them, we persevered and survived through the tough times.
9. There are many rave reviews online about your restaurant. To what do you attribute your success?
ALL – We honestly do not think we are anywhere near the word “Success” at all. We think Cheeky Chicky still has a long way to go up this mountain and road. We suppose honesty and sincerity go a long way when dealing with our customers. We think Singaporeans have all in one way or another, perhaps due to rapid and available knowledge from the internet and YouTube Videos, all become savvy to Food Culture and tastes. Only the freshest of ingredients go into our food each morning. Everything is prepared from scratch, marinated carefully and tested regularly to ensure no slippage in QC.
We do our best to make our customers feel comfortable and pay constant attention to feedback on our food, tuning and modifying our tastes to what they love.
We know you can’t possibly please everyone, but we are sure going to give it our best shot.
10. What is unique about Cheeky Chicky?
ALL – I think what is most unique about us is our willingness to learn and adapt recipes and more recipes to flavours our customers prefer. I mean, when you think about it, there really isn’t a “BEST” Chicken Rice or any other recipe. Every Chef prepares his food to the best of his ability so his audience can enjoy it. That should be the way. So I suppose at Cheeky Chicky, what we try to do beyond preparing and serving you quality food, is to cater to your preferred tastes, in the same way nothing is ever going to replace Mum’s awesome homemade meals (we are going to really try though).
Our Chefs come in in the wee hours of dawn when birds haven’t even begun to chirp to prepare the ingredients necessary for the day.
You can be sure this sincerity and passion is felt and tasted with every bite of our food.
11. How do you spend your free time? What are some of your hobbies?
KeL – We spend almost all our time at Cheeky Chicky. There is no “free” time when you embark on the road of Entrepreneurship. If you don’t devote yourself to a dream, it will never become real. I make it a point for all our staff to know that we are a team. In the restaurant, there are no bosses, we are all part of a team with the same goal of serving the best we can to our valued guests.
12. Can you leave us with a quote today?
ALL – We’ll leave you with a really wonderful piece of advice we read about and are always sure to remind ourselves and the team.
“Don’t think about making a million dollars all the time, think about serving a million people.”
It may sound really weird for a company to place profit as the lowest priority but as time passed, we realized this IS the way to go if you want to be in the service industry. Our customers don’t owe us the business they kindly bring, our existence depends on their goodwill and continued support. We treat all of them as valued guests and well, you don’t try to shortchange your guests when they visit your home do you?
End of Interview
Thank you Jakvyn, Kelvin and Yi Ling. I’m sure our readers will be touched by the passion and sincerity you have put into building this great bistro!
Read our full review of Cheeky Chicky. Be sure to check out their amazing Beer Can Chicken as well as the other signature offerings!
Address: 774 North Bridge Road Singapore 198742
Telephone Number: +65 6635 3465 or +65 8157 8845
Opening Hours: Daily 11am to 11pm