A DAY IN THE KITCHEN VIDEO SERIES

A Day in the Kitchen: For this chef, fresh ingredients are as important as craftsmanship

One of the signature dishes of chef Yong Bing Ngen (above) of Majestic Restaurant is lobster noodles (left).
One of the signature dishes of chef Yong Bing Ngen (above) of Majestic Restaurant is lobster noodles.ST PHOTOS: JAMIE KOH
One of the signature dishes of chef Yong Bing Ngen (above) of Majestic Restaurant is lobster noodles (left).
One of the signature dishes of chef Yong Bing Ngen of Majestic Restaurant is lobster noodles (above).ST PHOTOS: JAMIE KOH

For chef Yong Bing Ngen, a typical morning starts with flipping through Chinese daily Lianhe Zaobao between sips of a cereal milk drink and bites of peanut butter sandwich at his home in the East Coast area.

The 53-year-old chef-owner of Majestic Restaurant at Marina One, which serves fine and innovative Chinese cuisine, also uses his alone time in the mornings to relax and map out his day.

Watch a video for a peek into how he goes about his day - from personally selecting marble goby at a fish supplier, to running the kitchen at his award-winning Majestic Restaurant, to tasting new dishes between lunch and dinner service at his other restaurants - Jing at One Fullerton and Majestic Bay Seafood Restaurant at Gardens by the Bay.

The Malaysia-born chef, who is now a Singapore citizen, opened Majestic Restaurant with hotelier-restaurateur Loh Lik Peng at the now-defunct New Majestic Hotel in Bukit Pasoh 12 years ago.

The restaurant relocated to Marina One in April this year.

Popular dishes here include lobster noodles, smoked chicken and a black truffle and egg white fried rice.

Chef Yong entered the restaurant industry at the age of 16, rising through the ranks to executive chef.

Before opening Majestic Restaurant, he headed Chinese restaurants Jade at The Fullerton Hotel Singapore and Hai Tien Lo at Pan Pacific Singapore.

When it comes to cooking, he believes that fresh ingredients are as important as craftsmanship, which requires years of training.

It can take 10 to 15 years of training before one is ready to helm a kitchen, he says.

The father of two, whose wife is a florist, adds: "Learning Chinese cooking techniques requires time.

"It is a long process. Only through years of experience can one hone and develop these skills."

•The video is the second in a six-part series by The Straits Times in partnership with the Infocomm Media Development Authority.

•Follow Rebecca Lynne Tan @STrebeccatan

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 13, 2018, with the headline 'For this chef, fresh ingredients are as important as craftsmanship'. Print Edition | Subscribe