Foodie Confidential

Juggling work, school and sports

National sailor Mark Wong runs cold-brew coffee business Lorgan & Sons with his father and brother while attending university in Perth

Packed away in a cupboard for a couple of years was a pasta-maker that would have never seen the light of day if young entrepreneur Mark Wong of cold-brew coffee business Lorgan & Sons had not decided to try his hand at making Italian noodles.

The 22-year-old bachelor had bought the machine for his mother for Mother's Day one year, but it had been collecting dust.

When he made pasta for the first time last year, he failed to roll the dough thinly enough. "It was lumpy and it wouldn't cook through. I ate about half of the pasta before I threw it away," he says.

These days, the second-year marketing and management undergraduate at The University of Western Australia makes a mean pasta and serves it with a Bolognaise sauce or tossed with grilled chicken and vegetables.

He runs year-old Lorgan & Sons with his father Lorgan, 59, and his older brother, Peter, 24, who is at university in California in the United States.

Their father is better known for his retro-furniture store and furniture-restoration business Lorgan's, in Pasir Panjang, which he runs with his wife, May, 60. It has been operating for about 25 years.

Lorgan & Sons cold brews are priced at $7 a bottle. They are sold online as well as at the furniture store.


    My mother's homemade cheeseburger with a Krispy Kreme Original Glazed doughnut as the bun.

Mark handles the marketing, branding and research and development side of the business, while his elder brother looks at innovation. Their father takes care of operations.

Not only does Mark juggle work and school, but he is also a Singapore national sailor who has been busy training for next month's South-east Asian Games in Malaysia.

This year, Lorgan & Sons will be taking part in the Singapore Coffee Festival for the second time. What can we expect?

We launched Lorgan & Sons at last year's festival and it was very well received. We sell three types of cold-brew coffee - Brazil Cerrado, Ethiopia Yirgacheffe and Sumatra Mandheling.

This year, we will be releasing a new cold brew at the festival. It is made with single-origin beans from Panama, roasted by Gesha Coffee Co, a speciality coffee roaster in Western Australia.

We will also be retailing a range of Gesha Coffee Co's coffee blends as well as coffee tools such as the ColdDrip X5, a cold-drip coffee- maker for home users.

Can you function without coffee?

I drink coffee mainly for its flavour, not for caffeine. I try not to be dependent on it. I'm fine if, on some days, I don't get my fix.

When I do drink it, I opt for an espresso in the morning.

I also like cold brews because they are less acidic and less bitter. The aromas and flavours are also more pronounced in cold brews.

You are attending university in Perth. Which are your favourite cafes in the Australian city?

There are three places that I like, which serve good coffee and food.

At Port City Roasters in Fremantle, the menu changes all the time, but it has dishes such as Eggs Benedict with roti prata and French toast done in various ways.

I also go to Typika Artisan Roasters in Claremont. The highlight there is its smooth coffee. I think its coffee is even better than Port City Roasters'. I usually have a cold- brew or cold-drip coffee there.

Gesha Coffee Co in Fremantle is another good coffee joint. We import their beans to Singapore.

As an athlete, do you have a special diet that you have to stick to?

I believe in eating healthily. There must be a balance. I eat in moderation, but indulge every now and then.

My meals usually consist of grilled chicken breast or salmon and steamed or roasted vegetables such as butternut squash, sweet potato, pumpkin, broccoli and beetroot. I also eat quinoa and cous cous.

What do you eat on your cheat days?

There are cheat meals and then there are epic cheat days, when I indulge in one big meal for the entire day.

This happens about once every three months.

Early last month, after I finished my exams, I went out and bought a whole pizza, two burgers, a packet of onion rings and two brownies. I finished everything. It was so bad, but oh, so good.

Do you have a sweet tooth?

I do, unfortunately. I love brownies and ice cream. For me, desserts have to tick two boxes - chocolate and carb (carbohydrates). I like anything that is chocolatey and dense. I would choose a brownie over a slice of cake any day.

Do you have a go-to eating spot in Singapore?

My family and I like PS. Cafe at Dempsey Hill. The ambience is amazing and we also like the food. I have a lot of fond memories of the place. We usually go there on special occasions, for example, when I have done well in a competition.

What are some of your earliest food memories?

When I was growing up, as a treat after a long day of sailing at East Coast Park, my family would dine at the East Coast Lagoon Food Village. We would order dishes such as satay, roti john, bak kut teh and oyster omelette.

Who is the better cook, your mother or your father?

That is a tough one. They are both very good cooks, so it depends on the dishes they are cooking.

My mother is good at all Western fare, from pasta and pasta bakes to burgers and grilled meats. My father cooks Asian food such as fish head curry and black pepper beef.

You have travelled to compete in regattas around the world. What are some of your food memories from these overseas trips?

I had tapas in Vigo, Spain, in 2011 when I was 16 years old. It was very different from the tapas I had been exposed to in Singapore.

The flavours there were fresh and exotic. The octopus was excellent and the cured Iberico ham, which was shaved to order, was out of this world.

I went to Dun Laoghaire, a seaside town near Dublin, Ireland, in 2013 and tried dishes such as Guinness beef stew and Guinness pie, as well as black pudding.

•Follow Rebecca Lynne Tan on Twitter @STrebeccatan

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on July 30, 2017, with the headline 'Juggling work, school and sports'. Print Edition | Subscribe