Lifetime Achievement award

Planning Imperial growth

The traditional braised duck with accompaniments from Imperial Treasure Fine Teochew Cuisine. Mr Alfred Leung, Imperial Treasure Restaurant Group's founder, plans to expand the brand to other parts of the world, including Paris, London, Tokyo and Seo
Mr Alfred Leung, Imperial Treasure Restaurant Group's founder, plans to expand the brand to other parts of the world, including Paris, London, Tokyo and Seoul.ST PHOTO: ARIFFIN JAMAR
The traditional braised duck with accompaniments from Imperial Treasure Fine Teochew Cuisine. Mr Alfred Leung, Imperial Treasure Restaurant Group's founder, plans to expand the brand to other parts of the world, including Paris, London, Tokyo and Seo
The traditional braised duck with accompaniments from Imperial Treasure Fine Teochew Cuisine.PHOTO: IMPERIAL TREASURE FINE TEOCHEW CUISINE

Imperial Treasure Restaurant Group's founder, Mr Alfred Leung, 63, has always let the spotlight shine on his expanding business rather than himself.

The restaurant empire he founded in 2004 has become a household name, having grown to 30 restaurants across Singapore, China and Hong Kong.

Outlets here include premium dining concepts such as Super Peking Duck at Paragon, Fine Chinese Cuisine at Marina Bay Sands and Imperial Treasure Fine Teochew Cuisine at Ion Orchard, which is one of the 30 bronze winners in the Best Asian Restaurants list.

Last year marked a milestone for the group as the Imperial Treasure Fine Chinese Cuisine outlet in Shanghai received two Michelin stars - a boost to the brand's profile in China.

Mr Leung plans to expand to other parts of the world, including Paris, London, Tokyo and Seoul, further cementing the group's global presence in serving quality Chinese cuisine.

The Hong Kong-born restaurateur says: "I arrived in Singapore in 1981, a time when fine Cantonese cuisine was scarce. Many years later, I am proud to call Singapore my home and to have watched its culinary scene evolve and become recognised on the global stage. To be taking Imperial Treasure overseas, exporting the finest of Singapore, is one of the pinnacles of my career. But I never rest on my laurels and envision going further."

He and his wife, Hera, 59, have a daughter, Jennifer, 34, who is not in the business. Their son, Kenny, 37, oversees the group's operations and projects. Mr Leung's older brother, Jimmy, and younger brother, Vincent, are also involved in the business; they manage the operation of the restaurants in Singapore.

Life deputy editor Wong Ah Yoke, 55, says: "Few people in the industry have made the impact that Mr Leung did in the dining scene. The quality of his restaurants has remained very consistent over the years."

Mr Leung is aware of the challenges in building an "internationally renowned fine-dining brand".

"Culinary maturity has dramatically changed over the years and we find our customers growing in sophistication and expecting more from their dining experiences.

"Today, having good food is not enough - impeccable service, ambience and beautiful plating are key to a holistic dining experience, and this is what we'd like to build on in the future. It is a long journey ahead."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 23, 2017, with the headline 'Planning Imperial growth'. Print Edition | Subscribe