Up-and-coming Singapore chef Kevin Wong, who was the head chef at one-Michelin-starred contemporary Korean restaurant Meta, is coming into his own by helming his restaurant Seroja, which opens on October 1 at Duo Galleria mall near Bugis.  

Seroja, which means “lotus flower” in Malay, is Wong’s tribute to the rich diversity of cultures and culinary traditions across the Malay Archipelago, which spans countries such as Malaysia, Indonesia and Brunei. 

The Malaysia-born chef, who is a Singapore permanent resident, says: “I want to share the beauty of the region I am from with the world. As people from the Malay Archipelago, we coexist and thrive within disparate cultures.That is who we are and what I want Seroja to embody.”

At Seroja, Wong will present his deep understanding of the region’s culinary culture, accumulated through his cooking and eating experiences within the Malay Archipelago and beyond.

This move comes less than a year after Wong was a Top 3 finalist at the coveted international cooking competition, the S.Pellegrino Young Chef Academy Competition 2019-2021 last October. 

For the competition, Wong presented his signature dish, Celebration of Duck, which could provide a look into the types of flavours that he will be presenting at Seroja. 

The roast duck, which pays homage to roast duck hawkers in Singapore and Malaysia, is glazed with soya caramel, and served with curry duck hearts, carrot sansho puree and a sauce concocted from duck bones and kombu. The dish, which champions nose-to-tail cooking and sustainability, also uses the duck’s legs, liver and skin for its other components. For the dish’s servingware, he collaborated with artists to make them from the elements of the duck or naturally gathered materials. 

Wong carved a name for himself in the Singapore dining scene after working for more than four years at Meta Restaurant. He worked his way up from a Junior Sous Chef in 2017 to being the second-in-command in Meta’s kitchen — after chef-owner Sun Kim before he left in June this year. Wong also earned a spot in the prestigious Forbes 30 Under 30 list for his achievements in the culinary world. 

Find out more: Seroja, reservations open from September 1. 

Related: Singapore chefs share their favourite food memories of home