Choon Hoy Parlor - table of food

Choon Hoy Parlor Presents A Personal Ode to Family, Food and Heritage

Chef Dylan Ong grew up in tough circumstances, but his mother always had his back. His family ran a kway chap hawker stall, and Dylan helped out since he was 7. When his father was taken ill, Dylan’s mum ran the stall by herself, while Dylan became his father’s sole caregiver. The burden soon became too heavy for Dylan’s mum Mrs Ong Choon Hoy, and she gave up the stall to take on three jobs - helping at a breakfast hawker stall in the mornings, afternoons at another, and when evening came, she washed and cleaned the hawker centre.

Yet Dylan never once heard his mother complain or lament her lot in life. Instead, she constantly impressed upon the boy to be helpful and compassionate – ‘life was hard enough’ she would say. From her, he learnt kindness, grace, hard work, commitment, tenacity, prudence and responsibility. She made him who he is today; and she would always be hisrole model and inspiration.

With the launch of the restaurant that bears her name, Choon Hoy Parlor, Dylan acknowledges her towering presence in his life. This new venture sees Dylan depart from his last 14 years in Franco-Asian cuisine to focus on what is close to his heart – heirloom and heritage recipes that tug at the heartstrings. He aims to bridge generations, offering flavours that are beloved and familiar to older folks, while at the same time recreating these traditions into fresh experiences for younger diners. He callsit Singapore Soul Food, and CHP is its showcase. 

Aiding him in this unique mission is female chef Benji Chew. Together with the kitchen team, they will present at Choon Hoy Parlor a multi-cultural smorgasbord of heritage and heirloom recipes, and hawker dishes close to the heart of Singaporeans. Working together as a youthful powerhouse, Dylan and his team harness the power of collaboration and collective leadership in pursuit of ‘3H’ – Heritage, Heirloom & Heartstrings. Each member brings to the table new ideas, distinct skills and a unique personal history to crossfertilise and create a tapestry of Singapore food stories. The menu will see heirloom recipes from the families of Dylan and Benji; grand heritage dishes that have seeped into our nation’s collective memory; and classic hawker fare. Some are faithful renditions; others spell innovation and even reimagination.

Highlights among the heirloom dishes are Teochew Braised Duck, and Pork Leg Trotter Jelly from Dylan’s family Chef Benji’s Our Rojak Our Own Way. Heritage dishes prepared authentically are namely Hainanese Kampong Chicken, Teochew Steam Fish and Coin Prata with Masala Lamb. Meanwhile classics reimagined include Ulam, and White Pepper Pig’s Stomach Collagen Soup. As well, there are recipes that have been recreated based on inspiration from travel, such as CHP Signature Egg, and Coffee Beef Short Rib.

All of Dylan Ong’s endeavours have manifested the ethos of ‘food as a blessing’. Choon Hoy Parlor is no different. One and all will find a warm welcome at this casual eatery because Dylan has brought accessibility to a whole new level and made it core to his latest enterprise. Everyone gets to enjoy Singapore Soul Food at low, good-value prices. Just like he has done with The Masses, Dylan continues to strive to ‘beat the wave’ by cost-engineering whenever possible, to lower overheads and achieve greater value. The years have also brought lessons to sharpen business acumen, enabling Dylan and his team to curate menus with broad appeal and friendly price points.

With the opening of Choon Hoy Parlor, Dylan Ong’s professional life has come full circle. It marks a return to Dylan’s hawker roots – to the delights of sincere, honest cooking. In fact, some of the items on the menu at CHP have roots in the simple meals that Mrs Ong Choon Hoy still cooks for her son when he visits these days. From the love he received from his mum, Dylan now dishes out love to his customers.

As a restaurant, Choon Hoy Parlor is both a repository and a legacy-builder. While it contains the accumulated wisdom of past generations, it is also the means to perpetuate this treasure – through an echelon of rising chefs striving to enamour a new audience to its wonders.

All things considered, Chef Dylan Ong is certainly doing his mum proud.

Flavours to Move the Palate and Soul

Choon Hoy Parlor serves Singapore Soul Food, in essence, a celebration of our local heritage through flavours that touch the soul. It consists of recipes from the families of Dylan and his chefs, and as such are multi-culturally diverse and laden with personal memories and meaning. While rooted in tradition, each dish is recreated through a contemporary lens to speak to the diner of today. The team seeks to create a vocabulary that transcends the generations, appealing to the old and young through experiences that are warm, heartfelt and memorable.

Address: 85 Beach Rd, #01-02, Singapore 189694

Reservations: Online