Australia Network
English Bites

Print  |  Close

print friendly page for
21 February 2005
Restaurant Guru
Visit a fancy restaurant in Singapore.

PETER LEWIS: The chance to live and work in the bustling crossroads of South-East Asia continues to attract Australia's best and brightest, and for a young chef the opportunity to add his distinctive style to one of the region's more interesting eateries was too good to pass up.

LUCAS GLANVILLE: I've always . been cooking for nearly 20 years, I always had an interest in working in Asia and the opportunity came up and here I am.

PETER LEWIS: Lucas Glanville runs the Grand Hyatt's main restaurant 'Mezza9'. As the name suggests it occupies the entire mezzanine floor of the Singapore hotel and comprises nine different dining experiences from traditional Chinese seafood, Japanese sushi and sashimi, through to western grill, European delicatessen and desserts.

LUCAS GLANVILLE: Mezza9 is about five years old. We have 48 chefs in Mezza9, about 60 floor staff, we do about 20,000 covers a month with revenue of about $1 million, so for a restaurant it's a quite a large restaurant. And the shopping list every week is quite big. The apples and oranges, and potatoes and onions, it's a fair old show to drive every day.

LUCAS GLANVILLE: The funny thing about Singapore is there's no food produced or manufactured here so we buy our product from all over the world. We buy a lot of product from Europe, out of the States and also from Australia.

So it's proximity and it's availability. We can get product here very quickly.

As a regional hub, Singapore, I think most planes stop here to refuel in this area here so we can get product here very quickly. So it can be... we're talking supplies leaving Australia, in most capitals of Australia, and have product here with 24 to 36 hours.

I think the quality of vegetable, fruit, seafood... the quality of seafood coming out of Australia is exceptionally high because of the clean waters there and also the size of the country. You have tropical fish in the north and it goes all the way down to the shellfish from down south from crayfish, lobsters, oysters, scallops - a lot of the products there.

In Asia there's a lot of aquaculture going on so a lot of product we can get here but it's the premium products that sell, the products that people, abalone, spiny lobster, which is what they call crayfish in Australia, they are the premium products here which only come from Australia.

You can't farm them as well as the natural product so at the end of the day it's what the customer wants. So, they're the products that sell. I think the quality of product coming out of Australia is extremely high, and its proximity to Asia so they can get product here a lot quicker which is obviously cheaper. It is cheaper to get product here coming out of Australia then it is from Europe. So, you have the time on your side and also the cost of freight on your side. So if you can get the right product into the right place it's a pretty simple equation.

story notes

 pass up
To pass up an opportunity is to not take advantage of it.
Example: I never pass up an opportunity to eat in a restaurant.

 came up
became available
Example: I used to be willing to do any job that came up.
Follow the link for more meanings of the phrasal verb come up.
more information: come up

 as the name suggests
The restaurant name is combination of mezza and the number 9. That's because the restaurant is on the mezzanine floor and has nine different styles of cooking and mezzanine ends with the letteres n-i-n-e that spell 9.
A mezzanine floor is a low storey between two other storeys.

includes; is made up of

 different dining experiences
different types of cooking

 traditional Chinese seafood
Traditional Chinese seafood is food from the sea cooked in an old Chinese style.

 Japanese sushi and sashimi
Japanese sushi and sashimi is made from rice and fish.

 western grill
Western grill is meat cooked over or under a very high heat. This style of cooking comes mainly from Western countries.

 European delicatessen
European delicatessen is mainly cooked meats.
And cheeses.

And desserts are sweets, usually eaten after the main meal.

Produced means made or grown.

Manufactured is another word for made.

When Lucas says product, he means the food to be cooked in the restaurant.
A more general meaning of product is something made to be sold, or grown to be sold.

 the States
United States of America

Proximity is how close something is.
Lucas thinks about how close a country is to Singapore before he orders a product.

The availability of something is whether it can be bought or not.
Lucas has to think about whether or not a country has the product he needs for Mezza9.

 at the end of the day
finally; when everything is taken into account
Example: At the end of the day a decision has to be made.