WYC is where it all began. Well… where the cafe began. The food began years ago in the mid-80’s when Yuki, one of our founders first started learning how to cook. Her grandfather had a taufu stall in her village and he taught her the beginnings of what became a passion for food that would transcend all expectations.
This is where the challenge for all good food starts – how do you impart passion? As WYC opened, the first three years were spent coming to the understanding that there are many people who can cook, but there are very few people that are truly passionate about food. A lesson learned from a wise grandfather is that a selfish cook cooks for their own satisfaction and glory, whereas a selfless cook cooks for the satisfaction and glory of those that partake of the meal. Every customer deserves their meal to be cooked by a selfless cook. When we started, we never realised how hard it would be to find them. To this extent, we would have to apologise to many of our previous customers, as what was delivered did not meet either our own or our customers expectations.
It’s now been four years, and we’ve grown in many ways. Our team has grown. Our menu has grown. And our understanding has grown. We’ve found what it means to cater for the community. It’s not just about the menu, it’s about the relationship. Food plays such an important role in society and as such, WYC continues to become a community meeting point for great conversations, great events and great experiences.
Each of our outlet brands is specific in it's nature as to the type of environment that we desire to create. We thought you may like to get to know our environments a little more...
We often get asked why we named the cafe; Will You Cafe. Some love the strong brand statement and the challenge that it invokes, but some find it un-relatable and don't like it as much. There are then those that say, “It’s growing on me.” And these are often the ones that have stuck around with us because of what we stand for rather than what we sell.
If you’ve ever watched a reality show based on a restaurant, you probably have a decent idea about how things run behind the kitchen doors. The pressures are immense and after a few episodes, you’ll start to see a pattern. You will be able to see what needs to be looked at and turned around for the restaurant as a whole to be successful. I’d say for many people watching some of these shows, it wouldn’t be uncommon to say, “I would never open a restaurant.” We subscribe to Chef Gusteau's famous motto: “Anyone can cook”, but we have learned that not everyone should open a restaurant.
Will You Cafe started in 2015 as a simple layout on an empty piece of paper. For anyone that has had the opportunity to be able to build something of their own from scratch, you would know that it’s a truly unique experience. Combining that piece of paper with the mission of the organization; to impact communities made this journey a multifaceted one.
Opening a restaurant for the sole purpose of business is a different journey than wanting to open a restaurant to impact the community (not putting any restaurant owners down here!). Sometimes the discussions surrounding the business drivers are conflicting as most business models ask you to look at the one thing that you can do and concentrate on doing that one thing well.
Well, we looked at it and found that it was a limiting approach. Just as there are different customers at different times of the day and different days of the week where people are doing different things, there are also different needs in the different areas of the community. When we came to understand this, then we realized that Will You Cafe is not just a cafe;, it’s a movement.
We continue to look at every aspect of our cafe; from a perspective of what can be done to benefit the community. Not just customers, but everyone. What can be done to provide jobs to more people? What can be done to provide more options for different people? What can be done to provide training and job opportunities for people with disabilities?
As the details were added to that piece of paper that we started on, we concluded that it requires an entire community to be involved to solve problems. Every business model must be developed around all of the community, by the community and for the community. That’s where the journey began, and that’s where we are all going… Will You?
Food is such an important part of our day to day lives. For many of us, when we think of food, we remember Mum’s favorite or Grandma’s special. These fond memories, often remind us of the aromas of special meals prepared in times of celebration and even common daily meals at home. It is from this sentiment of a wholesome home-cooked meal that the idea of a mixed rice restaurant was born. Whether you choose to call it Economy Rice, Chap Fan or Nasi Campur, we all know there's something special about it and just like it is at home, it takes special people to make special food. That’s what Lucky Garden is all about.
Think of your mum and the meals she has cooked for your family. In approximately 25 years, she would have cooked for a total of 9000 days or more.. and grandma would have cooked for well above 20,000 days! When we wanted to provide a good selection of local favorites, we had to dig deep for the real reason why home-cooked food tastes so good, and we’ve put it down to these three ingredients…
EXPERIENCE. LOVE. RELATIONSHIP.
There are lots of recipes and instructions that try to explain how to cook something, but one thing books and notes can never do is impart the wisdom that comes from experience. This kind of wisdom is often even found in the experience of failure. Knowing what to do to each dish on any given day to achieve the desired taste always requires a little adjustment. This little adjustment takes a little of that wisdom, and it makes all the difference. We've found that you can taste WISDOM, and it tastes great!
Good food is cooked by people who are good cooks, but great food is cooked by those that have a LOVE for food. These people understand that great food is only truly great once it’s gone... all gone! The sign of a great cook is when one finds joy in watching people enjoying their food, and this is when cooking becomes a passion! A great meal can only get better when it is shared with good company. Enjoying your favorite meal alone can be peaceful but sharing a great meal with great company is what makes it truly memorable. Ideally, a great meal is the cherry on top of the overall experience of a good time shared with great people and this is the recipe we came up with for what makes a great meal.
Our team of cooks consists of people who have each been cooking for more than 40 years. Yes, 40 years!! That means that they have the same amount of experience as many of your grandmas. Cooking often for 500 people a day means that in their lifetime they will have cooked for over 4,000,000 people. Now that’s WISDOM!!
Why do our team choose to do what they do, especially when they can retire into an easier life away from the heat of the kitchen?
They do it because they LOVE IT!! Their kids have grown up and started their own lives, and so now you have become their family. Their satisfaction will always be found in your smile at the end of every meal. Your smile is their pride.
Along with all these components, your comfort is also our priority and we take it upon ourselves to provide an inviting environment as the backdrop for these great experiences. In all our venues, we aspire to incorporate the natural environment, to keep a comfortable spacing between tables where possible, and to try to reduce disruptive noise, so that you can rightfully enjoy your time here. In conclusion, these are the reasons why we call it LUCKY GARDEN - the next best place after home.