Richard Yap ventures in Filipino restaurant business

IMAGE Julie Bonifacio

Richard Yap with one of his business partners Lester Pimentel Ong at the opening of their newest restaurant, Luna J.


Nagbukas muli ng panibagong restaurant si Richard Yap.

Luna J ang pangalan ng restaurant na nagbukas noong July 18, sa Il Terrazo, Tomas Morato Extension, malapit sa ABS-CBN.

Katuwang ni Richard na nag-cut ng ribbon ang kanyang business partners na sina Lester Pimentel Ong, ang Singaporean businessman na si Ace Wang, at si Des Tanwatco.

Bale pang-apat ng venture ito ng mag-partners pero ang Luna J ang tanging Filipino restaurant nila.

Ang panimulang kuwento ni Richard nung nakausap namin ito pagkatapos ng ribbon-cutting ceremony, “Pero may isang restaurant si Lester, yung Wang Fu, dito rin sa Il Terrazo.

"Parang nag-test market lang sila. I wasn’t involved pa with them that time.

"Pero yung Wang Fu Chinese Bistro sa Morato, same group dito."

Bakit Pinoy dishes naman ang choice nila ngayon?

“Luna J serves Filipino food, mga home-cooked Filipino food.

"Yung specialties like from Bicol, Pampanga, dito yun, walang fusion.

"Parang home-cooked lang talaga, like dinuguan, bopis.

“And Luna J, actually, it’s Juan Luna. Binaligtad lang namin.

"Kasi Juan Luna is one of our more well-known heroes.

"He was also an artist known not only here but also abroad.

"So, that’s what we aim for Luna J," eksplika ni Richard.

Pahayag naman ni Lester, “Mahilig kami sa hero, and to represent the Filipino’s greatness...

"Actually, we opened a Filipino restaurant sa Singapore before and then my partner there is a Singaporean.

'Tapos meron siyang Chinese restaurant doon din.

"So when we saw the opportunity here to open a Chinese-Singaporean food, so nag-open kami ng isa. Eto na yun, sa Il Terrazo, yung Wang Fu.

"Then itong Luna J, binaligtad namin to sound different at madaling tandaan.”

ENTER RICHARD. Hindi ba sila nahirapan kumbinsihin si Richard na makipag-sosyo sa kanila?

Si Richard ang unang sumagot, “Magaling mag-convince ‘yan. Actually, hindi ko na kailangang i-convince. Um-oo ako agad.”

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Sabi naman ni Lester, “Hindi naman. We met up through our common friend na si Kate Valenzuela [handler ni Richard Yap for Dreamscape Entertainment Television management].

"For this resto, hindi naman malaki ang puhunan. Tama lang.

"Maliit lang kasi siya. Mas malaki yung WangFu Chinese Bistro restaurant namin sa Morato.

"Eto ano lang ‘to, e. This is about a total na mga 100 square meters.”

Nasa plano bang magbukas ang Luna J ng branch sa ibang bansa?

“Oo, hopefully, kung kaya namin, later on. But so far, we will concentrate muna dito sa atin.”

Hindi ba umangal ang fastfood chain na iniindorso ni Richard?

“It’s a different ano, e. Kasi Chowking is a quick restaurant. It’s a parang fast food na Chinese.

"Sa amin, iba naman, it’s a full-service restaurant, totally different,” paliwanag ni Richard.

FAVORITE EATS. What's his favorite food?

“Pareho lang, e. I eat anything, e—Chinese, Japanese, Mediterranean. I’m adventurous with food.

"Singaporean food, mahilig din ako especially yung Hainanese chicken, especially if you eat in Singapore...

"Pero dito, authentic din, it’s almost the same, like sa Wang Fu restaurant both in Il Terrazo and in Tomas Morato. “

Sabi nila, the best way to a man's heart is through his stomach. Agree ba ang Filipino-Chinese actor dito?

“A, hindi ko alam e kasi wala akong isang... there’s so much that I like, e. Ah, Cebu lechon, gusto ko.

"Dati nag-lechon Cebu ako rito before, but that was more than 10 years ago.”


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