STEAMROOM WITH THE PILLAR AND STONES
A MULTI- CONCEPT LIFESTYLE SPACE COMBINING A TEA BAR, RESTAURANT AND RETAIL STORE
A multi-concept lifestyle space combining a tea bar, restaurant and retail store.
If you’re looking to be excited by something more than a cafe or shop, Steamroom with The Pillar and Stones (or SRPS) is the latest multi-concept lifestyle space, spread out over 5,000sqf in Orchard Central. Its name may be a bit of a mouthful, but it simply describes the three-in-one space.
The brainchild of one of its co-owners, local contemporary artist Wong Lip Chin, SRPS fuses Chinese tea, contemporary cuisine and lifestyle products.
Steamroom refers to the central beverage bar, or “kaffatea” room, where a variety of Chinese tea is brewed using an Alpha Dominche Steampunk machine. The advanced siphon brewer that makes use of steam agitations to accelerate extraction lets you enjoy tea at its best here. All priced at $7.50, options include Green Jade Spring (Bi Luo Chun) from Suzhou, Frozen Peak Oolong (Tung Ting) from Nantou and Raw Pu-Er from Yunnan. Single-origin coffee is also available.
The Pillar serves up contemporary cuisine from the kitchen, located at one side of the open-concept space and helmed by renowned chef Stephan Zoisl. Expect modern takes on classic recipes and dishes that blend Eastern and Western flavours, such as Angus beef tartare ($16), salmon ochazuke ($24) and lobster fregola sarda pasta ($28). Inspired by Red ($14) is an artistic dessert that features different ingredients and textures, all in red. Everything is beautifully plated and enhanced with herbs grown in-house.
Stones – referencing the very first medium for primitive art – is a retail space curated by local brand Emporium of the Modern Man, and an “art lab”. Apart from offering lifestyle goods such as apparel, stationery, tableware, scented candles and other decor accessories, there are art jamming sessions and workshops led by professionals. There’s even a lithography machine, so you can pick up printmaking, which is a large part of the artist-founder’s practice.
Besides conceptualising SRPS, Wong even designed the entire space by himself. He incorporated ideas and elements from three art movements and architectural styles – the Memphis style that focuses on clashing colours and geometric shapes, Brutalist architecture that is characterised by rawness of texture (in particular, raw concrete), and the Bauhaus movement that unites fine arts with design craftsmanship. These can be seen in the built-in structures, choice of materials and customised furniture. The artist also used materials and objects unconventionally and creatively, such as colourful rubber playground flooring, glass blocks for all the partitions, and chairs as display plinths for the retail products.
Lush greenery has also been brought into the equation. Wong collaborated with naturalist Amos Tan on the green wall, which is around 3m high and 10m wide, and a paludarium with plants from the Amazon.
Head over any time of the day, whether for a delicious meal, tea (or coffee) break, or some retail therapy! STEAMROOM WITH THE PILLAR AND STONES IS AT # 03- 08 ORCHARD CENTRAL, TEL: 6592- 0571, WWW. SRPS. SPACE.
RIGHT, BOTTOM There are no solid walls – mostly glass block partitions are used to zone the space, allowing more light through.
RIGHT & FAR RIGHT The artist-founder was inspired by the Memphis, Brutalist and Bauhaus movements, and it reflects in the way he uses materials to create functional features within the space. RIGHT, MIDDLE In the “kaffatea” room, teas from China and Taiwan are brewed using a steampunk machine, through an agitation process that maintains the tea’s ideal temperature and intensity.
OPPOSITE Spanning over 5,000sqf, SRPS combines a teahouse, an 80-seater restaurant, a lifestyle boutique and an art space.
LEFT Lots of greenery is introduced into the modern, urban setting. Besides a large green wall, herbs are grown in-house and used in the food offerings. Pictured is the retail and art space.