Interview: Chef Joeky Ang

A pioneer team member of Marina Bay Sands, Chef Joeky brings with him more than 35 years of culinary experience across renowned Chinese dining establishments.


Chef Joeky Ang, Senior Sous Chef, Fatt Choi Express

Tell us more about your background and culinary journey.

I grew up in a village in Lim Chu Kang, where my family had a small vegetable farm and reared some poultry. Since young, I was exposed to various traditional Chinese cooking styles and recipes handed down from generations. I remember learning classic Teochew dishes with my grandmother from Chao Shan, China, and homemade dishes such as thunder tea rice and yong tau foo with my mother of Hakka descent. After finishing my secondary education in 1984, I joined Kirin Court Seafood Restaurant with a group of friends as kitchen apprentices, hoping to pick up a skill before we enlisted in the army. That was when my passion for cooking and Chinese cuisine was ignited, which led me to return to Kirin Court after completing my National Service in 1988. 

30 years ago, being an apprentice chef in a traditional Chinese restaurant was not an easy feat. We had to take initiative to consult senior chefs during our breaks, while performing our duties and picking up skills from all departments, which include dim sum, roasts, soups and stir-frys amongst others. I was working at least 16 hours every day – it was a tough but meaningful period for me. 

After leaving Kirin Court Seafood Restaurant, I joined Noble House Restaurant in 1992 as a Kitchen Assistant, and continued to refine my culinary techniques for the next 18 years. In 2010, I was presented with a lifetime opportunity to be part of the opening team Marina Bay Sands as its Sous Chef for the casino’s Ruby Lounge. Today, I lead a team of 17 culinary staff to oversee Fatt Choi Express’ daily operations as Senior Sous Chef.

What is your culinary philosophy?

One principle that I hold close to my heart is my mentor’s teaching on the importance of culinary ethics (厨德). As a chef, it is important that every dish we serve is consistent and prepared with sincerity. Our badge of responsibility is to serve only the best ingredients, treat them with respect, and present every dish with a spirit of excellence. 

How do you create new dishes that will keep surprising your guests at Fatt Choi? 

Fatt Choi Express is an all-day eatery which offers Asian delicacies and local delights. Each month, we offer an exclusive soup base made in-house from scratch using fresh quality produce. Guests love our soups for their natural flavours, nourishing benefits and great value. My team experiments with different ingredients and combinations, and one of my favourites is the tea tree mushroom soup (茶树菇汤). Tea tree mushrooms are rich in amino acids, packed with nourishing properties, and are perfect for soups as they exude a pure scent with intense earthy flavours. My team is always on the lookout for such seasonal produce that we can use to create new surprises for our guests.

How do you go the extra mile to surprise and delight guests?

To me, it is important for chefs to create that personal connection with guests, to tell the stories behind our dishes and get their feedback. This is how we keep improving to deliver dishes which appeal to their palates. I make my rounds every day to talk to guests and observe if they are enjoying the food. I’ve met guests who are passionate about cooking, and we often share our favourite recipes and ingredients to work with. These lively interactions make us all feel at home, which is why our regulars return to Fatt Choi Express time and again. 

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