Kwan is the owner of 12s Café and Co. and has a background in building commercial kitchens, so he has spent a lot of time around chefs and cooking.
“What I am doing is modern Asian fusion.” Explains Kwan.
“I grew up in Melbourne, but am originally from Hong Kong, so I have East and West in me. If I try to do Chinese cuisine, local Chinese will say ‘oh you grew up here!’
“But if I try to do local stuff, people say I am from Hong Kong! So I thought why not have both things integrate together and hopefully do the fusion without the confusion!” Laughs Kwan.
“The biggest challenge is achieving that and have those two blending together.”
“I am trying to create an atmosphere. There are a lot of new apartment buildings happening nearby, so I think the younger audience really enjoy it.”
12s Café and Co’s name is very important to Kwan.
“In my family, we all have 12 in our birthday, but also the number 12 in terms of time is a complete number, which I like. You have 12 months in a year, 12 hours in a shift and 12 is the transit from AM to PM, which represents myself career-wise as this is a change of direction.”
Kwan says his favourite dish at the moment is the Peking Duck Roll (salad, pickles and roasted ducked wrapped in a tortilla) because it is something a little bit different.
Another popular dish is the Deep Fried Chicken Brioche – the chicken is marinated in a Japanese style and then deep-fried, while served nestled within sweet and pillowy brioche.
“I spend a lot of time doing the research and development for the menu. When I was building kitchens there would always be a lot of cooking demonstrations, so I could speak to the chefs and you would find out what was popular at the time.
12s Cafe & Co.
207 Camberwell Rd,
Melbourne VIC 3123
(03) 9042 3986