Wok Talk: The Story Behind Tim Yap’s New Food Concept - Mise en Place

Wok with Yap features Asian flavors inspired from Tim’s travels and fond childhood memories.

Launching a new Asian food concept in the middle of a pandemic might seem like an odd idea, however Wok with Yap eagerly entered the online food market with its strong roster of 8 dishes back in mid-August and has been serving scrumptious dishes ever since. In this exclusive, we sit down with Tim Yap on the story and work that went into making this new food concept happen.

Hainanese Chicken

When asked on the main inspiration for Wok with Yap, Tim shares, “As a kid I was always home, happy to watch TV on weekends, and one of the shows I used to really enjoy watching was Wok With Yan, a show that featured an Asian man cooking easy-to-make restaurant quality stuff for the home.” From the moment he watched that show, Tim was set on becoming what he saw. “I told myself as early as then that I would have my own restaurant,” he says. On the development of the idea for the business, Tim states that the food was “Inspired by my childhood faves, travels abroad, and just a general love for hearty and healthy food.” Recognizing that it is in fact a curious time to open up shop amid a global crisis, Tim Yap is characteristically confident. “Wok With Yap was born in 2020, conceptualized pre-Covid as a Cloud restaurant—delivery only service that serves Asian comfort food at home. We were supposed to launch first quarter of the year, and then Covid happened.” Thus, Tim put his business plans on hold to focus on aiding those in need during the pandemic, “So, we channeled our initial launch efforts into aiding front liners in the beginning of the quarantine season. And then we had the time to develop the product further. And so August 12, 2020 was when we finally launched it publicly online.”

Also read: How Metro Manila Restaurants Stay Consistently Clean And Safe In An Inconsistent Quarantine

Kung Pao Chicken

Going into the flavors that Wok with Yap serves, Tim wanted to showcase the flavors of Asia. Since the quarantine prevents us from actually visiting other Asian countries, Wok with Yap brings those countries to us with their dishes—a delectable journey from the aroma to the taste. Their Hainanese Chicken triggers hawker centers in Singapore with its scent, while the colorful mix of their Soy Ginger Tuna evokes bento boxes and donburi from Japan. While the wafting smell of spices and savory juices from the Kung Pao Chicken give that Chinese Sichuan kick even before you take your first bite. Plus, the option to switch out the brown rice for quinoa or adlai provides a healthy alternative to indulge in these flavors.

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A man committed to his vision, Tim shares how he discussed with his team in conceptualizing Wok with Yap, from the general idea to the final dishes. “I sat down with the team and we talked about food that made us happy. Food whose flavors give them a smile—and we looked at how it can be the healthier version of it.” Emphasizing the feeling the food gives to the person without compromising health was key in pulling off his vision. To end, Tim gives a shout out to those who have yet to try their dishes, “Expect hearty and healthy food that makes you happy.”

Wok with Yap is available for delivery on Grab Food and Foodpanda, check out their Instagram page for more information.

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