If you’re looking to be excited by something more than merely 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 seem a bit of a mouthful, but it is actually simply descriptive of 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, 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, pictured) and Lobster Fregola Sarda Pasta ($28). Everything is beautifully plated, enhanced with herbs grown in-house.
Inspired by Red ($14, pictured) is an artistic dessert that features different ingredients and textures, all in red.
Stones — the final part of the name — 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 — 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 and 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 three-metres high and 10-metres 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