Kindred Spirit

A Dedication To Craft: Errol Lim, Ronald Kamiyama And Fang Low

Exemplifying whisky maker Royal Salute’s mastery of craft, respect for tradition and ceaseless quest for excellence, the technopreneur, restaurateur and placemaker share their own tale of passion, and even destiny.

Like the Royal Salute The Signature Blend 21YO — an enduring blend steeped in tradition but well-loved across generations — Fang Low believes it’s important for the past and present to harmonise in the modern world.

Fang Low
Co-founder & CEO, Figment

Having spent time in Scotch whisky regions such as Speyside, Fang Low now marvels both at “the complexity of every sip” and “sense of place” of every scotch he pours. That it would be craft, character and provenance that speaks most to his sensibilities, is no surprise. The former Goldman Sachs analyst with a master’s degree in public administration is, after all, co-founder of Figment, a boutique co-living company that works with local design talents to conserve and reimagine traditional shophouses that are popular with the creative class.

I grew up in a shophouse. I always thought they were the perfect space for a thriving creative community. These homes have such character; they stand in contrast to the forgettable shopping centres and office buildings that dot our skyline. Just contemplate the craft that goes into the facade of a Chinese baroque shophouse, with its European-influenced Corinthian pillars, Peranakan tiles, Chinese jian-nian stuccoes and French jalousie windows. This mishmash of influences quite literally represents Singapore.

Now imagine stepping into the shophouse and being greeted by a spiral staircase shooting up four floors, designed by a local design studio like HYLA — an uplifting feeling washes over you. This is what great architecture and design can do. With so much to do, so much to see, so much to buy, we increasingly need to draw on the past to anchor us and provide some guidance on how to live in this modern world.

At Figment, we’re a cosmopolitan community of entrepreneurs, creative spirits and design geeks who take inspiration from our local creatives and their craft. Figment represents what is missing within me in this modern world — a home with a strong sense of community and place that doesn’t fall short in convenience and comfort. 

The Signature Blend 21-Year-Old
Created to mark the coronation of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, the sophisticated expression offers history in each measure. Expect aromas of sweet pears, citrus fruits, autumnal flowers and sweet vanilla; and on the palate, the warmth of orange marmalade and fresh pears followed by rich spices and hazelnut.
Over a dram of Royal Salute The Malts Blend 21YO — a whisky blended from more than 21 single malts from the five whisky regions of Scotland — Ronald Kamiyama explains the artistry in bringing elements together to create symphony in the dining room.

Ronald Kamiyama
Managing Partner, Cicheti Group

Ronald Kamiyama knows a thing or two about a good symphony; not in the sense of composing an orchestral work but as a metaphor for the harmonious amalgamation of multiple elements. A sommelier who has worked at top establishments the likes of Tokyo’s L’effervescence and Bar Boulud in New York City, he’s built a career on assessing flavours and aromas for balance, complexity and symbiotic pairings. Now, as managing partner of the Cicheti Group, his role is to ensure  well-oiled restaurant operations delight every guest who steps in.

Running restaurants is like being the leader of a band. My team is my backbone and the people who deliver the messages our restaurants try to convey. Being able to delegate and trust their decisions builds strong bonds between us. And while it may be hectic, our job is to make the guest experience seamless. A joyful vibe goes a long way — too bad they can’t see the big smile behind my mask. Music helps too! I perform better when the right music is on, like Wu-Tang Clan or Radiohead.

To enhance the dining experience, there has to be an understanding of the difference between hospitality and service; to not be intimidating and to respect how customers feel. Through beverage, I like to share with guests what I’ve learnt over the years and am still learning till this day. For me, sharing knowledge is important. Furthermore, we are constantly evolving our product offering. If something new comes to market, I’d like our customers to experience it as well.

Speaking as a somm, the hallmark of any good beverage is the way it plays with your senses. It starts with the visuals, then the aromas, and lastly, the flavours — how complex, how intense or how its taste can bring up a memory that puts a smile on your face.

The Malts Blend 21-Year-Old
This indulgent and profound whisky is crafted from more than 21 precious single malts from the five whisky regions of Scotland. Working in harmony, each flavour combines to create a symphonic-like performance, bursting with notes of orchard fruits, creamy vanilla, banana crème brûlée and enriched by subtle spices.
Over a Royal Salute Stone of Destiny 38YO — a decisive blend named after the stone used at the coronation of Scottish monarchs — Errol tells us that it is the destiny of successive generations of technopreneurs and innovators to ensure Singapore’s  lead on the global stage.

Errol Lim
Co-founder & COO, Jublia

Quiet and in solitude is how Errol Lim sometimes savours his whisky — a contemplative approach that restores equilibrium to a hectic lifestyle. As he says: “I was born to communicate and network” — both of which he does for Jublia, an AI engagement hub covering business matching and hybrid event platforms. Co-founded with two mates, the firm is a three-time recipient of the Singapore Tourism Awards for Best Business Event Service Provider.

We founded Jublia while studying and interning in Sweden as part of our university’s scholarship programme. We were matchmaking companies with tech talents using a mathematical formula we developed in our dormitories. We soon realised we had built something that added big value to the event ecosystem, and today, it’s grown into an intelligent algorithm that powers all our solutions.

I feel proud that Singapore is renowned as an innovator in the tech space. Our influence and reputation is globally recognised, and I’ve been a recipient of its positive effects. This is largely thanks to the most valuable resource Singapore has as a tiny island nation — our people. However, it’s important for us not to rest on our laurels. We need to constantly question the status quo and relentlessly seek innovation. Singapore enjoyed first mover advantage because of the critical and decisive decisions of our policymakers. The responsibility now rests on my generation and those after us to continue our lead on the global stage.

My dream and ambition has always been to add value in most, if not everything that I do. After leading Jublia with my co-founders for the past eight years, I can say we’re in it for the long haul. Personally though, I dream to start a family in the not too distant future and to also start new ventures in the sustainability and renewable energy sector.

Stone of Destiny 38-Year-Old
Taking its name from the stone used at the enthroning ceremonies of ancient Scottish monarchs, this exceptional deep amber blend is mature on the nose and full in flavour. Cedar wood, almonds and florals stand shoulder to shoulder with rich sherried oak, while dried fruits and assertive spices culminate in a long lingering finish.

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