15 minutes with Chef-Owner Dylan Ong

As our culinary scene develops and we get to indulge in a growing range of new experiences, we can’t help but be intrigued by the progressively innovative ways that the contemporary generation of chefs have been approaching their cuisines.

Known for his experimental style and techniques that showcase the colours of French cuisine with a distinct Asian flair, we caught up with Chef-Owner Dylan Ong of iKO to find out more about the person behind unique menus such as his.


, 15 minutes with Chef-Owner Dylan Ong


How did the switch to becoming iKO’s Chef-Owner come about?

I have always enjoyed Japan’s food and culture, and visited the country often to explore the latest trends there. In January this year, I decided to join iKO as a consultant to jazz up their Modern-Japanese concept. About 6 months into it, I found myself very invested in iKO and thought it might be a good idea to join the team officially. My fellow partners were also very supportive of me taking the reins of the restaurant’s kitchen, and that was how I became iKO’s Chef-Owner.


You’re always experimenting with new manners of culinary expression, could you share with us how you’d normally go about developing new dishes? What inspires you the most?

My inspirations come mostly from the environment I grew up in. My parents were hawkers, so I grew up eating lots of local food. Combine that with my culinary skills and experience in European cuisine, and we get “Dylan’s cuisine”. An example of something inspired by local food is iKO’s Lil Basket. it is reminiscent of kueh pie tee, but also totally different as each mini beetroot “basket” is stuffed with Hokkaido snow crab, spicy avocado mousse, and lime gel.


, 15 minutes with Chef-Owner Dylan Ong


What can our readers expect from your type of French dishes?

Running both iKO and The Masses, I have been focused on creating dishes that are not typical. In fact, I have not prepared a traditional French dish in a while. Instead, I like to think out of the box and come up with new ways to put French produce and infuse Asian elements with my techniques in French cuisine.


iKO’s dishes display a modern take on Japanese bistronomy – could you share more about what we can expect and look forward to with your new approach?

Blending “bistro” with gastronomy, one can expect iKO to be a fun, loud, and produce-driven restaurant dedicated to delivering quality food and a convivial atmosphere. We pride ourselves on being just a touch more unique than others and hope that each bite will evoke the greatest pleasure in every diner’s palate.


, 15 minutes with Chef-Owner Dylan Ong


What’re 3 dishes new patrons absolutely have to try at iKO?

For customers who have never been to iKO, start with our fun Negitoro Ice Cream or Salmon Ice Cream. The former comprises a seaweed cone filled with raw tuna and cured egg yolk, while the latter comes with raw salmon and ikura.

Beef lovers can go for the Dope You Up Bowl with A4 Wagyu and Bafun uni. There’s also our Monk Fish Liver & Duck Ravioli, a unique duck confit dish with cubed foie gras, parmesan cheese crisps, and maitake mushrooms!


Any upcoming plans for more unique experiences that our readers and your fans can look forward to?

Similar to The Masses, I hope to be able to change the menu at iKO every four months!


To find out more about iKO and what they have to offer, check out their website here.