Any frequenter of King Street will know Wayne Phan’s flower shop, The Flower Room, by its irresistible aroma and arrangements that make passersby swoon.
What sparked your love of flowers?
My mother studied floristry while I was growing up and eventually she had her own store. My brother and I would help out after school.
Are there any sustainable practices that you are beginning to explore?
We would love to meet someone who can look into turning our green waste into something usable for the garden.
Smell is an integral part of taste. Are there any flowers that smell so good you might be tempted to eat one?
Garden roses are amazing but I am not very tempted to eat one as they have a million thorns on them!
Flowers have become a really trendy decoration for cakes, desserts and even savoury meals in restaurants. Why do you think this trend has taken off?
I think creative chefs have done a great job in pushing for flowers in food. It adds colour and
different textures for their Instagram photos.
What is your garden like at home?
My wife grows some Asian herbs and we have a few fruit trees in the garden. I love succulents so I have a small collection.
What do you like eating at home?
I do enjoy cooking but I don’t have much time. My wife usually cooks Vietnamese cuisine as she is originally from Vietnam.
Where do your food ethics lie?
I do believe in sourcing local and eating more greens instead of meat.
If you could match your favourite flower with a drink, and a morsel of food, what would the combination be?
It would be peonies, lychee martini and strawberry watermelon cake from Black Star.
Is there a floristry project you have worked on you are particularly proud of?
There are a few but there are two in particular that we did this year which I am very proud of. The first one was at the Opera House for Chinese New Year. The second project was renovating the store. We have basically changed everything in the store so it now looks completely different. Your readers can see our updates on Instagram @theflowerroom.
Chicken Rice Paper Rolls
• 500g chicken breast cut into small pieces
• 1 lime, zested
• 2 garlic cloves, crushed
• 1 tbsp olive oil
• 1 lebanese cucumber, cut into matchsticks
1. Mix the zest, garlic and oil together in a bowl with chicken. Marinate for at least one hour.
2. Heat a pan and grill the chicken until cooked through. Allow to cool then add chopped mint.
3. Cook the noodles. Drain and cool.
4. Fill a shallow dish with warm water. Dip one rice paper wrapper into the water for 30 seconds then place on a clean flat surface. Place chicken pieces along the wrapper. Top with noodles, cucumber, carrot, spring onion and avocado. Roll into a tight spring roll shape. Repeat with the remaining rice paper wrappers and filling. Serve the spring rolls whole, or sliced in half with a nice dipping sauce.