Luke's Lobster, Leckerbaer to open at Shaw House

Mr Vijay Pillai of lifestyle company Caerus Holding is bringing in Danish pastry shop Leckerbaer (above) and Luke's Lobster of New York.
Mr Vijay Pillai of lifestyle company Caerus Holding is bringing in Danish pastry shop Leckerbaer (above) and Luke's Lobster of New York.PHOTOS: JOEL CHAN, LUKE'S LOBSTER
Mr Vijay Pillai of lifestyle company Caerus Holding is bringing in Danish pastry shop Leckerbaer and Luke's Lobster (above) of New York.
Mr Vijay Pillai of lifestyle company Caerus Holding is bringing in Danish pastry shop Leckerbaer and Luke's Lobster (above) of New York.PHOTOS: JOEL CHAN, LUKE'S LOBSTER

Maine-style lobster rolls from New York's Luke's Lobster, and dainty cakes from Danish pastry shop Leckerbaer - both new-to-market brands - can be savoured from home once they open here.

The brands are brought in by lifestyle company Caerus Holding, best known for the debut of New York's famous cake boutique, Lady M, here in 2013.

The company's chief executive officer, Mr Vijay Pillai, 34, says food delivery is now a "core priority" to reach customers who remain cautious about dining out.

He says: "Previously, when you start a business, plans for delivery come after it opens. Now, that's the first to be ready, even the store takes a backseat. Getting products to customers in their homes is No. 1 on our list."

With the start of phase two, he is moving full steam ahead to launch the two brands next to each other at Shaw House, after a "tormenting" wait because of the circuit breaker period, and after more than a year in the making.

This is Leckerbaer's first overseas outpost, and it opens on July 23.

It is known for reinventing the Danish cookie, which many might be familiar with from the "blue tin of butter cookies" eaten as a child, says Mr Vijay.

The cookies (smakager in Danish, $2.80 each) and cakes (which start at $7 each) are made with Danish butter and jazzed up with elements such as meringue, jam and icing.

Luke's Lobster, a must-have for visitors to its Japan branches, will open next month - once it gets the green light to start renovations. Prices are not fixed yet, but Mr Vijay says they will remain "affordable for the quality".

Both outlets can seat 30 diners, with numbers reduced to 15 to 20 seats because of safe-distancing measures.

There are plans to expand both brands around South-east Asia, and yet another brand is in the works, to be revealed later this year.

On opening now instead of waiting for phase three, Mr Vijay says: "We have the framework ready, should things take a turn for the worse. Better to open now, when we can."

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on July 05, 2020, with the headline 'Luke's Lobster, Leckerbaer to open at Shaw House'. Print Edition | Subscribe