After Wangfu, Richard Yap opens Pinoy restaurant

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jul 30 2014 01:14 PM | Updated as of Jul 31 2014 02:08 AM

Richard Yap. Photo by Karen Flores, ABS-CBNnews.com

MANILA – Following the success of his Singaporean-Chinese restaurant Wangfu, “Be Careful with My Heart” star Richard Yap has opened another dining concept.

Named after the hero and painter Juan Luna, Luna J Filipino Gastropub is located at the Il Terrazzo building in Quezon City, just a few steps away from Wangfu Café and less than a five-minute drive from Wangfu’s main branch.

“The restaurant is named after Juan Luna. Binaliktad namin ‘yung name para mas catchy, para mas may name recall,” said Yap, who started out as a commercial model.

“We’re fond of naming our restaurants after heroes… The other owners, they had a Filipino restaurant in Singapore. It’s called Bonifacio,” he added, referring to the restaurant named after Andres Bonifacio, the founder of the Katipunan.

As its name suggests, Luna J specializes in Filipino dishes – from crispy pata and kare-kare to gising-gising and adobo – all conceptualized by the restaurant’s head chef, Charlie Mejala.

It also offers Filipino beverages with a twist such as Spiced Tanglad, a spiked version of salabat containing lemongrass and rum.

According to Yap, they make an effort to keep prices reasonable to cater mainly to the office crowd.

“This is a place where people come for lunch, so [we get a lot of] office people. We try to keep it as affordable as we can,” he said, citing their lunch specials which are priced below P200.

Asked why he decided to go into the restaurant business, Yap said: “Food is the only thing that people come back to… it’s always in demand.”

Aside from Luna J and Wangfu, Yap has also dabbled in the pet care industry. The “Be Careful with My Heart” star will soon open a pet store called Pet Starz, which will offer grooming products and services as well as an animal spa and hotel.

“We’re seeing so many people who are taking care of pets, so there’s a demand for it,” he said of his new business.