Queen of The Yard
Co-founder of Hong Kong yakitori phenomenon, Yardbird, as well as Japanese seafood izakaya, Ronin, which was one of the nine newcomers to this year’s Asia’s 50 best restaurants, and modern-day grocery store, Sunday’s Grocery, Lindsay Jang has her fingers in many pies.
On top of her food and beverage endeavours, Lindsay Jang is a mother of two, a yoga teacher and a co-founder of Missbish, an online editorial platform that puts a lens on female trailblazers. With Yardbird Singapore scheduled to open in the near future, Jang is set to add another tick to her inexhaustible list of accomplishments.
Moving from her hometown of Sherwood Park, Canada to New York City, to carving out a business and home in Hong Kong, Jang has seen all parts of her life come together full circle to shape her personal and professional sentiments today.
My travel schedule is quite hectic. I travel quarterly to the US for Missbish. A lot of our team is based there, as well as 50 per cent of our audience, so I like to be there with them. I usually spend the whole summer in the US and Canada. My boyfriend Alex and I try to go somewhere new when the kids are with their grandparents. Last summer, we went to Mexico City for five days.
A lot of my travel is for work, so I try to reward myself occasionally with exploration. I started practising yoga as a way to get over my snowboarding injuries.
Just like restaurants and everything else in my life, I didn’t have a plan to become a yoga teacher. I just started going and I just kept going. I believe that the more positive things there are in the world, the more positive things will come back to you.
I don’t believe in luck. I don’t like the word ‘luck’ because I don’t think that only some people are lucky. I think luck is a combination of hard work and right timing. I push myself and everyone around me to be sincere and kind-hearted because it always comes back. But it’s not like a bank exchange – you can’t expect things to come back to you right away.
I don’t think I’m the smartest person. I’m always looking for someone else who’s smarter than me that I can learn from and apply that knowledge to what I’m currently doing. To me, being the smartest person in the room is not the best thing. What are you gonna learn? Whatever I’ve learnt from people that I’ve met through the restaurants, from Missbish or yoga, I’ve learnt to apply that across the board.
My management style is quite macro. I love to build my teams and train them but I believe in telling people what to do and letting them get to that goal on their own. I don’t micromanage and I want people to feel powerful in their positions, no matter what they may be. I just read Shoe Dog by Phil Knight, the founder of Nike, and he said something along the lines of telling people what to do but not telling them how to do it. That really spoke to me because I’ve never managed to put it across with such clarity.
On my off-days I like to eat and drink. Most of what I enjoy doing is tied to eating and drinking. Because I’ve always been in that industry, I like to see what other people are doing. I also like to entertain and host people. Eating at Yardbird is always fun and I enjoy being somewhere where I can have a conversation and a high-quality cocktail. We like having people over at our house, where we’ll order food or celebrate Christmas with people who don’t have family here. A lot of my downtime is spent with Alex and my kids and family and that is what is important to me. But I also like getting massages!