You are renowned for pioneering the Mod Sin cuisine, often introducing innovative techniques and ingredients when reinterpreting Singaporean classics. What exactly is Mod Sin and what inspired your approach?
Modern Singaporean (or “Mod Sin”) is a term I coined in 2005 to describe my food. All the concepts of my restaurants revolve around that one concept – Mod Sin. Mod Sin is basically a celebration of traditional Singaporean flavours, dishes, and ingredients in ways previously not done before.
I am inspired by food I ate growing up in Singapore with its very diverse cuisines. I am also excited by ingredients and other cuisines when I travel and always seek to find similarities and complementary contrasting flavours and textures to celebrate the flavours of Singapore.
Aside from the beloved Wild Rocket (that closed its doors in 2018), Relish and Roketto Izayaka, your other restaurants in Singapore, are also hugely popular. What are their concepts and must-try dishes?
Wild Rocket was a fine dining concept where we served omakase menus, while Relish is a cheery family restaurant with burgers, rice, noodles, and pastas dishes. Roketto Izakaya is a cosy casual Mod Sin tapas bar. At Wild Rocket, the signature was a multi-course exclusive chef menu that is actually currently available at Roketto Izakaya by reservation only. There, also try the scallop her kiao dumplings, iberico pork satay with pineapple relish and oyster omelette spaghetti. Relish’s signatures include the open char siew soft bone pork burger and hae bee hiam (spicy fried shrimp) pasta.