Firstly congratulations on your new role, what is about Straits Kitchen that you love the most?
Thank you so much, it’s been a very exciting time. My favourite thing about Straits Kitchen is that it already feels like a family. The whole team are so dedicated and empower each other daily. It’s also a creative environment which is great as it gives me the ability to bring more of Southeast Asia to The City and there are absolutely no limitations when it comes to me creating new and authentic dishes.
My absolute passion is Asian cuisine, so I’m thrilled to be joining the team at Straits Kitchen. The restaurant has a reputation for quality ingredients and innovation, and I am looking forward to taking this forward with the creation of new and exciting dishes that reflect a melting pot of flavours found across southeast Asia.
Talk us through your journey into the industry
The deciding factor for me was choosing a career I was truly passionate about. I have always loved cooking, ever since I was a child. I’m a massive foodie which encourages me to try new and innovative dishes and sparks creativity for me. My passion for the culinary arts has been fuelled by many years of experience working in the kitchen including seven years working at Michelin starred restaurant Hakkasan in Mayfair which meant surrounding myself with other passionate associates in the industry. Being a chef definitely isn’t easy and it requires a lot of time, energy, and dedication so you have to love what you do.
What inspires you?
My biggest inspiration was my grandfather. He ran a restaurant in Sabah in Malaysia which I always went to growing up. He planted all of his own vegetables, raised his own poultry and always cooked incredible and delicious meals for me and my family whilst teaching and sharing his secrets in the kitchen with me. His passion and love for his craft was what made me want to follow in his footsteps.
What is your signature cooking style?
My signature style is a combination of traditional and modern cooking techniques focusing on Cantonese and Malaysian flavours.
What are your plans for the menu?
Our lunch and dinner menus will be a different concept, The dinner menu will be more refined with a focus on fine dining and we look forward to sharing further details in due course.
Do you have any dishes you’re currently working on?
As a society, we are becoming a lot more health-conscious and aware of dietary restrictions. I am currently in the process of creating a better selection of vegan and vegetarian dishes which will give everyone the ability to experience a the rich, complex and exciting tastes of South East Asia.
What ingredients do you love working with the most?
My favourite flavour combination is sweet and sour. I also love working with natural spices and colourful garnishes as they bring so much complexity and layers to a dish.
Talk us though your process of creating a new dish
I always utilize and consider seasonal ingredients as a first port of call, I would then explore quality ingredients and look and discuss different flavour profiles and recipe test. I like to choose a source of protein as a hero ingredient and look to pair it with the right and complementing sauce and ingredients.
Tell us why Straits Kitchen should be on our must visit lists!
Our slogan is to “bring a slice of Singapore to London”. We want people to still be able to experience authentic, high-quality and declicious South East Asian cuisine in the heart of the city London. We have our new à la carte menu launching in April with exciting additions including hot and sour lobster soup; Berkshire pork belly; and umami black cod, as well as my signature dish, ‘Tequila Sarawak Lada Hitam Crab’, with flaming tequila and a choice of soft shell or wok-fried crab. We will also be changing our menu every quarter with so there’s always something seasonal and different for people to try when they do visit.