Who: Mr Andy Kiu, 45, normal supervisor of Food Republic, the meals atrium division of the BreadTalk Group. The former Singapore Airlines (SIA) flight steward, who can be a skilled sommelier, has been Food Republic’s normal supervisor for the final 5 years. His spouse Denise Chen, 39, is a housewife and so they have two youngsters aged six and two.
How do you go about curating the meals choices at Food Republic?
First of all, we strive to not duplicate the manufacturers if our shops are in shut proximity to 1 one other.
Take our shops at Ion Orchard, Shaw House and Wisma Atria.
At Ion Orchard’s Food Opera, for instance, we have a Hong Kong roast meats operator.
That is why, after we revamped Food Republic at Wisma Atria final November, we provided natural pipa roast duck for differentiation, to present our diners extra choices.
WHAT WOULD YOUR LAST MEAL BE?
It would have to be my mom’s cooking – a easy home-cooked meal that at all times brings consolation. It is acquainted, there are not any surprises and I by no means tire of it.
I’d need to have her soya sauce rooster and pork rib and winter melon soup with cuttlefish.
Why did you revamp Food Republic at Wisma Atria?
The Wisma Atria outlet is our first – it opened 12 years in the past.
We now have a brand new 1970s theme. Previously, the foodcourt had extra of a 1950s really feel.
Foodcourts and the manufacturers inside can get drained. That can be why we took the chance to refresh the combo on the Wisma Atria outlet.
We additionally strive to herald stalls with heritage and that have by no means operated in a foodcourt as a result of we need to give them better longevity and showcase them to a youthful crowd.
One new addition to Food Republic at Wisma Atria is The Original Katong Laksa, which has shops at Roxy Square and Queensway Shopping Centre. It is the primary time it’s working in a foodcourt.
Where are your favorite native haunts?
I like Kok Sen, a zi char restaurant at 30 Keong Saik Road. The meals appears to be like bizarre, however every dish really has a variety of complexity.
The components are recent and the dishes are well-executed. The cooks have robust Cantonese-style cooking methods. Seemingly easy dishes reminiscent of steamed fish, for instance, are cooked to perfection.
I additionally like Kok Sen’s massive prawn noodles – the broth is at all times flavourful and fragrant.
The eatery can be one of many few locations the place you may nonetheless request a desk within the again alley, which I discover very charming.
I head to Hong Lim Market and Food Centre in Chinatown for crayfish hor enjoyable from Tuck Kee (Ipoh) Sah Hor Fun. There can be a Teochew stall that sells good pig trotter jelly.
For Hakka yong tau foo, I am going to The Beef House at 217 Syed Alwi Road.
What do you crave after a visit abroad?
The flavour of pork lard.
After a visit abroad and if I arrive within the morning, I normally make my technique to Tiong Bahru for mee pok from a no-name stall at a nook espresso store in Seng Poh Road.
The broth is powerful and I just like the stall’s mixture of chilli, vinegar and pork lard – a combination that I really feel is exclusive to Singapore.
Do you prepare dinner?
Yes. I make a imply curry. I make it with both rooster or pork ribs. I add chilli powder and loads of curry leaves for further punch and flavour.
What is certainly one of your earliest meals reminiscences?
When I used to be rising up, there have been all these smoky flavours from the open-air zi char stalls and low retailers.
I keep in mind seeing meals being cooked over charcoal flames – that fantastic scent, the noise, consuming underneath the sky – we do not see this anymore. This is certainly one of my fondest childhood meals reminiscences.
What is your most memorable eating expertise?
More than a decade in the past, whereas on a visit to Barcelona after I was a flight steward with SIA, I keep in mind consuming at a hole-in-the-wall tapas bar referred to as Can Paixano.
The power of the restaurant, the sounds and smells, folks standing round – it was small, but it surely had a lot character.
The reminiscence continues to be very vivid to me. I just like the Spanish food-sharing tradition, which has a robust social aspect to it.
Where do you go to unwind?
I prefer to go to Japanese izakaya joints after a protracted day as these locations open till late.
My favorite one is Otowa at Cuppage Plaza, which is frequented by many individuals within the meals and beverage trade.
It is a tiny, intimate eatery and I take pleasure in interacting with the cooks there. And in case you are too drained, they offer you your area.
It is a good place to unwind over sake and shochu, gentle snacks and completely trimmed yakitori. I normally depart it to the chef to determine what to serve me.
If you may dine with anybody within the world, who would it not be?
My spouse. There is one thing very particular about eating together with your life accomplice. You can discuss something underneath the solar.
To take pleasure in a very good meal, it’s essential to let your guard down and be snug together with your eating companion.
• Follow Rebecca Lynne Tan on Twitter @STrebeccatan