Chef Nixon Low has worked the fine kitchens of Restaurant André and Saint Pierre. But off the hectic culinary scene, his plans and inspirations are unpretentiously local at heart. He tells us more.

I LIKE ADDING ASIAN TO THE MIX IN MODERN EUROPEAN CUISINE. During Christmas, I did turkeys using laksa and tandoori marinades. Both were equally amazing but my favourite was tandoori. The two-hour cooking time for the turkey allowed the tandoori marinade to fully penetrate the meat. The juices collected at the bottom of the pan made an amazing sauce. I finished it with a high temperature to give it a slight charring. Paired with Indian butter paneer style vegetables, it couldn’t go wrong.

THE SMELL OF CHARCOAL is a scent from my childhood that inspires my dishes. I grew up in a shophouse along Joo Chiat Road, where my grandparents sold charcoal for a living. There was a traditional kopitiam next door that also used charcoal to make its coffee and toast. Do you know that charcoal smells different before and after it is burnt? It also has great healing powers.

MY NEW EATERY IS TARGETED TO OPEN IN EARLY 2017. A few of us got together some time ago, and realised we shared similar ideas and concepts for a restaurant, so we decided to give it a go. It will be a diner serving casual modern Singaporean cuisine. It will be centrally located with a chic, ‘local’ décor. There will be another concept within that space that will have a takeout focus.
(Edit: Check out Nixon’s new zi char restaurant, Jiakpalang Eating House)

I WOULD ALSO LIKE TO OPEN A RESTAURANT ABROAD one day to showcase the evolution of Singaporean food. The world needs to get to know our food culture and experience how amazing it is. It will be somewhere with an established Singaporean community who can explain our cuisine to their foreign friends. Australia or New Zealand will make a good start. It will be casual and affordable so that everybody can enjoy the food, like we do in coffee shops.

DURING MY DAYS OFF, I head to Chia Bee Lor Mee at North Bridge Road and Seng Kee Black Chicken Herbal Soup at Changi Road for their lemon la la.

Cover: Chef Nixon Low
This was first published in Wine & Dine’s February issue, Love Food ‘Chef du Jour’

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