Vijay is a well-known bartender, honing his skills in some of the best bars in Singapore such as the Library and Operation Dagger. Vijay has since opened his own place called “Native” which focuses on South East Asian spirits and flavours.
Vijay fell in  love with foraging and began doing so around Singapore. We got interested in his findings, and decided to sit down for a chat with this Indigenous Bartender. 

What was the defining moment when you realised, “Yes, this industry is for me”?

I was fresh out the army, balancing my degree program and working in a bar. School just really wasn’t for me and I told myself if I was to drop out there would be no safety net. I had to get this bartending thing right.

What was your first job?

My first job was at Zouk. Back in the day there were no cocktail bars and Zouk was the place to be seen.

Can you name us 3 bars you’ve worked at?

I’ve been lucky to have graced some of the best bars either by working in them or via training or guest shifts. I’ve worked at La Maison du Whisky, Library Bar and Operation Dagger. I also did a training shift with the Blind Pig in 2012 and most recently with White Lyan just to name a few.

How would you describe yourself in 3 words?

Hungry. Foolish. Determined.

What are your favourite flavours, why?

Anything bitter, pickled and vinegary. It’s very exciting with the whole fermentation thing coming back into trend.

What is your favourite drink to make and to enjoy?

A good ol’ negroni never fails.

What do you think about Singapore bar industry?

It’s amazing! I’ve been lucky to have traveled a fair bit and I can whole hardheartedly say Singapore is one of the finest cocktail cities out there. Being a native and watching it grow the last 5 years the way it has makes me really proud to be part of it all.

 

What is your favourite ingredient to work with, why? Can you share a recipe with us?

At the moment, turmeric. It’s so robust and it’s got so much history. Just a pinch and it changes the whole drink.

50ml Paper Lantern Gin
25ml Lemon
10ml Fino sherry
15ml turmeric honey (2:1)
A dash of salt

At the moment, turmeric. It’s so robust and it’s got so much history. Just a pinch and it changes the whole drink.

What’s new?

My new space, Native!

Thanks for your time Vijay! For our readers – Vijay’s bar is located at 52a Amoy St, Singapore 069878. Be sure to visit him and say a big hi from us!

Posted by:kejml1

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