Spotlight Series – The Boiler
The Boiler’s in the hot seat…
Quisine’s Spotlight Series takes an inside look at the food and beverage industry by speaking with the folks who know it best – restaurant owners, chefs and managers. Join us every week as we get the inside scoop on the best restaurants in your neck of the woods. From food trend predictions to death-row dinners, we tackle it all…
For the first interview in the series, we spoke to Malcolm Hong, founder of The Boiler on Singapore’s Howard Road. A banker-turned-restaurateur, Hong took inspiration for his restaurant from the Cajun crab boils he witnessed on his travels through the US.
This seafood paradise is famous for its bags of crab drenched in homemade sauces ranging from mild to fiery. Garnering numerous awards over the years, this Tai Seng restaurant has received praise in publications including BBC Good Food and Epicure magazine. For the freshest catch and the biggest flavours, The Boiler does not disappoint.
Time to get down and dirty!
1. What made you choose this line of work? What inspires you?
Greed for food and a love for cooking. My mum used to be a hawker, and before I started my career in banking, I helped out at her Nonya stall starting when I was 16. I’ve always enjoyed the part of churning out food and interacting with appreciative diners.
2. What do you feel your restaurant adds to the Singapore dining scene?
We have created a trend for communal dining in a primitive way by getting patrons to enjoy our seafood using their hands and with the entire table as their “plate”. This entire dining experience fosters greater camaraderie and bond between friends and family members as they get down ‘n dirty to enjoy their food without much stress.
3. What has been the biggest business challenge for your restaurant?
Importing quality live seafood. Sometimes our Dungeness crabs and lobsters are not flown in on time due to flight delays or poor harvest because of bad weather conditions. That’s why it’s important to have two or three alternative sources to ensure we always have the freshest seafood in place for our guests.
4. Is there a dish on your menu that you’re most proud of and is there a story behind it?
Our signature Bombdigitty Bag in The Works sauce. The sauce was inspired by when we had a party and I cooked a garlic butter mussels for the kids while my wife did her specialty Asian-inspired Cajun prawns for the adults. Being someone who loves to have my rice flooded with gravy, I mixed both the sauces together on my rice and realised that the combination was perfect. After many experiments combining both elements of the sauces with more than 10 types of spices, we finally perfected The Work sauce. It’s currently the most popular sauce at The Boiler! And it’s still being made after the restaurant closes daily for our chefs to cook the next morning.
5. What are your food trend predictions for the coming years?
It’s going back to basics of cooking simple such as grilling, steaming or boiling with fresh quality ingredients.
Craving some seafood now?
Head over to Novelty Bizcentre on Howard Road to experience an unforgettable seafood feast at The Boiler. Be sure to book ahead!
Or check out the venue on Esplanade, now also bookable on Quandoo!