Arts & Culture

Vijay Mudaliar: Building Flavours upon Tradition

All about supporting like-minded craftsmen

Words by
b-side staff
Location
Singapore

With ingredients such as sweet potato compote to ants on a frozen basil leaf, Native bar can be found on Amoy Street. As its name suggests, most of its cocktails are made from ingredients found in South East Asia. Native is making good on its promise to keep it local by ensuring that least 10% of its supplies come from foraged sources.

Bringing ingredients together through stories worth telling, every cocktail is a promise of a journey that is close to home.

We speak to Vijay Mudaliar, the bartender-founder of Native, on his creation process and daily routine.

Describe your creation process at work.

We work as a team for all our cocktails.

We start off with an idea or inspiration and build those flavours based on tradition, location, history and techniques.

Describe a regular day at work.

  • We are mostly in by 2-3pm each day.
  • We take care of our vertical garden and churn our compost first.
  • We then head on to prep our cocktails for about two-and-a-half to three hours.
  • Thereafter, we have a team briefing that includes trainings or sharing sessions (this takes place every Thursday).
  • Team members take individual breaks before their shift begins.
  • We usually end at 1am and spend another two hours closing down the stations.
  • We leave at 3am for the occasional team supper before heading home.
  • Rinse and repeat.

What is the most important aspect in cocktail making?

It is about looking back to traditions and trying to connect with customers based on that.

Why is it important for you to source locally or regionally?

It is important for us to support like-minded craftsmen and serve as a platform for the upcoming ones.

What is something that people do not know about the work that you guys do?

We do not just work with spirit producers. We also work with local carpenters, ceramic makers and musicians.

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