The Chinese spice maker who almost sold me Garam Masala!
Anthony loves to talk. Anybody who can blend spices the way he does is bound to have a fun story or two to tell. Antony’s usually starts with his mother and how he learnt his craft from her. He’s been at it for three decades. He might have outdone his mother but his son (Who calls himself the Spice Boy) looks set to go one up on his dad; soon enough.
Anthony The Spice Maker. That’s what he likes to call himself and that’s how his clients (now spread all over the world) know him. His tiny (it packs scores of spices though) store is tucked away in the ‘Dry market’ section of the China town Complex. It’s fascinating how ‘old world shopping centres’ with their 1970s formula have actually become the template for 21st Century malls with the groceries in the basement, retail in the ground and first floor levels and a hawker centre (Now food courts) on the upper floor. Chinatown complex is still a magnet for Singaporeans who prefer this to many of the city’s the cookie cutter supermarkets.
You can’t miss the aromas around the store and just in case you do, Anthony has sample jars ready. Your nostrils and olfactory nerves will love the ride. His modus operandi is fairly simple – source the best spices and then work with his mixology skills to blend them into his signature spice mixes. He might be in the heart of a Chinese market but one of his bestsellers is his Garam Masala. It has a more refined aroma than some of the ‘overpowering’ factory made garam masalas. No preservatives or additives here; there are somewhat exotic spices in the mix too – from candle nut to star aniseed to Sichuan white pepper. I almost bought his ‘premium’ garam masala but walked out with Anthony’s 5 Spice mix. This is Chinatown after all.
Anthony The Spice Maker is at the Chinatown Complex. This is a ‘must do’ stop for foodies – from the fresh produce to outstanding food stalls that keep churning out scrumptious fare with assembly line precision. For cool, offbeat ideas and travel suggestions visit Your Singapore.com