Building a restaurant with your closest friends is no walk in the park, we speak to the chef behind HUE to find out more about the vibrant concept and his eclectic team

Building a dream together with your closest friends has always seemed like one of those wonderful goals in life. Granted, real-life implications and differences actually pose many challenges and concerns, but that’s what makes it all the more special when we come across a vibrant establishment like HUE, a Modern Thai restaurant founded by a group of like-minded friends.

We speak to Chef Junhao to find out more.

 

 

It’s really cool how you guys came together. How did the group land on the vision for HUE?

We’re a group of friends who really enjoy hanging out at nice places to socialise over great food and drinks. As we could not find any nice and cool Thai food places with great ambience and food, we saw an opportunity to inject vibrancy and creativity to the Thai food scene in Singapore.

We also wanted to bridge the gap between Thai street food and Thai fine dining.

 

Coming from different backgrounds with various strengths, what do you guys disagree on the most?

As there are a lot of creatives and foodies in the team, we really debate a lot during R&D stages in terms of the taste of the food, the artistic elements of the dishes, and the interior design experience for diners. But one thing that we are very aligned on is that everything we do must have influences and inspiration from Thai roots, no matter how innovative we want it to be.

We also believe that healthy debates will help us to create quality food and spatial experiences for customers.

 

 

Any interesting stories within the team to share with us?

The first dish that we started to R&D is Moocano – which is now on our menu. Two of our partners who’re Thai love chargrilled pork collar but have always lamented how they could not find nice chargrilled pork collar in Singapore. It inspired me to come up with this dish so my Thai friends can come and enjoy it at our restaurant.

 

From your perspective as a Chef, which would you pick as your favourite dish at HUE?

I will pick the Three Little Pigs as the dish is created using the three basic Thai ingredients, coriander, garlic, and chilli. It’s simple, yet so delicious and complex. The crispiness of the pork skin, tenderness of the meat, and the savoury flavours of the sauce have the qualities that highlight “simplicity is the ultimate sophistication”.

 

 

Your menu is filled with vibrant interpretations that we definitely did not expect. Could you share with us your favourite contemporary techniques to employ in the kitchen?

I would say one of the techniques that we commonly use in our kitchen is the infusion technique, which is not common in traditional Thai cooking. This modern technique extracts flavours and delivers them into the food, creating unique tastes that you cannot find anywhere else.

 

How about a tip or two for those of us trying to cook at home?

My first tip is to always prioritise the freshness of each ingredient. It may sound simple, but is actually really essential. No amount of seasoning will be able to help ingredients that are not at their freshest. Another tip on Thai herbs: take note to not confuse Thai Basil with Italian Basil as they do not taste the same and will change the dish’s flavour profile.

 

What’s next on the list for you guys?

We want to continue to innovate with cultural and historical influences. We have a few ideas at the moment, and one of them is to refine the bar and lounge experience, ideally with influences from Thai folklore.

 


To find out more about HUE and their innovative Thai dining experience, visit their website here.