When restaurateur and chef Willin Low announced the closure of Wild Rocket last year, it felt like an end of an era. Widely recognised as the pioneer of Mod-Sin (modern Singaporean) cuisine, making dishes such as laksa pesto pasta part of the country's culinary vernacular, Low is yet again breaking the rules with his unexpected move. The destination? Niseko, Japan. The place? Roketto, a name that pays homage to his 13-year old restaurant.
An avid snowboarder who discovered the pull of Niseko six years ago, the curious chef admits that the timing was right. "I have been thinking of bringing Singapore flavours overseas as well as doing something completely different from Wild Rocket. When The Maples offered this opportunity to open a casual concept right on the ski slope I couldn’t say no. Besides, how many people can say that they snowboard to work?," says Low.
It just so happens that Low knows exactly what kind of food skiers and snowboarders want. "People want to have a quick, good hot bowl of lunch to nourish and comfort them before they hit the slopes again. While manpower constraints in the resort mean that it will be harder to serve something fussier, we serve different things every day. One day you can have laksa udon, the next you can have bah kut teh ramen, and the following day bak chor mee mazesoba."