Anthony Leow produces a curated collection of beautiful and refined spices at his quaint, minimalist shop, Anthony the Spice Maker, located at Chinatown.
What drew us to Anthony was his passion for creating products that did not compromise on quality. The shared business ethos for handcrafted goods and the philosophy of using only ingredients that are fresh and free from preservatives led us to the creation of our newest seasonal flavour, Masala Chai Latte, which we made in collaboration with Anthony.
“Creation is my passion,” shares Anthony. “Just like your ice creams, people can really tell the difference with my spices because they are all-natural, very fresh, and made with no chemicals and preservatives at all.
“I am the second-generation owner of this business. I grew up in a Kampong where my parents sold spices. In the 1970s, the government bought the land and gave my parents a market shop. That is where it all started.”
Anthony is a designer by background; therefore, he strives for perfection in all things and finds beauty in this obsession. Because of his background, Anthony has also utilised his skills into redesigning his products’ packaging. “I wanted them to have a minimalist, simplistic feel that is as straightforward and as fresh as my spices are,” he explains.
He likes to keep his life’s philosophy and principles simple. At the core of his beliefs is that every product that he creates is always done as perfectly as he can. “I am a designer. Everything is planned. I love perfection,” Anthony says. “I also believe creation is something that is needed in this world, and you will always find me creating something new; whether in my business or in my kitchen.”
Anthony’s products definitely speak from themselves as his Masala Chai Spice Blend, which was actually created by his daughter Min Lin, is the perfect mix that suited our Assam tea ice cream base.
Bursting with flavours of cinnamon, ginger, cardamom, and clove, Masala Chai is also known to contain several health benefits such as aiding in digestion, preventing colds and nasal congestion, and the prevention of cancer and diabetes.
Creamier’s Masala Chai Latte ice cream, made in collaboration with Anthony the Spice Maker is now available at all Creamier outlets, just in time for the Diwali Festival of Lights happening on 14 November. It is also part of the 2020 Creamier Festive Collection.
Apart from the Masala Chai Spice Blend, which Anthony shares is a hit especially with the Japanese, he is best-known for his curry mixes. “I would say my palate is very Peranakan in nature,” he says. “We do a lot of rompa (pastes) here, and all my curry blends are pre-mixed. All you have to do is add an onion!”
His personal favourite among the bunch is the Singapore Curry Mix, which he uses to cook Chicken Curry, but his all-time favourite dish is Nyonya Chicken Curry. On the contrary, when Anthony is not at home cooking a storm with his curries, he enjoys a simple, hearty clear fish soup from the Chinatown Complex Food Centre. “Just like with good design, life is also about balance. When I am at home, I like to prepare rich-tasting foods, so when I am out, I prefer something on the cleaner (sometimes even blander) side,” he laughs.
We continue our conversation, and as the topic touches upon travel, Anthony immediately confesses his love and admiration for the Japanese culture. “I love Japan, they take so much pride in what they do…especially with their curries! They really take time to boil down the stock, which is what makes the flavour so difficult to replicate. They put a lot of effort and heart in its creation, and that is something I admire.”
From Anthony’s experience being in the business for decades, we really applaud him for maintaining the quality of his spices. We can really vouch for their freshness and quality (having purchased spices ourselves for personal use as well), so we ask him what his secret is. “You should be all in and put all your effort in your creation. Success or no success, you learn from it. I gained more experience through the challenges I faced, and I can assure you that I ended up stronger because of them.”
Visit Anthony the Spice Maker at 333 Kreta Ayer Rd, #01-25, Singapore. Open from 10-4pm everyday except Sundays.