Chow Restaurant Experiments with Gastronomy

Food and Drink

Chow’s Fascinating Neon Layered Drinks with Frozen Nitrogen

Chow’s bar has grabbed the town’s attention with a range of mesmerising, visually appealing and delicious neon layered cocktails with frozen liquid nitrogen. The science themed bar – Fluid – has youngsters going wild over drinks that are almost alive in their hands! Imagine your bartender working with an array of unusual ingredients like (a) frozen nitrogen (b) powdered alcohol (c) bubble mixes and (d) dry ice, using modern and crafty techniques to create effects like bubbles, plumes and reactions, using liqueur and the interaction with different spirits, and controlling it depending on viscosity and temperature. Sounds surreal, doesn’t it? And while the ingredients may seem like a science experiment was underway, the results are incredible and mind-blowing.

At Fluid, the young bartenders believe that mixology is quite literally a science and their drinks are proof that there is definitely science behind the art of cocktail making. Taking a step further than most bars dare to go, the drinks are served up in beacons, flasks and test tubes. The ‘Alien’s Womb’ for example, is a cocktail where colourful sweet liqueurs are dropped into the drink and they stay clustered like eggs at the bottom of the flask full of spirit. But only temporarily, until the spears break down and the drink is then an alive seeming mass of pink and green vibrating fluids. The ‘Snow Cloud’ is an alluring fruity drink, where white powdered alcohol is made to stay floating on top of the glass jar and slowly fall into the spirit creating a ‘Snow Cloud’ effect. While some cocktails like ‘Dragon’s Dungeon’ and ‘Mermaid’s Lair’ are made to smoke using dry ice, others use jelly balls and layered liquid nitrogen in combination for vibrant and dramatically concocted effects. Each drink is unique, smoking, bubbling and animated with what we know all too familiarly as Fluid Bar’s signature ‘cauldron effect’.

Experimenting with drinks

The use of liquid nitrogen in the preparation of cocktails is interesting, because it can be used to quickly chill glasses or freeze ingredients. It can also be added to drinks to create a smoky effect, which is created by the cold nitrogen vapour condensing the moisture (i.e., water vapor) in the surrounding air. When frozen nitrogen is thoroughly mixed into a drink, it freezes the drink, and vaporizes away leaving nothing but frozen yumminess behind. It however requires expert handling and know-how. Chow’s Fluid Bar has been in operation in Singapore for the last twenty years, and their deep research and savoir-faire on the topic is unmatched across the business. They claim that all their recipes are precisely tested, and skillfully executed each and every time an order is placed.

The Bar’s décor matches well with the effervescencent quality of the drinks they serve. The ambience is very ‘sciency’ with the periodic table taking the center stage. There are smoking and rusty looking barrels around. The walls are lit with neon lights. Each table has a fantastic theme and you can choose from the likes of ‘Back to the future’, to the ever popular ‘Nuclear Holocaust’.

cocktail bar periodic elements

We know that the Earth’s atmosphere contains 78.09% Nitrogen, and Chow’s Fluid Bar is only helping in bringing some of that to the table. And when you’re at that table, we bet you won’t stop asking for more!

References

  1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Liquid_nitrogen_cocktail
  2. http://www.businessinsider.com.au/viscosity-bar-sells-science-themed-cocktails-2016-10?r=US&IR=T
  3. http://www.instructables.com/id/How-to-Make-Super-Cool-Frozen-Party-Cocktails-with/
  4. https://www.yelp.com/biz/operation-dagger-singapore

Chow Restaurant’s Bar Inventory

RestaurantUncategorized

Chow Restaurant’s Tips on How to Manage Your Bar Inventory

Managing the bar inventory is a long, dreary and tedious task involving innumerable checks at the storeroom, manually sorting through stacks of bottles, coordinating with several of your team members and keeping abreast of the status. Even after putting in hours of effort and extremely hard work, it is still a struggle without the aid of a good inventory management system – be it software or the traditional pen and paper checklist. Chow Restaurant reveals tricks to an efficient inventory management system specifically for the bar, that have a universal application, will simplify time-consuming processes and help in reducing costly overheads. It may prove to be that crucial differentiating factor for your business going against some established and leading bars.

How to start accounting for inventory

inventory of wine

Inventory management starts with looking at how much alcohol should be stocked so that there is sufficient available. The key is, therefore, in the count. The first step is to create a spread-sheet for the numbers to go in. It is wise to enter the count for each category of liquor separately and different sheets should be created especially for different alcohol categories like – beer, whisky and rum. Keep a note of where your alcohol is stacked apart from the store room. Is it shelved in the bar front? Do you have a lounge? Or perhaps a lobby? It is advised to maintain counts for each section on a separate sheet.

Changing counting method

It is interesting to note how a slight change in the counting method can drastically alter resulting counts. It is thus critical to establish a method for counting the alcohol, and this counting method or technique should stay consistent, to avoid confusion and possibilities of a recount. Create a weekly, bi-weekly or monthly periodic routine for this process and keep it unswerving. Pro tip – Taking a count of the inventory when the bar is closed reduces distractions. It is also important to keep an eye out for any spillages and bottle breakages. The easiest counting method for the used liquor is a visual one. Visually divide the bottle into ten parts and count the available content by the number of parts. Or take a look at where the line of the liquor falls, and estimate if the bottle is half full (50%), a third full (30%), or a tenth full (10%).

jack daniels

When the counting process is over, tally the number with all the invoices and orders of liquor from your different vendors. The inventory counts should be taken once at the beginning and another once at the end of the counting period. Any liquor that was received after the counting process should be accounted for separately as ‘Received Inventory’. Finally, the formula – ‘Starting Inventory + Received Inventory – Ending Inventory = Usage can be used to calculate the usage of alcohol for the said period.

This number serves as an important indicator. After a sufficient number of cycles, you will be able to gauge if the usage is over or under the expected limits. Which products sell well and which don’t. You will be able to calculate how well your bar is performing financially. And price products appropriately. Inventory management makes information related to every aspect of bar operation available at your fingertips. You are empowered to make informed decisions and build a successful business.

References

  1. https://www.bevspot.com/series/guide-to-bar-management/
  2. http://www.thekitchn.com/bar-basics-12-b-163980
  3. http://www.drinksmixer.com/guide/1-1.php
  4. http://www.barmetrix.com/
  5. https://www.accubar.com/

Buffet Delivery Partnership with QQ

Food and Drink

Buffet Delivery Partnership in Singapore

Chow restaurant has always prided itself as one of the only restaurants in the area that is able to provide sumptious food at such an affordable price, right at the heartlands. Having a nice small cozy area outfitted with dapper and posh lightings, as well as a rich heritage stays strong for my family and our staff. However, when we host events at our area, we often struggle to fulfill our orders, especially if they want buffet spreads. This is why we’ve actually made some partnerships with other food and beverage operators to be able to fulfill our food orders. With full disclosure, our we have just recently formed a close partnership with QQ Rice – a Taiwanese brand that a company brought into Singapore. Not only do they have healthy dishes and recipes for their fast-food like pop up shops, they also have different brands under them, such as their Singaporean buffet delivery service, QQ Catering.

Buffet by QQ

The Buffet Spread

QQ Catering’s buffet delivery spread is also chinese, just like what our restaurant provides. I really just want to talk more about how fresh and delicious the spread was when I tried it at the event we hosted. Not many people know that QQ Rice has a buffet catering service, or even provide food catering at all. It was a big surprise to see that one of my favourite brands in F&B in Singapore had such offerings as well.

Website

I went to take a look at QQ Catering’s website, at www.qqcatering.sg. They recently revamped their website and their menu and it has become much more vibrant and more informative than last. I really like how the food is displayed on their website – despite being a brand that does delivery of food and buffet style spreads, they really know how to make their food dishes look delicious by itself. At Chow’s we take pictures of our food ourselves and create the menu from the food – despite being a high class restaurant. We should learn more from QQ about such business operation and marketing matters.

Also, from what I heard, they are expanding their buffet delivery arm in the company. The company has brought in lots of revenue the past two years of operation, and as the margins are very high, the catering service has been able to expand from a small team to one that is above 10 man strong. That’s a strong team that was cultivated by the company, and they are able to do a lot of work on their own, both in cooking as also in marketing and displaying the food.

healthy buffet

Reasons for our partnership

One of the reasons why we did not consider the buffet delivery road is that we were not able to maintain the quality controls of our food. We even have difficulty ourselves in the kitchen trying to fulfill orders yet maintain the quality during peak hours. However, our partners are able to do this, even for bulk food buffet orders. This is one of the reasons why we are partnering with them.

QQ Catering is able to produce many different kinds of foods and dishes in their menu (unfortunately not birds nest, though!) and they can do it while maintaining the high quality and smooth operations in their buffet catering business. This is one thing all F&B business have to learn from them. We at Chow are very happy to be partnered with QQ on this venture, and also for the rest of our events.

QQ Weekly offers

If you guys are interested to book one of their buffet delivery spreads, do take a look at their offers. During CNY, they used to have a deal where at $22 per person, you will get a free dessert and free yusheng. This is very generous, actually! Why not look out for QQ’s future promotions? I’m sure you guys will be satisfied with what they can offer you.

QQ CNY Offer

You can visit QQ Catering at www.qqcatering.sg to order food for your events. Feel free to take a look at their buffet offerings!

Birds Nest at Chow Restaurant

Food and Drink

Traditional Bird’s Nest Delicacy at Singapore’s Chow Restaurant

Chefs at Chow Restaurant are engaged in finding ways of reviving age old culinary traditions. To meet this objective, they have chosen to present the bird’s nest, which is a popular Cantonese delicacy also considered to have wide ranging and valuable medicinal and nutritional properties. Once exclusively consumed by the monarchs, statesmen and royalty, the bird’s nest dishes successfully combine centuries worth of lore and history. “We are hoping to revive customs and by introducing bird’s nest in our menu, we are eager to give our modern patrons a little chance at discovering a cultural heritage” says Lee Chong Xin, one of our head chefs.

birds nest

Traditionally the nests were harvested from limestone caves in and around Indonesia, Thailand and Malaysia. The Asian swiftlets commonly found in this region, known as ‘walet’ in Malay, would build their nests inside caves and skilled professional climbers would remove these nests in order to sell them. These days many of the nests can also be found on the undersides of bridges and pedestrian overpasses. Over the years, the trade has provided for as an occupation and livelihood for a substantial number of people. Today, special two storey buildings are constructed to house the swiftlets. The structures are covered entirely but for a few slits in the roof for the birds to move in and out. Top quality white coloured nests, also called ‘white gold’, are imported from such bird farms.

The nests are thoroughly tested at approved laboratories for any contamination of twigs, debris or limestone, before they even enter the kitchen at Chow’s. Known as the “The Caviar of the East” by serious enthusiasts, the birds’ nests are crescent shaped and temptingly translucent. They are finely knit in a cup-like shape and appear woven in fiberglass. With a very distinct and exotic egg like texture and taste and they are rich in protein. Some believe that those who regularly consume birds’ nests have clearer, more youthful looking skin, as the birds’ nests have a considerable anti-ageing effect. Traditional Chinese Medicine links their consumption with respiratory health, increased libido, and general longevity. Research has validated that the nests are rich in glycoprotein which help in strengthening the immune system.

Cooking Birds Nest

birds nestbird nest soup

“There are several ways to cook the bird’s nest and we have explored many different recipes before deciding” the sous chef tells us. And what they have on their menu at Chow Restaurant is decidedly a blend of the authentic and the new. Try the ‘Bird’s Nest Soup’, for example, and here the bird’s nest is slowly cooked with a tempered flame and infused with spices. Rock sugar and ginger are added for wholesome flavour. The dish is garnished with Chinese almonds that are lightly roasted and then ground. The ‘Pandan flavoured Bird’s Nest’ can be enjoyed by everyone and especially those with a sweet tooth. “Pandan pairs really well with bird’s nest. We add a few slices of ginseng for a twist on the flavour. I had to pull out family recipes and read as far back as my great-grandmother to recreate this dish” says a beaming chef. And we can only agree that the fresh, delightful and delicious dessert is otherworldly.

References

  1. http://kingofnests.com/bird-nest-recipes/
  2. https://tableagent.com/article/birds-nest-soup-savory-delicacy-or-gourmet-cruelty/
  3. http://www.theage.com.au/articles/2002/08/22/1029114161672.html

Chinese Wines we Serve

Food and Drink

Top Chinese Wines Served at Chow Restaurant that Deserve all Your Attention

Drinking wine is a customary cultural experience in China, which is considered the birthplace of grain-based alcohol. And these traditionally made exotic wines lightly flavoured with walnuts, longans, jujubes, ginseng, ginkgo nuts, brunt rice and/or sugar are lining the shelves at Chow Restaurant, awaiting your special order! (Note: If you’ve already drunk, or are experiencing the nasty after-effects of a wild night of fun, do check out our article on hangover cures.

chinese wine

Baijiu Wine

Ask for a serving of baijiu and the waiters will lay little heaters on the table to warm the wine. The wine itself is contained in small ceramic bottles that can be warmed on the heaters and then poured into small stoneware cups, the size of a shot glass. As it is traditional to drink baijiu with food rather than on its own, great selections can be made from the menu that complement the robustness of the wine. At Chow Restaurant one can delight in an exhaustive full course Chinese meal that includes appetizers, main course, soups, baozi, Chinese dumplings and desserts. Different varieties of baijiu are available from any of the six signature fragrances — honey, layered, light, rice, thick and ‘sauce’.

chinese alcohol

The restaurant has an authentic look and feel with a classic yet modern Oriental décor. As you enter through the intricately carved door, you will be magically transported into the very heart of China. With more than three thousand five hundred square feet of floor space and accommodations for up to one hundred guests, the lively and inviting environment is ideal for any business meeting, family gathering or a romantic date. A private dining area that seats up to thirty guests allows your group to be more intimate while still enjoying the alluring atmosphere of the restaurant. Some incredible artwork from the period is on display on the walls. The dark red polished opulent rosewood tables are each laid with a ‘Lazy Susan’ placed at the center of a table, as per custom. The ornate communal serving chopsticks (gongkuai) are a great addition to the usual cutlery. And the ambience offers an exciting and unforgettable dining experience.

what our bar looks like

Other wines

The Huangjiu wines, with palates varying from the very dry to the very sweet, are preferably consumed crisp and cold. Liquors mixed with green tea are delectable. The expert mixologists and the spirits cognoscenti at Chow Restaurant have also integrated some of the baijiu wines into mouth-watering cocktails that are a must try. The baijiu wines can cause a shock to uninitiated palates but their soothing aroma, high proof, complexity and scintillating taste make for an adventurous new frontier in the art of cocktail making. Baijiu with its signature clarity and taste makes a splendid base for infusions and earthy spices, herbal notes, and citrusy flavours go superbly with baijiu of any kind. The ‘Baijiu Mango Cocktail’ for example, includes pineapple colada with mangosteen, sesame powder, and ripe mango blended with the sweet Baijiu. And the elaborate ‘Goji Dragon Ball Cocktail’ has a profoundly delectable goji-infused baijiu base, combined with a few drops of maraschino liqueur, absinthe, pink dragon-fruit and lime juice. The cocktail is topped with a pinch of the flambé Himalayan salt and ground white pepper.

chinese cocktail

A baijiu toast is usually followed by the expression Ganbei meaning ‘bottoms up’. Chow Restaurant invites you with a welcoming drink and a resounding Ganbei!

References

  1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Huangjiu
  2. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baijiu
  3. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Customs_and_etiquette_in_Chinese_dining#Drinking
  4. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wine_in_China#Method_of_consumption
  5. https://www.lostlaowai.com/guides/basics/guide-chinese-alcohol/

Traditional Chinese Hangover Cures that are Amazingly Effective

Food and DrinkUncategorized

Chow Restaurant Discusses Traditional Chinese Hangover Cures that are Amazingly Effective

Drinking alcohol within bounds is considered healthy. Yes, healthy! The famous Chinese Dr. Li Shizhen, has even recorded more than sixty-nine different ways of using huangjiu, or ‘yellow wine’, to treat a variety of ailments. From poets like the legendary Li Bai, to a new style of martial arts, a great many things are inspired by the love of alcohol. But often it is rather difficult to consume in moderation, and it is easy to overindulge, especially if you attend any one of Chow’s events. And after such a wild night of drinking and debauchery, when symptoms like throbbing headaches, nausea and a profound sense of unease, collectively known as a hangover, converge on us, the following traditional Chinese cures will help immensely in alleviating specific problems.

hungover man

Chinese Herbs

Suanzaoren is a magic herb that can be obtained from a Chinese herbalist or grown at home. It has an extremely bitter and an alarmingly sour taste. When the herb is crushed, mixed with a good amount of water and boiled in a non-reactive saucepan, the ensuing liquid is converted into a powerful medicine. Since it has an overwhelmingly pungent taste, it helps if it is consumed with a little sugar or honey.

chinese herbs pic 1chinese herbs pic 2

Ge Gen or the root of the kudzu vine can quickly conquer headaches, nausea and any unpleasantness related to a hangover. As little as ten grams of the root are to be boiled with water and topped with rock-salt. The mix is then allowed to simmer on a low flame until half the water has evaporated. The thick and viscous remains are poured into a glass for drinking.

Alcohol is a diuretic and can cause dehydration. Your body may lose electrolytes and this causes cramps and shooting pains. It is therefore important to hydrate oneself by drinking water and fruit juice. The fluids from the fruit juice and water will replenish the electrolytic levels in your body and immediately eliminate any aches and pains.

Green tea is a boundless source of phytochemicals. It is said one cup of green tea has a great number of flavonoids and catechins, that are effective in combating diseases and increasing bodily immunity and strength. The consumption of green tea cures hangovers and generates a feeling of warmth and well-being.

chinese hangover tea

The herbal Huo Xiang Zheng Qi pills are available in Chinese grocery stores across Singapore. With ingredients directly picked from the ancient Guang Ci soup, the medicinal pill is effective in improving the stomach functions, regulating the qi and eliminating headaches. It is however suggested to refer to a doctor before consuming the pill directly, especially if you suffer from heart related disorders or if you are pregnant.

Carbs in crackers can help bring your blood sugar levels back up the morning after. Normally when the blood sugar levels in the body dip below a certain point, the liver reacts by producing glucose from all the stored carbohydrates. But when you have been drinking too much, your liver stays busy metabolizing the alcohol and cannot handle the extra work. This is why your blood sugar levels stay down, and you feel irritable and worn-down.

Non consumption-based cures

Reflexology and foot massage help in uplifting spirits. These techniques can be help relieve you from ailments such as headaches and nausea. The treatment lasts for less than an hour. Acupuncture is another great method, and if it is effectively administered, it can do wonders in the first sitting itself.

These Chinese cures work best if a holistic approach is undertaken. But we still insist, prevention is better than cure, even Chinese cures, and moderating your drink is the way to go. Look at it this way – when you have a little, you savour it better and you take home, not hangovers, but delightful experiences. How about a night of poetry with us?

References

  1. http://www.menshealth.com/guy-wisdom/11-ways-to-ease-nasty-hangover/slide/12
  2. http://www.health.com/health/gallery/0,,20452426,00.html#alka-seltzer
  3. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hangover
  4. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Green_tea
  5. http://wenku.baidu.com/view/ccd6d1f5c8d376eeaeaa31ee.html
  6. http://www.ccsenet.org/journal/index.php/ass/article/view/10375
  7. http://www.theworldofchinese.com/2010/05/hangover-cures/

Chow Restaurant Hosts ‘Poetry by Moonlight’

Chow's Events

‘Poetry by the Moonlight – A celebration of wine & love of poetry’

The moody, blue song, is based on a popular Chinese poem (roughly translated to) ‘Drinking alone below the moon’ by the legendary poet Li Bai. It enraptures the listener with warm emotions and the poet’s casual sense of humour evokes a heartfelt response.

It is on this note that Singapore’s Chow Restaurant is calling poets, romantics and wine enthusiasts to revel in over one hundred and fifty such poems and songs at their ‘Poetry by the Moonlight – A celebration of wine and love of poetry’ event. The Chinese are known for their wine drinking culture, and this event combines their taste for fine wine with the love of poetry. We recently gathered some chinese food not from our kitchens, but from one of our buffet delivery partners as our kitchen can’t handle this kind of load.

chinese lanterns

Our Venue

The venue is a moonlit night in the garden behind Chow Restaurant’s elite brick building in the heart of East Coast Park. The grounds will be covered with fairy lights and the alluring Chinese floating lanterns will sparkle among the stars. Tables will be laid outside. Musicians the likes of the dazzling Faye Wong, who holds a Guinness World Record for ‘best-selling canto-pop female’ category, and the rising talent Daren Tan, will grace the evening with their musical renderings. The enchanting night holds a special promise of flowing liquor and good poetry.

chinese singer

Our Imported Wines

Some of the best wines have been imported for the night. Here’s a sneak preview:

Taking the center stage is the Wuliangye, a renowned brand of high-end Chinese distilled spirit. With its mellow savour, luscious and refreshing palate, it has a honey-like mouthfeel.

Also featured is the lightly scented Fenjiu liquor with its signature soft and sweet taste. A gold medal winner of the Panama Pacific International Exposition, the Fenjiu name has a long history and has been well known since the Southern and Northern dynasties of 420 AD.

The Luzhou Laojiao enjoys its place as the most famous liquor in China and its antiquity and popularity can be traced back to the Ming Dynasty. With a strong but clear flavour and a strident aroma of fermented peaches, it is easy to see why.

The unique Gujing Gongjiu also called the ‘Gujing Tribute Liquor’ once enjoyed its status as a tribute drink for the imperial families. Limpid and crystalline, highly fragrant and refreshing, it has a particularly prolonged and pleasant aftertaste.

Produced in Fengxiang County in Shaanxi, the time-honoured Xifengjiu (or Xifeng Liquor) is considered one of the most famous liquors in China. It boasts of a long history that dates back to the Tang Dynasty of 618-907 AD. Xifeng is refreshing, bold and harmonious, with some charming sweet, bitter and earthy notes.

The Jiannanchun spirit is produced in Mianzhu County in the Sichuan Province and has a history of over one thousand years backing the brand. Jiannanchun has strong, rich fragrance and a pure and sweet flavour that lingers on the palate.

And finally, the Yanghe Daqu which has a history of more than four hundred fruitful years. The Yanghe Daqu liquor is pure and transparent, with fragrant and robust flavours. It softly curls in your mouth and has a smooth build.

wines and alcohol imported

All this and more awaits your arrival. Your delighted hosts at Chow hope to see you and your friends for another transfixing night where, yet again, immortal poetry, satiating spirits and age old traditions flow on with time and moonlight.

References

  1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Li_Bai
  2. http://www.shigeku.org/xlib/lingshidao/hanshi/libai.htm
  3. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Faye_Wong
  4. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Daren_Tan
  5. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wine_in_China
  6. http://www.theworldofchinese.com/2013/07/10-most-famous-brands-of-chinese-liquor/

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Opening Hours

Monday to Saturday: 10AM to 10PM Sunday Closed Happy Hour: 3PM to 8PM on Weekdays except Friday