Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Chefs Gallery

There were mixed reviews from friends when I asked around for people to join me on a trial meal at Chefs Gallery.

Some tell me that they are not worth the price paid, which made me even more curious! And also thanks to a very food-savvy friend who showed me tempting photos of some of the food served there. I am glad I patronized, as the first visit had me going back there for more!

They sport a bright interior, with high ceilings and some Chinese pottery pieces, to add to the 'antique-ish' feel. The high ceiling also helps to make the place seem more spacious.

It seems that the open kitchen concept is catching on. Their kitchen is fully visible and they maximize it by showcasing their noodle-pulling techniques.

The noodles are not called hand-pulled noodles, or la mian for no reason. Literally, 拉 (lā) means to pull or stretch, while 麵 (miàn) means noodle. The hand-making process involves taking a lump of dough and repeatedly stretching it to produce many strands of thin, long noodle.

There are several styles of twisting the dough but they all employ the same concept: a piece of dough is repeatedly stretched and folded onto itself in order to align the glutens and warm up the dough for stretching. Then it is rolled out to a workable thickness and cut into workable portions. The end pieces of the starting dough are never used because the glutens are not as aligned as the middle pieces. This dough is then pulled to about an arm span's length. The puller then makes a loop with the dough, joining the two ends into one clump of dough, and inserts his fingers into the loop to keep the strand from sticking to itself. Doing this, the pull has doubled the length of the dough while fractioning its thickness. This process is repeated several times until the desired thickness and quantity is achieved.

Made and cooked to order, the chef in charge of your order would serve you, a concept I have not experienced before. I suppose, we get to 'meet' the person who made our food. They come all armored with occupational health and safety gear, like the mouth-guard they wear.

Chefs Gallery also provides patrons with a coat cover, which is like a pullover for your jackets and what-nots that you place over your chair. This helps prevent your clothes from smelling like food or from soiling.

Among the noodles that we tried were the thick handmade noodles wok fried with Chinese mushrooms and bean sprouts in premium soya sauce...

... and the diced chilli chicken tossed with handmade noodles.

This dish was the main attraction for me because the spicy-sour-sweet taste reminds me of my favourite dish of pig trotters in vinegar.

There are other things there, which were stellar, as well. For instance, the cucumber served cold with a hint of chilli oil was addictive with its cold and spicy crunch effect.

The handmade egg tofu lightly panfried topped with preserved vegetables was perfect for the egg and tofu sucker in me!

Their fluffy Chinese roti, or 手抓饼 (shǒu zhuā bǐng) resembled our roti canai very much. We reckon they make them better than Mamak - personal opinion only.

We also ordered the cute little piggy face buns.

No, they were not cha siew paus, they were sesame buns. Haha!

We also had a basket of what looked to be pumpkins, which had lotus paste inside.

And I totally recommend the dessert they have on their menu. The osmanthus and goji berry jelly had just the right sweetness and would be very refreshing on a hot day.

The mango ice cream served with mango puree and a lightly fried sweet potato ball was an interesting combination. It also came with almond shaving, which added another dimension to the taste palate. Loved it!

Price is reasonable, taking into account the service and ambience. But be prepared to queue so try to avoid peak meal times.

Chefs Gallery Restaurant
Shop 12 (facing Bathurst Street), Ground Floor Regent Place, 501 George Street, NSW 2000
Tel: +61 2 9267 8877, Fax: +61 2 8004 8143

Chefs Gallery on Urbanspoon

1 comment:

Nava Krishnan said...

the Goji Berry jelly - very creative and oozing with taste,wish I can this too.