Spotlight Series – GAKE
Spotlight Series – Gake
Quisine’s Spotlight Series takes an inside look at the food and beverage industry by speaking with the folks who know it best – restaurant owners, chefs and managers. This time round, we get the inside scoop on GAKE by talking with Chef Angus Chow.
For those who don’t know, Angus Chow is a multi-award-winning chef who was named Chef of the Year at the 18th World Gourmet Summit Awards of Excellence and that’s only one of his many accolades.
After working in a number of top-quality fine dining restaurants around the world, Chef Chow is now leading the way with his own restaurant GAKE, located on Carpenter Street in Clarke Quay. We were lucky enough to ask him some questions and are delighted to share the answers with you.
So without further ado, may we introduce Chef Angus Chow:
What made you choose this line of work? What inspires you?
Seasonality and simplicity are central to my philosophy and I am applying those in my restaurant GAKE. I am passionate about cooking with rare, seasonal ingredients and love how they can inspire new dishes. When creating the concept for GAKE, I was focused on keeping things simple so to achieve excellence. Dishes on the menu are created with one main component and enhanced with a maximum of three others. Diners can expect explosions of flavour as the two cultures meet on the plate.
What do you feel your restaurant adds to the Singapore dining scene?
A big trend I see is Asian flavours increasingly taking centre stage in the evolution of modern cuisine. Restaurants are looking east and incorporating more Asian ingredients into traditional Western dishes and I think we are going to continue to see Asia having a big impact on the larger culinary world. To stay competitive, especially in relation to other foodie cities such as Bangkok and Hong Kong, we need to evolve and set our own pace, but be sure not to lose ourselves in the process. Singapore’s exciting mix of cultures automatically creates a vibrant culinary landscape. What is local cuisine? Is it Chinese, Malay, Indian or Peranakan (Straits Chinese)? I believe it’s all of that, and more.
What are your food trend predictions for the coming years?
The local dining scene can be quite fickle, which is challenging for new restaurants starting out. My advice is to have all your figures right before opening. Make sure you have two or three staff that you trust by your side to support you, give customers both value and quality and don’t price yourself out of the market. Good service is also crucial to your success – service shouldn’t be a waiting game, but an approach game where you anticipate what the customer wants. For me, though, the ultimate golden rule is if you’re known for something, don’t give in to the pressure to change. Keep that signature dish consistent – people will come back for it – and maybe introduce new dishes along the way, but without moving away from what you’re known for. At the end of the day, consistency is very important when it comes to cooking.
If you could sit down for a meal at your restaurant with any two people in the world, who would you choose and why?
In Singapore, I’m particularly excited to meet chef Björn Frantzén. His restaurant Zén is an experimental and fun dining concept that steps away from traditional fine dining tropes and diners can savour a unique blend of Nordic, French and Japanese cuisines that represents his take on kaiseki (Japanese multi-course) cuisine.
Second is chef Colin McGurran of Michelin-starred restaurant Winteringham Fields in the United Kingdom. He serves a dish of lobster with beetroot and laksa, where meaty shellfish is presented in a fragrant laksa broth with pickled beetroot and a tangy orange juice gel. Moreover, noted Spanish eateries such as Dos Palillos in Barcelona creatively fuse Spanish tapas with ingredients and flavours from Southeast Asia, China and Japan in dishes such as “phoenix claws” (fried chicken feet) or a nigiri of yuba (tofu skin), caviar and fermented rice. They’ve developed their own genre of cuisine: Asian-Iberian.
Is there a dish on your menu that you’re most proud of and is there a story behind it?
“Charcoal” Chicken Karaage. I was interested in molecular gastronomy and my knowledge there helped me create this signature dish. From the outside, the charcoal looks intimidating because of its dark colour, but when you bite into the juicy and tasty chunks of chicken, it’ll surprise you. It’s made even tastier when paired with the house-made Tobiko & Curry Mayonnaise, making it my customer’s definite favourite!
We just want to thank Chef Angus Chow for taking the time to talk to us. If you’d like to find out more, you can visit Gake’s website here and don’t forget you can book a table at this stunning restaurant through Quandoo.
Liked this post? Check out these others: