Love Treat for Mothers

Noodle specialty restaurant Ai Mien Bar celebrates Mother’s Day with a menu designed for mum's health and beauty

Issue: May 2011

Chef Cheung's Love menu
Celebrate Mother's Day with Master Chef Cheung's Love menu: hasma soup with black chicken and red dates, of braised longevity noodles with seafood pomegranate and homemade almond cream and snow fungus

He is a 50-year-old executive chef at the newly opened noodle restaurant and bar, Ai Mien Bar at Capital Tower on Robinson Road, Singapore. But when Chef Cheung Wing Keung goes home to Hong Kong, he still finds time to cook for his 80-year-old mother. Simple fare like steamed garoupa as well as green radish and carrot soup are what his mother loves best. Asked what she thinks of his cooking, the slim and quiet chef says with a quick smile, "She says I'm the better cook."

Veteran chef, Cheung Wing Keung
Veteran chef, Cheung Wing Keung, has 30 years of experience here and abroad and is the mastermind behind Ai Mien Bar's scrumptious menu

Designed for Mum's Health

As a tribute to all mothers, Ai Mien Bar is offering a Mother's Day three-course Love menu from 2 to 6 May. Chef Cheung has drawn from his own mother's preference for simple and healthy food that's high on quality to create this special selection. Each dish is designed to boost mum’s health and preserve her beauty.

For a start, there is a heart and soul-warming wholesome double-boiled hasma soup with black chicken and red dates. Black chickens are thought to have restorative and curative value. They have twice the antioxidant, called carnosine, than white chickens. Carnosine is said to prevent atherosclerosis and joint inflammation, protect against neurological disorders (like Alzheimer's), and aid diabetic patients. In addition, it is believed to protect against ageing and has a lower fat content than white chickens. Hasma, made from the dried fallopian tubes of frogs, is believed to help replenish vital essence in the lungs and kidneys. It also contains collagen that helps to improve complexion and is often prescribed in traditional Chinese medicine for coughs. Finally, red dates are rich in vitamin C and is used to help regulate blood and oxygen flow, particularly to the brain. So, many believe red dates can help improve memory.

Ai Mien Bar interior
An oasis of calm in the heart of the business district, Ai Mien Bar is the perfect place to chill or entertain business clients

Ingenuity and Tradition Culminating in Culinary Genius

Follow this up with a bowl of braised longevity noodles with seafood pomegranate. Because of their length, noodles are traditionally eaten on special occasions to symbolise long life. Chef Cheung has paired this old favourite with a Chinese tapas of his own creation. Succulent seafood is encased in a soft, supple wrap and topped with crunchy fish roe that provides texture and a dash of colour to the dish.

3 pix of tapas Deep fried cod cube, deep fried crispy beancurd, deep fried silver bait
Apart from the deep fried cod cube with spiced salt, the deep fried crispy beancurd cube and deep fried silver bait with spiced salt are some Chinese tapas worth trying

While the seafood pomegranate is a seasonal special, Chef Cheung does have a selection of 18 tapas or finger foods available on the regular menu. The Chinese tapas is a unique offering of the chef's.

"Ai Mien Bar has a full bar offering drinks and I wanted to give patrons snacks to go with their drinks. Traditional finger foods like wings and nuggets just don't go with the image of the restaurant. Chinese dim sum usually feature steamed items and those don't mix well with alcohol. So I decided to create my own selection of Chinese deep fried snacks that's inspired by Spanish tapas," explains Chef Cheung.

Worthy of special mention is the deep fried cod cube with spiced salt. The rich buttery flavour of the cod is the perfect counterpoint to the light, crisp batter and a perfect accompaniment to most alcoholic beverages.

Simple Sophistication

The Love menu finishes with a sweet serving of homemade almond cream and snow fungus. The dish is an all-time favourite at Chinese restaurants but Chef Cheung’s version is in a league of its own. With something so common, quality is of the essence. His smooth and fragrant version is simply heavenly.

Besides its divine taste, the dish is added to the Love menu because of its health benefits. Almonds have cholesterol-lowering effect. As they contain vitamin E and healthy fats, they are thought to help reduce the risk of heart disease as well. Snow fungus is commonly used to enhance body liquids, cure dry coughs, and reduce heart palpitations. As an immune stimulant, it helps fight infection and inflammation. It’s also believed to improve complexion and slow the ageing process.

With a mystery gift for diners to boot, it's hard not to be wooed by Chef Cheung's Love menu this Mother's Day.

And here's Chef Cheung's secret recipe of the Double-Boiled Hasma Soup with Black Chicken and Red Dates, which you can attempt to cook at home for Mother's Day.

Ingredients:

1 black chicken thigh

10 gm hasma

2 red dates

Method:

Soak hasma overnight then drain

Put ingredients into bowl

Put enough water in to cover ingredients

Double boil for 3 hours

Add salt to taste and serve

Ai Mien Bar
168 Robinson Road
#01-08 Capital Tower
Tel: (65) 6592 5296
Fax: (65) 6423 9808

Special Promotion for INSIDE Readers:
Enjoy Ai Mien Bar's Mother's Day Menu at S$38.80 (U.P. S$48.80)
Print out or flash this article on your mobile and present it upon payment to enjoy the discount
Valid from now till 6 May 2011
This discount cannot be used with other credit card promotions

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