Family Friendly Restaurant Review: Chow Fun Restaurant & Bar

A play area for junior, all-day every-day happy hour for parents and did we mention? Tasting. Portions. Chow Fun’s got everyone covered.

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CHOW FUN RESTAURANT & BAR 

Address: #01-08, The Grandstand, 200 Turf Club Road
Opening Hours: Tuesday to Sunday 11am to 12 am; closed on Mondays.


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Bathed in cosy, warm lighting, the five-month-old Chow Fun Restaurant & Bar exudes a laidback vibe, suitable for a lazy weekend with the kids.

          Look around and everywhere, you see design touches courtesy of chef and owner Alicia Lin’s family members: Right by the entrance to the restaurant, for instance, are several framed collages of vintage postcards dating back to the 1930s, from Lin’s grandfather!

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          If you’re like us, visiting at midday, it’s best to stick to the air-conditioned indoor comforts of the restaurant. Otherwise, there is also an alfresco seating area — kept cool by fans — overlooking The Grandstand’s outdoor play area boasting a playground and swings as well as wide-open spaces in which tykes can run wild.

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          Start your meal with some yummy appetisers like the homemade Mom’s White Radish Cake ($5.90): Four chunks of chewy chai tow kueh topped with dried shrimp and shallots, with a dried-shrimp sambal dip (a tad salty if you’re watching that).

          Cheese lovers alert! The Potato, Bonito and Cheese Pancake ($5.90) boasts a mixture of three cheeses — mozzarella, cheddar and Grana Padano — set atop a crispy-fried potato base. Garnished with bonito flakes and spring onions, this umami delight is another tasty start to the meal.

          The mains are a mix of hot or chilled East-meets-West fusion dishes featuring five different types of noodles — rice noodles, vermicelli, udon, penne and spaghetti. Diners can choose to have the dishes served in regular meals ($15.90) or in tasting portions ($2.90) each — we relished ordering a good variety of small plates to share. 

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          Try the Pork Belly Bibim Guksu, a well-balanced sweet-and-slightly-spicy Korean noodle dish dressed with red pepper powder. The dish comes topped with one piece of sautéed soy-ginger-glazed pork belly that’s real tasty. We pretty much forked the tender pork slice into smaller portions and everyone got a bite! If you prefer something light and refreshing, opt for the chilled Ginger and Scallion rice noodles instead.
          Don’t be fooled by the tapas-style small plates; two plates per person should suffice or pick six to eight types for a family of four and still leave enough space for dessert!

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          Round off the meal with a dessert tasting platter for your brood. The Sweet 5 Platter ($22.90) includes the Salted Egg and Chocolate Lava Cake ($8.90 à la carte). And it tastes as chocolatey — with hints of salted-egg custard — as it sounds. Be sure to add a serving of vanilla ice cream (additional $2.00) for a cool contrast to the warm dish. Otherwise, the Lychee Granita and Crystal Jelly ($4.90 à la carte) is both citrusy and refreshing on a warm day.

          The all-day happy hour is the perfect excuse for parents to wash their meals down with an ice-cold beer — Stella Artois, Kirin and Coronas are all $11 each. Pair your beer with the Deep Fried Caramelized Banana Fritters ($6.90), which are not too sweet because Cavendish bananas are used in place of the usual pisang raja.

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Tot-O-Meter:
Opt for the alfresco dining area if you are planning to visit in the evenings. Let your tykes run amok at the open-air playground with swings to work up an appetite. Be bold and choose a variety of mains in tasting portions — so you can all share without the guilt (or envy). Junior will love the the creamy Wild Mushroom and Truffle Penne ($2.90) as would we adults. He will also dig the Fried Mac and Cheese Ball ($2.90) or the Wagyu Bolognese ($4.40), too. Dessert will be a highlight of the meal, especially the fun to eat Chocolate Springroll Wanton and Hot Fudge ($4.90 à la carte). Baby high chairs are available on request.  

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