Caviar In My Drink

August 15, 2011 § 2 Comments

Cassis caviar suspended in Chandon sparkling wine served with Amaretto dust – the caviar bursts in your mouth releasing the black currant flavored liqueur.

Alchemist Kir

Creamy egg yolks on buttered chunk of toast with a layer of arugula-raclette pesto sandwiched between – the yolk seemed runny but is actually solid inside.


Unconventional, outlandish…  my recent food adventure was something out of the ordinary.

Welcome to the surreal world of Molecular Gastronomy, a culinary movement that uses modern science to transform the preparation of food.  This includes the study of how different cooking temperature affect egg’s viscosity and how a culinary process shapes a liquid into spheres which visually and texturally resembles caviar.  This is new territory in my gastronomic realm.  Watching Marcel Vigneron and Richard Blais on Top Chef has introduced me to this new food trend.  Though my curiosity piqued, I never gave much thought to it, much less sampling it any time soon.

Enter Alchemist Cocktail Kitchen, a fairly new molecular gastro-lounge in a new neighborhood in Shanghai.

Prolific restaurateur Kelly Lee is the brainchild of this new cocktail kitchen (as she calls it) that features creative cocktails frozen with liquid nitrogen,

Yangtze River Tea

Baiyu, Corralejo Silver tequila, Captain Morgan gold rum and a citrus compote frozen with liquid nitrogen served with a side of spiced jasmine tea.  A spoonful of the frozen alcohol followed with a sip of the hot tea washes away  the taste of alcohol and leaves a subtle savor of pear.

exotic snacks like Popcorn Pig’s Brain fried in a lightly spiced batter and served with a side of Jalapeño Gribiche emulsion.

Popcorn Pig Brain

On my recent trip to Shanghai, we unwittingly stumbled upon what my friend thought was a “unique” bar that serves inventive cocktails and interesting bar food.   Molecular gastronomy or not, they served up an array of great tasting dishes:

Beetroot Carpaccio

Marinated roasted beetroot, goat cheese mousse, grapefruit frozen vinaigrette and basil.

Eggplant Caviar

Roast Eggplant purée, fresh mint, charred tomato salad, pomegranate molasses and crisp bread.

Fried Chicken

Red miso marinade, passionfruit mustard aioli

Grilled Octopus

with Bitter orange mojo and purple potatoes

Kanpachi Tartare

with avocado, yuzu, puffed wild rice, ponzu foam, kaffir lime wasabi and fog.  Not quite sure how the fog contributed to the dish though.
Alchemist Cocktail Kitchen
Sinan Mansions,
Block 32, 45 Sinan Lu (near Fuxing Zhang Lu)
Contact No:  +86(21) 6426 0660

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