Precision comes to new Chester restaurant
G.A.L. makes precise choice in ‘really good’ refrigeration
The brand new G.A.L. Restaurant and Bar in Chester broke new ground in restaurant design when it opened last December. An interior of pastel blue with light African wengi wood décor, combined with elegant booth-style seating, gives G.A.L. a stylish international ambience to match a wide-ranging, very eclectic food menu.
This isn’t a ‘theme’ restaurant in the sense of a particular type of food, says head chef Joe Lynch, who came from an existing high street restaurant group to explore new ideas and varieties in dining at G.A.L.
“We are a city centre location and wanted to offer something to appeal to everyone. It has to be affordable, but at the same time it’s all freshly prepared and top quality.”
So in the brand new kitchen at G.A.L. there’s a focus on counter refrigeration and refrigerated preparation wells. As the dishes are being created, the fresh ingredients need to be not only kept cool, but ready for immediate cooking and plating.
And when it came to refrigeration, there was one key choice – Precision. Says Joe Lynch: “I’d worked with Precision before, in my previous jobs, and was impressed by the quality and reliability,” he says. “But what impressed me more was the flexibility. Precision could tailor the units to fit the space in the new kitchen. I’d recommend them to all restaurants.”
Included in Joe’s new kitchen is the PPC 307 3-door prep station underneath the service hatch, for making up main courses – complete with 12-well ingredient makeup – and HCU 211 gastronorm counter refrigeration, serving as the restaurant’s dessert station. Both were customised by Precision to fit the kitchen’s exact needs.
The PPC (Precision Prep Counter) uses a special ‘bi-flow’ system to cool the lower cabinet storage area and blow cool air around, up and over recessed wells, which hold ingredients in easy reach for chefs. It meets the latest HACCP standards, even in high ambient-temperature environments. Insulated lids are placed over the wells overnight, and the fans’ power reduced, so the unit saves 30% on energy costs compared to standard prep counters.
Space in the kitchen is always at a premium, and the PPC prep counter is more compact than standard units, allowing a frame, gantry and pass shelf to be added without increasing the overall footprint.
In the case of the HCU dessert station, Precision was able to supply the unit with the main refrigeration unit switched to the left hand side, to better suit the kitchen’s working layout. Underneath, the dessert selection is held at a steady 4C, while on top Precision added an eight-well pan grid for holding extra dessert ingredients such as toppings.
Precision was also the refrigeration of choice in G.A.L.’s bar, a striking modern confection of stainless steel, mirrors, and a colour-coordinated pastel bar-front. The bar is the first thing you see as you walk through the door, and first impressions count – looks are as important as practicality. The bar almost ’shouts’ style, so it was essential the bottle coolers, on show to customers, added to the sense of theatre at the entrance.
Precision’s Back-Bar Refrigeration BBS range were the units of choice here. Designed from the start to look good when filled with bottles, they have a brushed stainless steel finish which gives the cabinets a striking ‘retro’ feel that fits well with the stylish G.A.L. interior and makes them powerful sales tools.
The BBS range are functional as well as good looking. With electronically controlled integral refrigeration units they can pull down temperatures extremely quickly after filling, and have a host of automatic features, such as timed defrost facility, self-closing doors, security locks, adjustable levelling feet and bright fluorescent interior lighting.