Chowtime at Yang Chow
- Alice H. Reyes () - March 1, 2012 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - Yang Chow owner-proprietor Vicente Uy never studied in a culinary school in Switzerland, France or any of the top culinary schools in the Philippines, but he has found the secret to running a successful restaurant.

Born in the Philippines of immigrant parents from Fukien, China, he was discouraged by his father, who had a catering business, from being a kusinero, a somewhat derogatory term when Vicente was growing up.

The elder Uy wanted his son to engage in business, but not as a restaurateur or chef. Against his father’s wishes, however, Vicente set out to prove him wrong.

In 2009, he opened his first Yang Chow Dimsum and Teahouse in Bagumbayan, Libis, Quezon City. Two years later, in July, 2011, he inaugurated a bigger restaurant on EDSA corner Quezon Avenue, which had two function rooms and could seat 150 customers.

By March, 2012, he will open another restaurant on Marcos Highway, on a 1,200-square meter property. Clearly, Vicente Uy must be doing something right.

Running a restaurant, Vicente admits, is no laughing matter. A hands-on owner, Vicente manages a staff of 40 at the EDSA place alone and sees to it that the food served there is the very best.

Yang Chow’s beef with broccoli

“The secret,” he bares, “lies in the quality of the food. There should be no shortcuts in the use of ingredients.”

Yang Chow’s specialties are dishes which are Hong Kong-Cantonese style suited to the Filipino taste. These include dimsum, beef ho fan, and sweet and sour pork.

Authenticity and ambience are what draw customers to Yang Chow, according to Vicente.

Indeed, Vicente is adamant about the fact that no special requests from customers regarding the dishes served at his restaurant be entertained. An unusual rule, to be sure.

Vicente explains, “The customer is not always right, you know, and the owner has the right to refuse a request to alter the food served.”

He declares, “My restaurants honor Chinese tradition and culture through the creation of delicious and delectable cuisine.”

Special cold cuts

Indeed, word of the quality of Yang Chow cuisine has spread to customers, not just in Quezon City but in neighboring cities as well. During lunch hour, office workers flock to Yang Chow, whose prices are reasonable and competitive. At night, dinner guests come from the residents of the surrounding areas.

Married to Rose Lacierda, Vicente has three children: Ryan Vincent, Roselle Valerie, and Valen Rustico, none of whom are inclined to follow in their father’s footsteps.

If one is happy in one’s chosen field, according to Vicente, one is bound to succeed. Certainly the affable restaurateur has found his niche in the world and with a supportive wife and children, no one could ask for more.

* * *

Yang Chow, EDSA is open from 11 a.m. till 11 p.m. daily.

Hot prawn salad

BY MARCH CHOW HONG KONG-CANTONESE MARCOS HIGHWAY QUEZON CITY VICENTE VICENTE UY YANG YANG CHOW
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