This is the second post in the updated #50Postsin50Days - Take 2 Challenge. Other posts in this series will be added to the bottom of the original post.
Lau Kin-wai and his son Chef Lau Chun (both food writers) wanted to revive some traditional dishes as well as inject some modern creativity into traditional Cantonese cuisine. They opened Kin's Kitchen in 2004 to create a "home away from home" where they could use their vast food knowledge and apply it. They've unearthed ancient Guangdong recipes and re-interpreted them using a modern lens. They also stay true to other traditional recipes and create them using time-honored methods.
The restaurant has been going strong since its opening and even (briefly) earning a Michelin Star in 2011. The restaurant is still recommended by the guide, though it no longer holds a star.
It is one of my favorite places to bring out of town friends and guests. Not only is it walking distance from our home the ambiance is comfortable and relaxed and most importantly, the food never disappoints.
Chinese Broccoli with Crab, Tofu, and Shrimp Sauce
The restaurant has a huge menu full of Cantonese classics and creative renditions of other Chinese dishes. They even offer four different types of rice (from different regions!). I've enjoyed everything I've had there. Some of my personal favorites and must-orders include their signature Smoked Chicken, Handmade Egg Noodles with scallion oil and soy sauce (made using a traditional bamboo method), and Steamed Garoupa with Ginger and Scallions.
If you want to try an assortment of dishes, you can try the Kin's Kitchen Executive Special - Tasting Menu, which provides a sampling of some of their signature dishes. It costs HKD 1980 ($253 USD) for four people or HKD 2380 ($304 USD) for six people. We enjoyed the one for four people with some guests and everyone absolutely loved it. We even brought our own wine and paid a reasonable corkage fee. I've described the tasting in detail below.
Kin's Kitchen Executive Special - Tasting Menu
We started with a cold appetizer, Drunken Abalone, a twist on a the typical Cantonese abalone which is braised in a brown (like oyster) sauce.
Deep Fried Custard of Chicken Broth was excellent, like a delicately fried cube of really soft tofu having a ton of chicken essence. I've only had this at Seventh Son, where it was very good as well.
Sauteed Prawn and Scallops with Gamba Mushroom Paste was executed perfectly. Loved how the fresh shrimp "popped" when I bit into them.
Though the Steamed Ocean Garoupa looks simple, it was actually one of the best versions of steamed Cantonese fish (with ginger and scallions) that I've ever had in my life. I think it comes down to the quality of the seafood they procured as well as the expert execution. It was simple, classic, yet phenomenal at the same time.
It's hard to adequately describe the combination of flavors in this signature dish, the Smoked Chicken. It's smoky, savory, a touch of sweetness, and also dark caramel notes from a mixture of soy sauce and other flavors. In short, it's utterly fantastic. Just order it. It's one of my favorite dishes on the menu.
Braised Pork Belly with Sarcodon Mushroom reminded me of the classic Hakka dish that's made with mustard greens instead. This version was excellent with extremely dark and intense flavors.
Another one of my favorite signature dishes is the Handmade Egg Noodle with scallion oil and soy sauce. In Chinese, these are described as 竹昇麵 or jook-sing noodles. The words translate to bamboo noodles because it refers to a very, very traditional way of making noodles using bamboo pole. Sadly, the method is so time and labor consuming, it is quickly becoming a dying art. There are very few places left in Hong Kong that still make noodles this way.
Thankfully, you can try them here at Kin's Kitchen, and they are fantastic! The texture is super al dente. We love eating it just to enjoy the texture. Of course, the flavors are good too.
Steamed Mustard Greens with Preserved Vegetable were solid, though didn't catch our attention quite the same way as many of the other dishes.
Almond cookie and "film roll" dessert
A la Carte Dishes
The restaurant has an extensive a la carte menu and I have barely scratched the surface. There is even a section of special dishes that you can pre-order. Additionally, they will sometimes do seasonal specials, such as a recent Taste of Yunnan province, we were would have loved to try.
Fresh and Dried Squid stir fried with celery was interesting in the mixture of textures and flavors from fresh squid (soft, bouncy, juicy) and dried squid (chewier, more umami).
Sweet and Sour Pork
Eggplant with Shrimp
General Information - Kin's Kitchen Wan Chai
Kin's Kitchen is located between Causeway Bay and Wan Chai, about a 10 minute walk from the MTR on the 5th floor of the W Square building (you'll have to go inside and take the elevator). It's open for lunch and dinner every day of the week (12PM - 3PM and then 6PM -11PM) and accepts credit card. I would advise making a reservation if you have a large group, though I've noticed that the place is seldom completely packed.
All in all, I highly recommend this place, especially for big groups!
Kin's Kitchen Wan Chai 留家廚房
5/F, W Square
314-324 Hennessy Road, Wan Chai