Many people who are in-the-know say that this private kitchen is one of the best Cantonese restaurants in Hong Kong. In Hong Kong!! That's quite a statement, considering how many top notch Cantonese restaurants are here.
It's nearly impossible to get a reservation at No. 9 SBI Canteen (or Softbank Private Kitchen) if you don't know someone. The private kitchen is hidden away on an upper floor in a high rise in Central. I was kindly invited by a friend who's "in-the-know", and was able to get a peek into this other world of Hong Kong wine and dine culture.
I arrived a bit early, so they let me sit on this couch opposite of the dining area. Soon afterwards, people started arriving. Some people were really familiar with each other, while others, like myself, were lucky first-timers who were brought by a friend. Unfortunately Bryan was on a business trip that day, so I came alone to experience this exciting meal.
Update: Bryan was able to go back to this restaurant one year later, thanks to an invitation from the same kind friends. As it turned out, it was me that was away on business this time. So glad Bryan got to try it!
Signature Winter Melon Soup
Rice & "Veggies" (with a lot of crab)
The evening involved a great round up of wines! Cost was around HK$2500 per person, a bit over USD300 a head.
That time Bryan went . . .
The menu changes by the season, and there are certain very anticipated dishes that people talk about. One of these dishes is their Imperial Scholar's Five snake soup 太史五蛇羹, which is more like a thick soup (羹）filled with super thinly julienned snake meat (almost like slivers of fine noodles), chrysanthemum petals, lemon leaf, and more. The texture is phenomenal and like nothing I've ever tasted before. It's usually only available during the winter season.
Bryan was able to enjoy the snake soup during his visit to No. 9 SBI Canteen (Softbank Private Kitchen). Although I didn't get to go that time, I still got to try the famous snake soup. It turns out one of the guests didn't want hers, and she offered to give it to Bryan to take home for me. I'm so thankful for the opportunity. It was really really good!
All in all, I was indeed very impressed with the food. Most of it is very classic Cantonese dishes but executed at the highest level. There were many dishes I'd never had before. If I ever get a chance to go again, I would definitely jump at the opportunity.
No. 9 SBI Canteen 9號軟庫飯堂 - Softbank Private Kitchen
4/F & 5/F, 7-11 Mercer Street, Sheung Wan