Tim’s Kitchen

Located on Sheung Wan’s Jervois road, this private-kitchen has made an international name for itself (along with 2-Michelin stars). Chef Tim Lai, former head chef of Hang Seng Bank, opened this very busy classical Cantonese restaurant; a style which is very hard to find in its most traditional form and very tasty as well.  I am not talking about basic cuisine such as steamed fish, noodles with wontons or fish balls, even dim sum.  I am talking about dishes which are at the highest echelon of Cantonese food and involve layers (and time) of drying and reconstitution and sauces are slow boiled, soups are double-boiled, and have tens of ingredients around in them (and not seeing these ten ingredients when the dish is served).

I am also not talking about the kind of restaurant that is way overpriced, given 3-Michelin stars and is not worth it at well; like Sun Tung Lok, Hong Kong’s newest 3-star Michelin restaurant.

The high quality ingredients used and the chef insistence to cook the classical Cantonese dishes, means a lot of preparations…

The decor is simple and elegant with white marbled walls. The restaurant is divided into two floors and private rooms are available upon requests. The table decor is also simple; here with two chopsticks: one to eat with and one to serve with.

Some dishes should be reserved several days in advance. To guarantee freshness, the chef shops each morning according to what has been ordered for that day.It is definitely an experience worth the price. Examples include:

Stewed Pomelo Skins with Shrimp roe, in the tangerine and grapefruit family. It’s the white pulp beneath the outer yellowish-greenish skin that is eaten, and takes many days of preparation to do it right. No wonder most restaurants have discontinued making this dish. But the Chef sticks to his roots. Here, the pomelo skin is peeled before soaked in fish stock, then soaked in oil, steamed and strained.

What was also ordered…

Thousand year old egg (Century egg) with ginger (on the house). This is not easy to make as it involves reserving duck, chicken or quail eggs in a mixture of clay, ash, salt, lime, andrice hulls for several weeks to several months, depending on the method of processing.

Chilled Sliced Trotter

Roasted Crispy Baby Pork Belly

Deep-fried Whole Fresh Crab Claw with Peppercorn Salt

Eating at Tim’s Kitchen has brought me back to my youth such as the Crystal style Prawn with dried ham that is infused with flavors of the wok.

Soup of the Day: Dried octopus, pork bone, seaweed

Deep-fried Pork Ribs with Sweet and Sour sauce

Sautéed Rice Rolls with Minced Pork, Bean Sprouts in Satay Sauce

Dessert: Puff pastry with Sago; Sesame puff (left to right)

The Sesame puff we ordered is a specialty. But we were then informed they were sold out…Sold out?! No Way! I insisted on wanting to take a picture of the infamous dessert. The waiter left and then returned with a small dish (below). He said it wasn’t equal to one portion so it was on the house. 🙂

The sesame puff was the most amazing dessert I have ever had as it combines the 3 most famous desserts in Hong Kong: Egg tart, an outer pastry crust that is filled with egg custard and baked; Mochi rice cake – glutinous rice cake with black sesame and topped with the crust of the pineapple bun (菠萝包) but has no pineapple. The crust dough similar to that used to make sugar cookies, which consists of sugar, eggs, flour, and lard.

Although I did not get to try the Chef’s signature dish: Supreme Snake Soup (again a very classical Cantonese dish, available from September to January only), Braised Superior Shark Fin in Brown sauce or Deep-fried King Prawn Roll with Liver Sausage and Spring Onion; I will surely come again during that time to eat some of his other culinary delights. The dining experience can not be compared to any ordinary restaurant in Hong Kong. If you want traditional and classical to the roots Cantonese food, this is the place to go. The Chef also has a restaurant in Macau and will soon be opening his new venture in Shanghai (in June).

Tim’s Kitchen (Hong Kong)

Shop A & 1/F, 84-90, Bonham Strand, Sheung Wan, Hong Kong/香港上環文咸東街84至90號A店及一樓

Subway: Sheung Wan

Closed: Sunday and Public holidays

Tel: 2543 5919 

Website: http://www.timskitchen.com.hk/index.html

One Response to “Tim’s Kitchen”
  1. Roberto says:

    Delightful with the reading, as always..

    I wanna go there! 🙂

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