This form of dining has become prominently popular in Hong Kong in parallel with the likes of New York and London. The soaring rent prices keep most small and medium businesses out of the central districts, to the advantage of areas like Chai Wan and Wong Chuk Hang. What Brooklyn is to Manhattan, so these areas are becoming to Central, and Hong Kong is becoming all the better for the diversification
Here are six of the best:
Yin Yang Coastal is a true private kitchen, and was one of the four Hong Kong restaurants featured at the world renowned Gastronomika festival in Sans Sebastien in 2015. Using her creative interpretation of lost Chinese gastronomic heritage, in 2008, Margaret Xu Yuan opened the Kitchen Yin Yang in Wanchai in the middle of Hong Kong, eventually moving Yin Yang to a seaside town and changing its name to the Yin Yang Coastal. This move meant a greater capacity to reinvent the oldest gastronomic culture of Hong Kong–the cooking of fishermen–one of Hong Kong's assets which has been declared an intangible cultural heritage.
Address: Tsuen Wan
Pomegranate is a Mediterranean kitchen founded by Maria Bizri. They strive to bring the unique tastes of the Mediterranean to Hong Kong diners. Combining the spices of Asia with the flavours of the Mediterranean, Pomegranate is loved for the flavours they produce and ambience they curate. It’s a warm place to enjoy food and relax on the southside that feels a touch like Greece; especially good for parties.
Address: Wong Chuk Hang, Aberdeen
Dining at Home is an Indian private kitchen that serves amongst the most authentic home-cooked Indian food in the city. Puja is Indian herself, with a Chennai mother and father from Pune. She beguiles with gentle but impacting flavours and dishes that are certainly not available for purchase elsewhere. Highlights are the bail puri, bhindi (okra) and the samosas.
Address: Midlevels, Central
Eat Ethio is helmed by a Shanghai import originally from Ethiopia, whose stylish persona extends to her food. Eat Ethio is a lifestyle brand with many facets, of which includes a supper club. Expect slow-cooked chicken that falls off the bone and is served with injera (fermented flat bread) which is made with ever-healthful teff, an entirely unique to Ethiopian food flavour of kale sauteed in Kibbeh (seasoned, clarified butter) and spicy red lentils served with Ambasha bread. The dining studio also looks like a Kinfolk ad; which is just so pleasant.
Address: Sheung Wan
While it’s never wise to formulate too much of a opinion based on the fronts provided by "Facade-book", it’s hard to not be impressed by the 300,000 likes that Grace Choy has been able to accrue in 6 years for Choy Choy’s Kitchen. Choy believes it’s a variety of factors that keeps the Kam Tin eatery bustling each day. “Customers and fans have told me they love my food because it is good and natural [Grace buys nearly all her food from neighbouring farms in Hong Kong], cooked with heart and creativity. You can’t help but be creative when you love something so much; it flows naturally. They also love that I quit my office job to follow my dreams, and it keeps people coming back!”
Address: Kam Tin
Sook Studios is run by a power-woman-lawyer by day and modern Korean Chef by night. Her meals are renowned for being homey, comforting but also a tad surprising. At any given time inventions like the kimchi bloody mary and dukbokki (rice cakes) with chorizo will emerge, to the more classic dishes like the lotus roots and mung bean pancakes. Her clean white dining space is refreshing in the smog of Hong Kong and sits out in the increasingly popular Chai Wan region.
Address: Chai Wan