Kinship is the first culinary collaboration between entrepreneurial chefs Chris Grare and Arron Rhodes. The idea blossomed on the basis of a seven-year-long friendship between the two chefs, and the restaurant’s concept is all about rustic, family-style cuisine, drawing from each chef’s background and travel experiences.
In the kitchen is Chef Chris Grare, who earned his stripes at Café Boulud in New York City, studying under Michelin-starred chef Daniel Boulud, before heading to Hong Kong’s Café Gray Deluxe. He then joined The American Club’s upscale steakhouse before continuing onwards as the executive chef at Lily & Bloom.
Stepping out from the kitchen and into a front-of-house role is Kinship co-founder Arron Rhodes, who cheffed at Restaurant André in Singapore and Michelin-starred Pied à Terre in London before moving to Hong Kong as the executive chef at Gough’s on Gough. After a short stint at Tai Kwun’s Statement, he realised his dream of owning a restaurant, creating a dining concept that’s close to his heart.
Both chefs come from a fine-dining background, but they have chosen to have a pared-down, elegant yet relaxed menu at Kinship to welcome guests into this “family first” spot. Sustainability is a key focus, with complete traceability on all produce used. The chefs work with local family-run farms as well as trusted overseas suppliers to find delicious ingredients, each with a story to tell.
One of only two restaurants currently in operation at the new LL Tower right next to the Central–Mid-Levels escalator, it’s hard to believe that Kinship’s warm and welcoming ambience was put together in just two months!
First to arrive at our table was the grass-fed Australian beef tartare ($168) with Bali bean salad, roasted peanut sauce and fresh lime sambal. Raw beef is not usually our first choice, but this dish went down a treat thanks to the clean, palatable beef and the textural contrast of the beans and sambal, which added flavour and interest.
The smoked Faroe Islands salmon ($158) with ikura, jicama salad, crispy quinoa and Peruvian chilli sauce was the first time we’ve ever had smoked salmon served warm. The texture of the salmon resembled cooked fish and was a bit too savoury for our taste buds.
The seared sea bass ($250) came with sweet black garlic purée, seasonal greens and garlic potato foam. We liked the contrast between the crisp skin and tender fish.
Ironically, our favourite dish of the meal was one of the sides! The fried Brussels sprouts ($78) with ponzu was a dreamy bowl of healthy food disguised as an indulgent treat. We could pop these babies into our mouth while watching a movie and not feel any guilt!
A deliciously sinful dish, the sticky BBQ pork belly ($228) with dashi, edamame, shiitake and sugar snap peas was a wobbly tower of hearty indulgence. We loved the melt-in-the-mouth texture of the pork, completed by the sweetness of the sauce.
Named after a childhood favourite of Chef Rhodes, Mr Whippy ice cream ($78) is an addictive combination of vanilla soft-serve, salted caramel sauce, chocolate brownie and peanut brittle. It melts fast, so be quick with the spoon… or at least that was our excuse!
Kinship is a refreshing offshoot from the two chefs’ fine-dining backgrounds, and we feel that the menu is a better representation of the type of food both chefs prefer to cook and eat. We like the casual, boisterous environment, but we can still see plenty of finesse behind the more relaxed menu.
Kinship is now also open for weekend brunch from 11:30am, with a rotation between The American Brunch and The British Brunch ($388/person; +$198 for free-flow) every weekend. Expect mouth-watering dishes like homemade biscuits with sausage gravy, corned beef hash, fried chicken and waffles, pancakes with bacon, maple syrup and peanut butter and ice-cream sundaes during The American Brunch. The traditional British roast takes centre stage at The British Brunch, with wholesome dishes like chicken and truffle terrine, pea and ham soup, roasted Devonshire beef, Yorkshire pudding and classic Bakewell tart piled high with poached cherries.
3/F, LL Tower, 2–4 Shelley Street, SoHo, Central, 2520 0899, book online
This write-up is based on a complimentary media tasting provided in exchange for an honest review and no monetary compensation. The opinions expressed here represent the author’s.
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