Twins Kitchen’s latest venture dolos is an innovative French-Japanese bistro offering complimentary corkage
Located in SoHo at the junction of Staunton Street and Aberdeen Street (taking over the space occupied previously by HATCH), dolos is a welcome addition to SoHo’s culinary scene. Named after the concrete wave breakers that protect harbour walls like those along Hong Kong’s shoreline, dolos represents the connection between the land and sea and reflects Twins Kitchen’s ambition to connect the city and community through food.
At dolos, diners can enjoy a tasting menu (HK$880/person) that changes from time to time, depending on the ingredients that are in season, and Chef Sean Yuen’s creative inclinations. Chef Yuen is no stranger to the local culinary scene, having served stints at Caprice and HUE Dining, as well as at restaurants overseas. He is also the bassist of independent math rock band tfvsjs and co-founder of tfvsjs.syut, a unique dining concept that brought together food, music, arts and culture.
Quite unlike most other eateries around town, dolos also allows guests to bring their own wine sans corkage – a bold move we certainly welcome!
Here’s a rundown of what we tried on a recent visit:
We began with a fresh oyster with chopped banana – an unusual topping and a promising start – followed by crisp and elegant cuttlefish with shiso and taramasalata.
Dry-aged shima aji is served with Asian-inspired ingredients like lemongrass, Thai basil, fish-sauce gastrique and pomelo for a combination that’s flavourful yet light on the palate.
Next up is monkfish liver, which has the consistency of a rich butter intended for spreading on the accompanying sourdough. It’s smoky and slightly spicy, with a dollop of caviar to add a hint of saltiness, balanced by Banyuls vinegar and Japanese fruit tomato.
Our third and final starter – red prawn bisque – is another hit. Within the bisque sits a layered combination of red pepper, Japanese sweet shrimp and yellow courgette– a thoughtfully considered mix of textures and flavours. The broth itself is robust and delicious.
Moving on to the main dishes, we first tried an excellent grilled pomfret that had been salt-aged, featuring crisp skin and flesh that was meaty yet tender, served with edamame. It’s followed by dry-aged, charcoal-grilled three-yellow chicken served with a clam and butterbur-sprout cream sauce. Crispy, tender and juicy – this was one of my favourite courses of the meal.
For the second main, diners can typically choose from one of three options. During our visit, the options were pigeon, beef and eel. All would make great choices.
The M9 Wagyu beef picanha is served with a sauce made from smoked oyster and bone marrow – an indulgent combination that’s big on flavour.
I particularly like the grilled eel, which is wet-aged, steamed and chargrilled to achieve a texture that’s firm yet tender. It’s accompanied by an eel-bone and sansho sauce with carrot oil and lily bulb that strikes a gentle balance of peppery, unami and sweet.
The pigeon is an interesting option, showcasing confit-style breast meat and sous-vide leg with preserved duck-leg XO sauce, tamarillo purée and black garlic purée. I personally get a bit squeamish seeing a pigeon leg in its almost entirety, but it’s otherwise a tasty and well-executed dish.
We finished with jasmine tea ice cream with roasted strawberries. Refreshing, floral and sweet (without being overly so), this dish is a great way to wrap up and wind down after a rich meal.
Dolos is a promising addition to Twins Kitchen’s portfolio. Every element of each dish has been creatively considered and carefully executed, resulting in a menu that successfully spotlights the flavours of its seasonal ingredients as well as Chef Yuen’s culinary artistry. The free corkage for wine lovers is also a plus. I’ll definitely bookmark this spot for a return visit.
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.