Tim's Kitchen used to be one of the least luxurious Michelin-starred restaurants of Hong Kong. However, this has changed recently, when the restaurant moved into a somewhat more grand setting on Bonham Strand. Grand is not really the word to be applied here, it is a very bright and white space, with a jolly good atmosphere. Unlike Sun Tung Lok, where you feel a bit strange from the moment you start talking to your neighbour, this is a place where people come to eat, drink and have a good time. As a matter of fact, let it be known that corkage is no more than HKD 80! No wonder that most tables have some pretty decent vino to go with their fine food.
And the food, dare one say is very fine
indeed. It is perhaps one of those Cantonese restaurants that isn't overly
pretentious. What matters here, one gets the feeling, is what is on the plate.
You can of course have all the delights that are shark's fin, abalone or bird's
nest. However, there's more to this restaurant, much more that you should
absolutely try. First and foremost, there is a dish of fried crab claws, coated
in mashed shrimps. This has to be pre-ordered, but really quite special.
Encased in a very thin and crunchy breading lies an entire crab claw that is
surrounded by nothing else than crab meat and the shrimps. Dipped into a
delicious sauce, this is the kind of croquette that would make many Belgians look a little old. For it is one tasty
Other notable dishes include the roast pork belly, a Cantonese classic, which can be anything from vulgar and pretty grim to absolutely mind-blowing. Here, it belongs more to the latter category. What Tim's Kitchen's pork belly displays beautifully is the variety of textures, one can create from this single piece of meat. There is the meat, soft and a little bouncy, the thin layer of melting fat, and on top of it all that irresistible crackling. Forget about British crackling though, which is as hard as rock most of the time, this is stuff that is much more refined. Its not the kind of thing that will make your teeth fall out, but something that is both crunchy and delicate at the same time. Every European chef should learn how to cook pork belly in this way, for it would make the world a better place.
There are plenty more dishes here that would warrant being written about: The pomelo skin with shrimp roes, the crispy chicken, vegetables,... Fact is, Tim's Kitchen is a place that seems to delight both the locals and gweilos. It is food that is simply very well executed and fairly priced.