Along with an excess of restaurants to suit every budget and taste, Hong Kong has a bustling and innovative private kitchen scene. If you are no longer content with fighting for a table at one of the city’s hot restaurants, why not pull together a group of friends for a special night of food and drink somewhere a little off the beaten culinary track.
Here’s a round-up of our favourite private kitchens hosted by some of the city’s most talented chefs, who showcase their talent and techniques everywhere from obscure industrial buildings to their very own apartments.
This charming private kitchen has a lot going for it, and is known among lovers of spicy Sichuan cuisine as being a true gem in the city. It’s not just due to the amazing food – generous portions of Chengdu Dan Dan noodles, signature braised beef brisket, steamed chicken with chili sauce – but the cheery hospitality of the owners. Wang Hai and Wong Xiaoqiong, the couple who run the small, hidden eatery are part of the appeal. Wang Hai is a recognised master Chinese painter, while his wife Wang Xiaoqiong is a Sichuan cuisine expert and talented singer. Not content with just cooking, she is know to emerge from the kitchen post-dinner service for the odd a capella Chinese opera performance.
Where: Shop F & H, G/F, Garley Building, No. 53A Graham St, Central
Contact: 2559 1317 / [email protected]
BYO? Yes; $150 per bottle
Price: Lunch $120 per head / dinner $380 per head / à la carte $200 – $680
Dine Art is a space where art gallery meets private kitchen; a concept that, although relatively simple, works oh-so well. Whether you’re celebrating a special occasion or are looking for something a bit more casual, you’ll be surrounded by beautiful artwork and fine Italian cuisine. The menu, curated by Italian Chef Cosimo, changes seasonally, so you can always expect fresh flavours and high quality ingredients.
Where: 16/F, Kwai Bo Industrial Building, 40 Wong Chuk Hang Road, Wong Chuk Hang
Contact: 2805 8555 / [email protected]
BYO? Yes; Buy one bottle from DineArt, get one of your own for free, otherwise corkage fee of $250 per bottle
Price: $880 per head (minimum 12, maximum 60 people)
Fa Zu Jie
Don’t be deterred by the sketchy alleyway in LKF you’ll have to walk through to get to Fa Zu Jie, we promise it’ll be a breath of fresh air once you step in. Fa Zu Jie serves Chinese/French fusion food in an intimate venue with tables surrounding an open kitchen. The menu consists of quality, innovative cuisine with rather peculiar-sounding dish descriptions (“Reunion. A French Farm. A Daughter-in-law from China”… Anyone?).
Gitone is so named to depict the marriage of art and harmony in life (‘gi’ and ‘tone’ are types of fine wood used in making the ancient Chinese stringed instrument, the guqin). Terence Lee, the founder chairman of the Contemporary Ceramic Society (Hong Kong), beautifully marries art appreciation and fine dining: guests sit among his splendid collection of fine art and ceramics, warm classical music playing in the background, while enjoying chef David Chan’s eclectic Asian menu (E-fu noodles sautéed with lobster in black truffle sauce, sliced abalone with Chinese wine and gold foil). You may find yourself inspired to come back for an art class, like a ceramic workshop, which can be done before or after your meal for an extra $500 per person.
Where: G/F, 27-28,45 Tai Hong Street, Lee King Wan, Sai Wan Ho
Contact: 2527 3448 or 90235 1988 (WhatsApp) / [email protected]
BYO? Yes; red or white wine $100 per bottle / other (eg whiskey, Champagne) $150 per bottle
Price: $580 – $90 per head (plus $20 tea and condiment charge per head)
Owned by Stilvino Club, a wholesale company selling all things wine, La Dolce Vita is their private kitchen (which is actually their wine cellar!). You’ll be surrounded by hundreds of bottles of expertly chosen wine as you dine on an Italian 4-course dinner. The chef will choose ingredients that are in season in order to create your menu, however, if there is something specific you would like your dinner party to have suggestions are welcome.
Where: Unit 203, Oceanic Industrial Centre, 2 Lee Lok Street, Ap Lei Chau
Contact: 3528 0531 / [email protected]
BYO? No; wine pairing available at an additional fee.
Price: $880 per head (minimum 10, maximum 20 people)
Eric Wong, a Le Cordon Bleu chef who has worked in some prestigious restaurants around the world, including the Michelin-starred Le Jardin des Sens in France, is behind the intimate private kitchen Les Saveurs. As is the case with many eating establishments in Causeway Bay, the building it’s housed in is very unassuming, but inside a lovely ambiance awaits, with dim lighting and Victoria Harbour views. Food is French-Asian fusion, with enticing amuse bouche like tuna tataki with apple and wasabi sorbet or foie gras with smoked eel ballotine.
Where: 21/F, Hennessy Road 239, Wan Chai
Contact: 2116 8883 / [email protected]
BYO? Yes; corkage fee is $200 per bottle of 750ml wine
Price: Lunch $288 (3 course) per head, $318 (4 course) per head / Dinner (6 course) $888 per head
From her home in Clearwater Bay, Vandana Anand creates fresh, aromatic, Indian inspired dishes for groups of hungry diners. If the weather’s good, you can dine outside in the beautiful garden.
Where: Clearwater Bay – full address given on booking
Contact: 9306 3967 / [email protected]
BYO? Yes; no corkage fee
Price: $650 per head. 8 – 16 people indoors, with up to 30 if weather permits to use the garden.
Founder and chef Maria Bizri creates stunning food packed full of eastern Mediterranean flavours, yet fused with tastes of South Asia and the Orient. The open-plan kitchen and minimalist dining area inside, coupled with an impressive 2,000 sq ft. outdoor terrace, make Pomegranate a perfect venue for an intimate birthday or a large event. Expect a welcoming, relaxed home-from-home atmosphere with impeccably produced food that is the perfect backdrop to an evening with good friends. Same goes for an evening at 8D by Pomegranate, a newer venue a few floors above. It’s minimalist decor scheme lets you customize the ambiance to your liking, in a 1500 sq-ft space that seats up to 60 guests (or up to 100 standing).
Cuisine: Mediterranean/Middle Eastern
Where: 4B, Sing Tech Factory Building, 44 Wong Chuk Hang, Aberdeen
Contact: 2580 0663 / [email protected]
BYO? Yes; corkage fee depends on number of bottles brought
Price: $650 – $950 per head
Sabor offers creative and expertly prepared Spanish food and wines, giving diners an authentic taste of Spain in a fun and lively atmosphere. While it’s likely you’ll be dining with other guests if you have a small party, you are also able to rent out the entire restaurant for larger groups. Choose from either the Chef Tapas Menu or Sabor Mix Menu.
Where: Room 601, 6/F, Cheung’s Building, 1-3 Wing Lok Street, Sheung Wan
Contact: 2481 8828 / [email protected]
BYO? Yes; free corkage
Price: $530 per head
Ta Pantry is a humble private dining space that seats 20 – 25 guests with an open kitchen attached, so you can see the ‘behind the scenes’ action. Beginning her culinary journey at three-Michelin starred L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon in Hong Kong, founder and Chef Esther Sham has a plethora of experience working in fine dining establishments in this city as well as in France. You can sample Japanese, Shanghainese, European and Thai influenced cuisine at Ta Pantry.
Cuisine: International – Japanese, Shanghainese, European and Thai
Where: 1A Star Street, Wan Chai (entrance on Electric Street, walk through ES)
Contact: 2521 8121 / [email protected]
BYO? Yes; no corkage fee
Price: $750 – $950 per head (minimum of 8, maximum of 20 people)
If you’re looking for a bit of a city escape to go along with your private kitchen experience, check out Yin Yang Coastal, located in a beachside village house in Tseun Wan. Chef Margaret Xu Yuan excels in creating farm-to-table Chinese dishes that focus on local seafood. All you need to do is decide how many courses you want (options of 6, 8, and 10), and let Chef Margaret do the rest.
Where: House 117, Ting Kau Village, Tseun Wan, Kowloon
Contact: 2866 0868 / [email protected]
BYO? Yes; corkage fee of $150 per bottle
Price: $880 – $2000 per head, depending on the number of courses