There are many a ‘private kitchen’ in Hong Kong, a city that is quite special for it’s abundance of unique, hideaway restaurants which are affordable yet (not always, but many a time) a real culinary experience. It’s like biting into a Cadbury cream egg – looks pretty nondescript from the outside, but when bitten into it oozes sweet,sweet goodness!
TBLS sets itself apart from the “Private Kitchen” moniker, describing itself instead as a “Kitchen Studio” – which really, is pretty spot on. I mean look at it, the kitchen dominates this space, and we 18 people at the tables are spectators (and eaters) of the art that is created.
Many private kitchens were borne from the desires of Hong Kong chefs who wanted to share their culinary vision in their own kitchen but were limited by high rents, lower budgets and stringent licensing. The newer private kitchens are becoming more innovative, more original, more intimate and more international. There is a long list of them that I have been wanting to try for some time now, Ta Pantry, Liberty Private Works, Commune Lab, Zone-D and Yin Yang to name a few.
Last week I was able to cross one off my list. Our friends, The JCs, asked if we wanted to join them for dinner the following evening at TBLS – it was last minute plan as they had in turn been given the reservation by a friend who ended up not being able to make it. Despite the fact that I had indulged in a degustation menu two days before, and would have another the day after (more on that in posts to come!), TBLS is always booked up for months in advance and it was an invitation that simply couldn’t be refused. Continue reading →