Tim’s Kitchen – bothered about the sharks fin
We found ourselves in Sheung Wan last night and in need of a swift bite to eat. There aren’t a whole lot of quality restaurants down and around Morrison Street, but I have been meaning to go to Tim’s Kitchen for a long while and so Cantonese it was.
The original restaurant was set up by Chef Lai in 2000 after retiring from Hang Seng Bank where he’d worked for the past 33 years, most of them as their Executive Chef. The restaurant has two Michelin stars, and is well known for its authentic and precisely executed Cantonese cuisine.
Food: As we were in a rush and it was only the pair of us eating we didn’t have a lot of food, but what we did have was very, very good: stir fried lettuce with soybeans, beef tenderloin with celery, and poached chicken with black mushrooms.
The soybeans on the lettuce were like bullets of umami and salty goodness, perfectly complementing the sweet lettuce. The chicken was succulent and tasty, and the mushrooms very meaty which made the chicken seem even more tender. I’m only just learning about 口感 kougan, or “mouth feel” in Chinese cooking, but this dish struck me as one that had been constructed very much with that principe in mind. The beef was also tasty, many times you can barely taste the meat because its poor quality, no issue with that here.
Drinks: We just had a pot of white peony tea so can’t really go into the drinks menu here.
Service: The service was efficient and we appreciated the waiter telling us that the soup only came in gigantic bowls so would be too big for us to share (why they couldn’t serve it in small portions is beyond me, I wish someone would explain this policy to me as I come across it all the time).
Ambience: The decor is modern and clean, the chairs comfortable, and you don’t feel that the tables are crammed into the space. Not sure why their napkins are made out of curtain material though.
Price: Like a lot of higher-end Cantonese restaurants you can eat cheaply or crazy expensively depending on your menu choices, which is perfect. Those on a lower budget can sample food from a top chef which is simple, and those out to blow a stack of cash can opt for the far more sophisticated fare on offer.
Our meal came to HK$257 for three dishes and a pot of tea which was great value.
Summary: All in all a good meal, apart from the big problem of Shark’s Fin being on the menu, which is why I have to review the restaurant as Caustic at the moment.
Had we had more time to choose our restaurant we would have bypassed Tim’s Kitchen if we’d seen the menu, so unfortunately we won’t be going back until the Shark’s Fin is off it.
My problem with shark’s fin is one of sustainability rather than cruelty, because overfishing is a far bigger issue than the finning in my opinion. I admit to being ill informed about the issue, but I’d prefer to be erring on the side of caution. If it transpires that any restaurant serves shark from a sustainable source, then I will be very happy to eat there.
Location: G/F – 1/F, Shop A, 84-90 Bonham Strand, Sheung Wan, Hong Kong. Tel: +852 2543 5919