Our friend and author Amy Tan recently visited Hong Kong and shared with us her experience dining in private kitchens. Private kitchens, she says, doesn’t mean you’re dining in a private first-class establishment. You do not need to be famous and incognito. But it does mean the kitchens can have memberships (but not always) and have avoided certain permit requirements that commercial restaurants would need. This allows freedom and creativity and has caused a new movement in Hong Kong — some of the city’s best restaurants are now private kitchens. They usually can be found in residential blocks, studios, or in Tan’s case, “a little hole-in-the-wall place on the 10th floor of a non-descript building in Causeway Bay.” To snag a table at this particular speakeasy-like restaurant, all you had to do was make a reservation.
“Its Chinese name meant, “Four Sisters Sichuan,” and the owners were four sisters from Chongqing, Sichuan, who once cooked and sold food from a street stall. The food was authentic and made them well known enough to enable them to open a private kitchen. They now run two, and one or two more are opening soon.”
Check out our insider coverage of the upcoming Hong Kong Food + Wine festival in our October 2014 issue.