Monday, September 9, 2013

Yin Yang Private Kitchen, Wan Chai Hong Kong

Summer Island: potato leaves, winter melon, pears, stewed eggplant with chili, and garden snails

Since I was in Hong Kong most of the summer, you can take for granted that I spent most of my days eating. Instead of visiting only the top restaurants in Hong Kong, this time around I was able to try a few private kitchens. They've been around for even up to two decades now and a lot of them started as amateur chefs trying to save on rent and opening unlicensed restaurants in their own homes or office spaces. Though the locations haven't changed much, private kitchens have become more mainstream and accessible, though many still require prior reservations.

Having tried a couple of staples (Xi Yan, TBLS), I must say that Yin Yang was the only one that impressed me enough to want to visit again. Yin Yang prides itself with using organic ingredients all grown and raised on a farm in New Territories. All the dishes on the menu looked familiar, but when each dish arrived, I was impressed by the innovative techniques used in preparation and the use of mundane ingredients in new ways.

Some highlights:
- Summer Island: the use of potato leaves in the salad. Who knew potato leaves could be so delicious? Also, if the snails are really from the farm, extra props.
- Ginger duck gelee: mmMMMMmmm! Maybe not for everyone, but I think Asians have a thing for gelatinized foods (though namely sweets).
- Soup without Water: Though they are famous for their terracotta oven baked yellow earth chicken, the soup without water is the most rousing component of the poultry. It's just the natural juices of the chicken with mushroom. No water added.

Another perk of eating at Yin Yang is that the environment has a nostalgic old Hong Kong (~1950's-1960's?) look. It's located in a three story house with barred windows and tiled floors, and there are even vintage furniture and appliances in the upstairs dining room. Private enough for you? So if you're in Hong Kong and searching for food on the more creative side, I definitely recommend that you look up a few private kitchens to try out.

Fact: "Yin Yang" in this case refers to the monogamous mandarin ducks, not the tai chi yin and yang symbol.

Ginger duck gelee
Lobster pineapple ice 九龍冰室
Yellow Earth Chicken
Soup without Water
Forest crab curry
Red Hot roast pig

Tea Smoked Fish

Red Bean Crepe

Yin Yang
18 Ship Street
Wan Chai, Hong Kong

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