Posted on Tue, 12 Jun 2012
TBLS In HK .. A Lovely Private Kitchen Experience!
I must say that I have always liked the idea of going to a private kitchen as the idea of going to the private residence of a stranger and eating a surprise home cooked menu that you have not actually ordered from sounds like a lot of mystery and fun. Yes I like surprises.
Unfortunately I have not had the right company or opportunity or luck to find a worthy private kitchen in Hong Kong’s many secret corners to check out so … when Debbie suggested checking out TBLS, a restaurant (not in a private residence but rather in a really old building along Hollywood Road, Central’s Antique Alley) with a private kitchen concept that had received good word of mouth reviews and had a pretty long waiting list as there were only 15 seats, I was all game. So after settling Jack, Chloe and Alexis with home made pizza and tiramisu, we quickly pottered out to Soho on to a party-for-two, our first girls’ night-out.
TBLS or Tablespoon Kitchen Studio is located on the 7F of 31 Hollywood Road in Central (tel: +852 2544 3433).
It is located in Soho and along Hollywood Road’s Antiques Street. Right across a pub called The Wheel, you will see the entrance to this building which has rather obscure signage but it looks like the stairwell entrance to someone’s home.
Same feeling as you get into the rickety blue formica-plastered lift!. Felt like I was visiting my Aunt or Grandma’s 1930s pre-war home.
We press the lift that takes us to the 7th floor!
Thats my friend Debbie pushing open the swing door that greets us at the narrow lobby and behind these doors is TBLS, possible one of the ‘hottest’ private dining kitchen studios in HK. In fact it was voted by HK Tatler as one of the Top 5 Private Kitchens in 2011 in Hong Kong!
Liked what greeted us – a small restaurant with seats for about 15.
Debbie had booked the two seats by the bar counter – smart move as that’s where you can see the food being prepared.
There is a small terrace area outside
for alfresco dining but it was too warm for us to venture out to check it out although I am sure that it would have been perfect on an Autumn evening!
I took these shots (below and above) from their website!
That’s Debbie in the far left corner, getting seated at our primo-spot!
View of the open kitchen from where we were seated!
The menu for the evening that greeted us was a 6 course event (all in small portions) and the theme for the evening was American Supermarket Foods hence note in the menu all the supermarket favs that I stock up for my 7 year old except prepared haute cuisine style by the Chef – Que Vinh Dang who is Vietnamese who has lived and cooked for many years in New York.
His philosophy is simple: to bring great comfort food and fine-dining ingredients together in terms of preparation and presentation so that guests can enjoy familiar dishes in a new and exciting way.
Apparently Chef Que changes the menu seasonally and there is no ala carte menu to choose from – each order is from the set menu menu served and you can take a look at the menu on his website http://tbls-kitchenstudio.com/ as it changes seasonally. Drinks are ordered separately from the HK$680 per person price tag. Our meal eventually worked out to about HK$780 or around S$135 after we added a bottle of San Pellegrino to share and tax.
Chef Que personally presents and explains the dishes.
This particular dish is a tribute to Hamburger Helper and the Sloppy Joe! The mushroom soup was divine, full of taste and flavour.
My only regret in this meal was that the Mac and Cheese came at the start because Debbie and I started to get very ‘full’ after this one dish which although was served in a small bowl really filled us up and I could not finish the pork which was really good and came towards the end.
This was a yummy Skate fish served with Pea Shoot Salad and Green Peas with a carrot sauce and tartare sauce… very yummy and a tribute to American Supermarket TV Dinners.
The next was a tribute to Canned Pork and Beans and this was a perfectly tender and juicy piece of Pork Cheek glazed with Maple syrup served on a bed of white beans with sauce. Delish!
The palette cleanser came next
- a tangy and lovely Strawberry and Lemonade Sorbet
And then Chef Que started plating the dessert, deftly applying a butterfly design with chocolate sauce – this was a tribute to his five years in pastry in the US.
There were two desserts on the menu - joy!
My Banana Moon Pie served with a dash of bourbon and homemade Vanilla Ice Cream!
This was the Macaroon Sandwich with Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream and a thin sliver of home made Raspberry Jam (which you can just see sandwiched in between the top layer of the Macaron and the ice cream – a heavenly combination of flavours!
Us at the end of the meal after busily chatting with Chef Que Vinh Hang about food, New York and babies – yes, he has just become a proud first-time father to a beautiful baby girl, Scarlet (love that name).
We definitely plan to come back and maybe this time with the boys for Chef Que’s Summer inspired menu which he changes out to in about two to three weeks time which will feature a lot of tangy summery flavours, lighter-eats and has a Cold Soup (my favourite) … I can’t wait to savour…
My little tribute to our night out at TBLS!
TBLS or Tablespoon Kitchen Studio is at 7F, 31 Hollywood Road, Central, HongKong. Tel: (tel: +852 2544 3433)
and website: http://tbls-kitchenstudio.com/