There seems to be about a hundred and one restaurants opening in Hong Kong these days, but rarely are they born of friendship, or should I say Kinship? American and British chefs Chris Grare and Arron Rhodes, who you may remember from Lily & Bloom and Gough’s on Gough respectively, have banded together to create Kinship, a restaurant that champions the concept of putting family first. Now, we’re not just talking about their new world cuisine with soulful, rustic-style dishes designed for sharing with family and friends, but also how they aim to forge sustainable relationships with family-run farms and suppliers. Not only does it help support smaller and more local communities and economies, but it also brings in high quality ingredients and the freshest produce possible, such as home-grown carrots from the New Territories, and salmon from the Faroe Islands.
At Kinship, a relaxed design runs throughout — providing the kind of atmosphere that is easily anyone’s favourite kind of neighbourhood eatery. Shades of aegean blue, teal seating, warm wood, and bottle green tiles add a splash of colour to the industrial ceilings and partial slate floor. Here, a brotherly relationship that spans seven years sees Grare running the kitchen while Rhodes manages front of house, and puts a creative menu — inspired by both chefs’ American and English backgrounds and travel experiences — on the table.
The a la carte menu has four elements; appetisers (or ‘first flavours’), main course (‘main event’), sides (‘bits & pieces’) and dessert (‘sweet treats’). To start, highlights include a velvety and rich Chicken liver mousse with rehydrated raisin relish and grated horseradish, paired with crumbly homemade oat crackers, along with a Grass-fed Australian beef tartare that has an Asian twist of Bali bean salad, roasted peanut sauce and a fresh lime sambal. The Almost moules frites are a must-try too; where tangy mollusk morsels are soaked in shellfish broth and served with crunchy potato.
For the main event, it’s worth sharing a few dishes in which the Giant duck ravioli will please, and surprise, most. It’s filled with juicy slow-cooked duck leg, and a Chinese lo shui (master sauce) in a scallion and ginger cream, for a flavourful pasta with a favourable Asian accent. The Spiced seafood stew is another crowd pleaser with its smoky charred lobster meat, soft black cod, sofrito and spätzle (a type of German egg pasta). This can all be complemented by sides of creamy Mashed potato seasoned with oregano and bay leaf, or our favourite way to eat brussel sprouts, fried and drenched in a tangy ponzu.
A sweet ending can be found with the most simple but nostalgia-inducing bowl of homemade Mr. Whippy ice cream, mixed with chocolate brownie bites, crackles of peanut brittle and salted caramel sauce, or the Chocolate and coconut tart topped with a pandan-infused mousse, sweet kaya jam and toasted coconut.
An All American (or is it British?) Weekend Brunch Experience
Of course, a Hong Kong restaurant wouldn’t be fully complete without a weekend brunch and thus, Kinship have launched their own alternating brunch series. Inspired by the two Chef’s childhood memories, it will rotate between The American Menu and The British Menu, every weekend.
The American Brunch Menu by Grare will take care of all the US classics. Think homemade biscuits with Southern-style sausage gravy, soft-scrambled eggs with Chef’s signature Cajun seasoning, and the American breakfast dish of corned beef hash with caramelised onions. Thereafter you can choose a main dish such as Hot and sweet fried chicken and waffles, polenta and fried prawn with pickled jalapeño sour cream, or stack them up high with fluffy pancakes served with crispy bacon, peanut butter and maple syrup. Boardwalk-style desserts including ice cream sundae with all the fixin’s, drizzled with caramel sauce, and a carnival-ready funnel cake with powdered sugar are sure to satisfy your sweet tooth.
Across the pond to The British Brunch Menu by Rhodes and you’ll find a traditional Sunday roast. Begin with a very English pea and ham soup, along with a chicken and truffle terrine, accompanied by Nanna’s piccalili (pickled vegetable relish). Then tuck into a choice of Roast Devonshire beef sirloin with crispy Yorkshire pudding, or Baked Norwegian salmon with savoury shellfish cream. It’s a family matter with the sides too, where Mum’s roast potatoes and Grandma’s gravy make an appearance. Not forgetting dessert, a buttery Bakewell tart with summer berries and Tonka cream is the ultimate English finale.
Which brunch reigns supreme — you decide.
Kinship Weekend Brunch: HK$388 + 10% per person; available Saturdays and Sundays from 11:30pm to 4:00pm
+ HK$198 free-flow Cava, house red and white wines, beer, and the choice between American (Arnold Palmer) and British (Gin & Tonic) cocktails
Kinship, 3rd Floor, LL Tower, 2 Shelley Street, Central; +852 2520 0899