Date of review: January 26, 2017 | Reviewed by: Wilson Fok
The space that formerly housed Sun Tung Lok is now replaced by The Chin’s, (the name a play on ‘The Chinese’), which presents largely Cantonese menu supplemented with regional Chinese dishes. The welcoming entrance and foyer lead guests to an elongated dining space, where tables are laid between an impressive cellar display of wine on one side and a mountain landscape arrangement of mosaic tiles on the other.
The multiple shades of blue on the mosaic match well with the elegant tones of turquoise and teal throughout the space. Settling in the high-backed chairs and dark wood furnishing spread throughout the main dining area, the level of comfort is high despite tables being placed rather close to one another.
Executive chef Ringo Chow’s selection of appetisers offer the best surprise at The Chin’s. Among them is barbecued Kagoshima Chami pork. The tender meat of the Japanese pork is evenly caramelised and sweetly glazed, enhancing the meatiness in every bite.
Marinated pumpkin with plum sauce features pumpkin flesh cut into diamonds. The rust-hued squash is marinated with preserved plums with a touch of orange, a welcoming Western twist that helps refreshing the palate throughout the meal.
Double-boiled pig’s lung soup with ground almonds is a traditional yet complex Cantonese dish with elements that many fail to master—from thoroughly cleaning the offal to using the right proportion of almond puree for the soup. Chef Chow’s version is just right, with tender bits of pig’s lung and bok choy served alongside the velvety soup, lightly laced with almonds but not overpoweringly so.
Marinated pigeon with huadiao wine is well-executed as well. Beautifully carved and displayed, the pigeon is tender throughout, with the rich huadiao wine marinade penetrated into the meat.
The selection of meat dishes demonstrates chef Chow’s prowess in handling different meat cuts as well as execution in poultry as well. The stewed oxtail with red date and carrots in tomato sauce adds dried longans and jujubes into a tomato gravy. The oxtail is fork-tender but the sauce, despite adding dried fruits, fail to stand out in the tomato-based sauce. The crispy spare rib with peppercorn and chilli came highly recommended. The small rack of ribs is juicy underneath its spice-rich crust, best served with chopped sweet peppers. A simple vegetable dish such as stir-fried Chinese yam and gingko nuts with seasonal vegetables is a pleasant addition to the otherwise meat-filled meal. The stir-fried dish, mildly sweet and rich with textures is great against more complex flavours from other mains.
Wine lovers will enjoy seeing an impressiveon selection of wines available at The Chin’s. The establishment showcases an array of champagnes, reds and whites mostly from different regions of France and Italy. Wine by the glass option is appropriate, with three each of red and white and one option for champagne by glass. The Chateau Grand Puy Lacoste 2007 is a medium-full red wine is balanced with a complex fruity profile that smoothly transitions from berries to black cherries and woody tones, a rich wine best paired with braised meat main dishes.
Service at The Chin’s is warm and welcoming, with knowledgeable staff introducing specials with suggestions for portion control. The staff are well-mannered and helpful throughout our visit, although guests should expect extended waiting time for some of the mains. The staff are keen to follow up on orders as well.
A dinner for two including one beverage each rounds up to close to HK$1,000 per person. Service is great and a menu richly filled with classic Chinese dishes that are rarely mastered by other new Chinese establishments. We suggest a larger crowd to enjoy some of the more substantial menu offerings.