Friday, September 30, 2011

5R - private kitchen

Last Wednesday I had a late lunch with my friends as the latter were on duty (volunteer jobs) and finished their service at 2pm.  We went to 5R a private kitchen run by Kenneth and Edith Chan. The couple opened their first restaurant in North Point (Jupiter Street) in 2007 and a few years later moved to Tai Po. 4 months ago they came back to Hong Kong Island.  

The venue is a bit tricky to find but very well located.  Large windows cover one side of the dining room and allow for the natural light to radiate through. Being located in the heart of Wanchai I was pleasantly surprised to find such a bright place and no building obstructing the view. It felt like having lunch outdoors.

The dining rooms' view of the plaza

Kenneth Chan Leung-chong is the chef and Edith is taking care of the customers. She is a pleasant, friendly and talkative woman. She is also the mother of 5 kids. Yes 5!  When my friends and I asked Edith what did the name 5R stood for we were told that {if I understood clearly as the conversation was in Cantonese} 5 stood for their number of children and R for restaurant. 
Edith and Kenneth had 3 girls at the time they were in North Point thus the name of the restaurant was 3R, then came a 4th child and since last year another boy joined them.  Thus 5R!  My friends and I could not resist asking Edith: “When will the name become 6R?” To my surprise she said that it was complicated in terms of name registration formalities. I would have thought this would be relatively easy compared to having a 6th child! I can only say that Edith is an amazing lady, full of energy.

We started with a cream of tomato soup served with homemade squid ink bread.

Homemade Squid Ink Bread

I forgot to take a photo of the soup. We were quite hungry as it was almost 3pm when we started eating. We had chatted a long time before ordering! The bread was piping hot and so yummy! {The recipe is in Kenneth’s book “Party Guide” and I will try to make it.} You know I love bread… more than desserts! 

Then we shared the main dishes.

Mussels with white wine and cream sauce. I forgot the name on the menu but it must be Mouclade. At home I usually omit the cream and do a simpler version called “moules à la marinière” or “sailor’s mussels”.  

Mussels in white wine and cream sauce
Green leaves and fresh fruits salad with orange reduction sauce. The dressing was a bit too sweet for my liking but I liked the after-taste of olive oil. The frisée and rocket leaves as well as the peach and orange slices were very fresh and tasty.

Green leaves and fresh fruits salad
Lamb rack, and Grilled Kurubuta (kurubuta literally means black pig in Japanese).  Both meats were tender and juicy. I think it was the first time I tried black pig. The taste is stronger than pork - pink (?) pigs.  What I liked most was the potatoes and veggies served as accompaniment. The potatoes were very tender and not too oily. They had been first partially cooked in boiling water, and then pan-fried.

Lamb rack with sautéed veggies
Grilled Kurubuta
Pan-fried potatoes

Then, it was dessert time! We started with what it looked like a soufflé. In fact, it was a hot cheese cake served in small individual ramekins. This was really delicious. I thought there was ricotta cheese in as the taste was stronger than cream cheese. But it seems that cream cheese has a tangier flavour when it is eaten hot. Again I forgot to take a photo. I was in a hurry to try this little hot cake! Then, Tiramisu , and Apple Crumble with vanilla ice cream. The crumble was made with crushed brown cookies and had a different texture and taste than the usual mixture of flour, butter and sugar. Very yummy! I took a photo but I don’t like it …so no photo! (But you know how a crumble looks like, don’t you?)


We enjoyed our desserts with fresh brewed coffee while continuing chatting. Lovely lunch with friends!

Note: Photos taken with my iPhone.

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