On Saturday I had my first experience of eating in a private kitchen - this dining trend started in Hong Kong in the 90's and has been evolving ever since. A somewhat 'underground' experience of dining where you feel like you are (and in some cases actually will be) eating in someone's living room. I hadn't heard much about this style of dining before, so was very intrigued when invited for my flatmates birthday meal at the Tokyo Chilli House.
This private kitchen is located close to Causeway Bay station exit F, and like many of Hong Kong's best 'secret' places is located in a residential building. We attempted to use the very dodgy looking lift with a pull across gate as suggested in the text, but failed to get it working so took to the stairs instead. We arrived in what very much felt like a dinner party at someone's flat. There were around four parties on smaller tables in the main room, but as we were a bigger party, and had booked in advance, we had the more intimate private room.
Contrary to what the name suggests, the Tokyo Chilli House is actually a Thai restaurant. I can't even remember how many dishes we had but it was enough food to feed all nine of us for days! We were presented with dish after dish of wonderful Thai food, including Tom Yum soup and a Penang crab curry. We paid a set price of $298/head and there's no corkage fee, so we bought a couple of bottles of wine with us. A perfect setting for a celebration.
Reservations essential: +85229150083
Here are some sources recommending private kitchens around Hong Kong (glad to see Tokyo Chilli House making a good few appearances!)
New York Times
Sassy Hong Kong
The Drinks Business