Located in Cubus building, directly opposite of the famous Da Domenico restaurant in Hoi Ping Road in Causeway Bay, King's Palace Kitchen takes a contemporary Chinese approach in its decor. With 14 tables, roughly seating around 70 in the main dining area and two large tables in the private dining area, the tables in the restaurant are spaced out. The sofas and chairs are comfortable and King's Palace Kitchen projects a relaxing environment for diners to chat and enjoy their meal. The walls of the restaurants are covered with pictures frames of Chinese emperors and empresses, which resonate with the restaurant’s name.
Serving authentic Cantonese cuisine, King's Palace Kitchen’s menu is filled with home-styled dishes which may seem common and ordinary, yet rarely well-executed. We start with the almond and pig’s lung soup, which is supposedly good for the body and also takes hours of preparation. Prepared with Chinese cabbage, it is a refreshing soup to start off the meal. The soup has a pleasing almond scent and the taste strikes a balance between the different ingredients. As a part of the Cantonese culinary tradition, noodles, vermicelli, congee and rice dishes dominate a major part of the menu. Duly, we sample the crab congee and the supreme shrimp roe tossed noodles. The congee is made with one full crab and the flavours of the crab fully penetrate into the congee base, yet the sweetness still remains in the meat and we can tell that it is definitely crab season. In comparison, the shrimp roe tossed noodles is not much of a surprise. There is a generous proportion of shrimp roe and it uses fish soup for the soup base, but the taste is ordinary and something that you would expect from any restaurant serving Cantonese noodles. To complement the carbs, we order a tomato, lily, fungus and fresh yam dish; a kale hot pot; and a steamed A-grade chicken. The tomato, lily, fungus and fresh yam - claimed as one of the champion dishes at a local culinary competition TV show - is an innovative Cantonese dish full of colours but the flavours fail to astound. Similarly, although the meat of the steamed chicken is smooth and tender and undoubtedly top-grade, the taste was bland. On the other hand, the sizzling kale hot pot is delicious and aromatic. Served with small pieces of meat, garlic and onions, the kale is crispy and perfect with a bowl of plain rice. To finish the meal, we order the stewed egg white with almonds and a pan-fried red bean cake. Both of them were just right in sweetness and the pan-fried red bean cake was very well done with a slightly crispy shell and a warm filling. It is worth noting that the menu dedicates one whole page to dishes which require pre-ordering at least one-day in advance. If diners are planning a special dinner, they are advised to call in a day or two earlier to order and also to check out what’s in season.
King’s Palace Kitchen present home-style Cantonese cuisine in a fine-dining environment, so we expected more from the wine list. It is disappointing with less than ten choices of wine (including champagne, red and white wine) and only one red and one white wine by the glass. Luckily, the two glasses of house wines did complement the dishes well and diners can also bring their own wine for a minimal corkage fee of HK$100 per bottle.
Although the servers look serious and aloof intially, they are actually very attentive to your needs. Like most Cantonese restaurants, once a conversation is initiated, the servers are talkative and happy to go through the dishes with you and give good recommendations.
A dinner for two without any premium ingredients such as abalone or grouper costs about HK$450 per head. Given King’s Palace Kitchen’s location, decor, quality of food and services, this is a reasonable price to pay.