Located on the bustling streets of Wyndham Street in Central sits one of the oldest restaurants in Hong Kong. What is great about this establishment is that it has a history of close to 100 years, since its founding in 1928. The uniqueness of Jimmy’s Kitchen not only rest in its age-old recipes, but that it serves one of the rarer types of Hong Kong cuisine… Hong Kong Colonial Cuisine. The restaurant serves dishes that comes from a mix of traditional Cantonese culture blended with the best of British old time cooking.
As you enter the restaurant, you are thrown into nostalgia of old Hong Kong, with wooden awnings and white linen tables, the restaurant has retained a lot of its colonial past with its aesthetics. The entire place is decorated with classy wooden furniture almost evoking the feeling of walking into a 1920’s speakeasy.
Jimmy’s Kitchen has a long history, and was established by Aaron Landau, who entered into a business partnership with Jimmy Landau, the original owner of Jimmy’ Kitchen in Shanghai. The restaurant began serving its cuisine during the 1920’s to address a need for American and British food in Asia to serve the American and British soldiers who were stationed there. Jimmy’s Kitchen today is run by General Manager Adrian Kavanagh and Restaurant Manager William Lo. When asked on what their philosophy is when it comes to cooking and what sets it apart from other restaurants in Hong Kong, Kavanagh stated: –
“What sets Jimmy’s apart is that we stand to our tradition. It is unique in that it’s a family-oriented place. The staff that work here have been here a long time, which is very unique in itself. They understand the restaurant inside out. Our main clientele here is usually the business lunch crown from Mondays to Fridays, but evenings are usually more casual. Families that work in Central would go home, get dressed up and come over for dinner. We are unashamedly nostalgic, and that is what attracts people. With most of the western crowd, they favour our Chicken Supreme “Kiev”, whilst for most of our Asian patrons, the choice is usually the Chicken A La King. The restaurant also has an ambience of privacy which is why people like coming here.” Adrian Kavanagh, General Manager of Jimmy’s Kitchen Hong Kong.
Jimmy’s Kitchen Menu
Jimmy’s Kitchen serves British colonial cuisine, and to those aware of than concept, you will find that some of the dishes do feel very familiar. You will generally find many dishes served with a side of rice, but with some heavily influenced western cooking. Some of their more popular dishes would include their Chicken A La King, a creamy chicken dishes served with a side of rice, and their Jimmy’s Beef Stroganoff.
Jimmy’s Kitchen’s Black Board Menu
Jimmy’s also have a black board menu that changes weekly, with dishes from their cook book of a long history. The black board menu is changed weekly and highlights their specialties for patrons to try, so it is essential before going to see what’s on their black board.
The first course, an appetiser, was the Home Cured Swedish Gravlax, consisting of cured salmon with honey dill, mustard sauce, red onion and toast. The dish was light and tasty, with a light sourness to the cured salmon, but not overpowering. The dish went well served with the honey dill.
The second course, an appetiser, was the Jimmy’s House-made Chicken Liver & Bacon Paté, consisting of chicken liver and bacon paté served with Muscat jelly and toast. The liver was smooth and delicate, with the Muscat jelly giving it a little punch of intense sweetness, while the crisp toast gave it a nice contrast of texture. A must try if ever visiting.
The third course, an appetiser, was the Juicy Watermelon, Feta & Hazelnut Salad, consisting of huge chunks of intensely sweet watermelon, served with feta and hazelnuts, a great combination, all pulled together with a light lemon dressing.
The fourth course, an appetiser, was the Potted Ham Hock & Toast, consisting of seasoned ham hock served with a side of British Branston pickle. This traditional English dish is a nod to its heritage of colonial cuisine, with the flavourful chunks of meat complimented by the umami heavy and sweet Branston’s pickle. And old but good recipe.
The fifth course, a main course, was the White Crab Meat Linguini, consisting of fresh crab meat served with cherry tomatoes, chilli, and first pressed olive oil. The pasta was al dente, but the highlight of this dish was really how the crab was able to shine in its briny sweetness. The delicate flavour does not get loss as the seasoning was very light, letting the ingredient shine.
The sixth course, a main course, was the Jimmy’s Chicken A La King, consisting of chicken cooked with pearl onions, sweet peppers and a creamy sherry sauce. The dish had a very heavy disposition, but not overly creamy. The chicken pieces were tender, but the highlight was really the sauce and the sweet pearl onions. You can understand why this age-old recipe is a fan favourite.
The seventh course, a main course, was the Jimmy’s Sweet & Sour Pork, consisting of pork served with peppers and onions in a vinegar and tomato-based sauce. This dish is the epitome of colonial cuisine and can be found throughout South East Asia.
The eighth course, a dessert, was the Apple Poke Pie, consisting of apple pie served with creamy vanilla custard.
The ninth course, a dessert, was the Baked Alaska, consisting of ice cream and fruit sponge cake coated in Italian meringue and lightly browned then flambéd at the table with Cointreau. This was probably the highlight of the meal, with its theatricality and sweet flavours. The sponge cake was nice and bouncy, with layers of ice cream and Italian meringue adding to its luxury. Another definitely must try.
The Jimmy’s Kitchen Experience
Jimmy’s Kitchen is one of those restaurants that serves very unapologetically British colonial food, and it is seen from the entire experience delivered. Whether you’re looking for a nice steak or something to go with rice, this place has it all. When asked what experience the restaurant is trying to deliver to its patrons, Kavanagh quipped: –
“We take an immense pride in our food. We are so fortuned to have staff who have worked here for a long time. This helps us ensure our patrons have a good experience everything they come in. When they sit down we know what drinks they already want. We also occasionally cater to off menu items like our Singapore Fried Noodles. Back in the days, there were at least 120 dishes on the menu, which recipes we still keep and is present with our ever-changing blackboard menu.”
So there you have it, if you’re looking to try something that is a bit different, with the intent of tasting a dish that your grandfather probably tasted, do give this eatery a try.
For more information about Hong Kong, see our Travel Guide: Things To Do In Hong Kong.
G/F South China Building,
1-3 Wyndham Street,
+852 2526 5293
12.00 pm to 3.00pm;
6.00 pm to 11.00 pm
| PHOTOGRAPHY BY: PANDA PHOON, NICHOLAS NG & JIMMY'S KITCHEN | WEBSITE: JIMMY'S KITCHEN |