Although there are more and more healthy eateries to be found in HK, most offer either takeaway or a very casual café-style vibe. Sheung Wan’s The Kinnet Café has recently rebranded to The Restaurant by The Kinnet, offering a brand new breakfast, lunch and dinner menu in a comfortable and inviting setting.
I had previously reviewed the restaurant before the rebrand and thoroughly enjoyed it. I did, however, find the concept of eating in an “active ageing centre” – i.e. a gym for the elderly – a little strange and have to say I hadn’t been back since. The Restaurant by The Kinnet, although in the exact same location as before, feels entirely separate from the wellness centre (which now, by the way, welcomes people of all ages!) and, with its sprawling outdoor terrace, seems like a little oasis in the heart of Sheung Wan.
The Restaurant by The Kinnet still serves healthy food, yet the menu is somewhat more extensive now. The nutritional content of about three or four dishes is provided on the dinner menu, which is good, but it did leave me wondering about the other dishes. We started with the pan-fried crab cakes. Whilst often crab cakes can be packed full of mashed potato to flesh them out, these were lovely and light, served with grilled baby asparagus and a tasty wasabi yoghurt dressing that was again much lighter than its mayonnaise counterpart.
The Moroccan lamb meatballs, simmered in a fragrant cinnamon and tomato sauce, were delicious and hearty, without feeling too heavy and rich.
I also enjoyed the sautéed prawns, which were lovely and plump, smothered in a herby tomato sauce with chunks of feta cheese, of which I wished there had been more.
I was slightly disappointed by the white wine poached clams as I felt that they lacked flavour and there wasn’t nearly enough of the broth. Had they been swimming in it, perhaps the clams themselves might have been more exciting, but as they were, they didn’t do it for me.
I hadn’t expected to be impressed by the rather dull sounding vegetable casserole, and yet this was incredible. Sweet vegetables were piled high with stringy mozzarella cheese and a rich tomato sauce that warmed right through to the core.
The Chicken Paillard, was basically a spinach and rocket salad with a grilled chicken breast. Although the chicken itself was a little on the dry side (this happens far too often with chicken breast), it was a very tasty and light dish that carries only 330 calories.
My favourite of the main courses was the seared cod, served with avocado salsa and a warm kale and spinach salad. This one is only 349 calories and I did think the portion size a little small for its $180 price tag. I’d be happy with a slightly larger portion with 400 calories for the same price.
Since our first choice of ox tongue curry was unavailable, we were recommended to try the stewed beef cheeks, but I can’t for the life of me think why. The beef, though satisfyingly tender, had absolutely zero flavour, and neither could I detect any flavour in the clear broth with celery, carrot and barley. In my opinion this dish carries 462 completely wasted calories.
The Restaurant by The Kinnet, just as before, serves a selection of “healthier” desserts, with gluten-free and low GI options available. In full pre-wedding mode, I had to turn down even the “healthiest” of these, but I have it on good authority that the chocolate almond tart was exceptional.
Prices, on the most part, are pretty fair, with most starters under or around $100, and mains mostly under $150. The Restaurant by The Kinnet is a lovely little place that does deserve to be noted as a place to go when looking for a tasty, healthy meal in more of a restaurant setting. Though not all dishes were notable, the majority made up for it and made it definitely worth a repeat visit. The restaurant also has a beautiful private room that can be booked out for parties or events.
The Restaurant by The Kinnet
3/F, 33 Hillier Street
Tel: +852 3968 7623