Food + Beverage
There is a restaurant on Hong Kong Island that is a flashback to bygone era. From the dark wood paneling to the red leather sofas to the stonework and the black wrought iron decorative elements, the iconic eatery resembles a traditional gentleman’s club.
Located half a block from Queen’s Road Central on Hong Kong Island, Jimmy’s Kitchen has been serving British colonial fare for nearly nine decades.
The menu at Jimmy’s Kitchen is populated with traditional English dishes such as Calves Liver fried with bacon and sauteed onions, Bangers and Mash with green peas and onion gravy, Steak and Kidney Pie, and crispy beer-battered Fish ‘n Chips.
I head to Jimmy’s Kitchen with a couple of fellow foodies just days before the 20th anniversary of Hong Kong’s return to Chinese sovereignty.
Will the iconic eatery live up to expectations?
Kaos Lam (left) , Alvin Kaka (right), Ivy Tam (second from right), and I settle in for lunch at Jimmy’s Kitchen.
Hot and cold condiments and freshly chucked new season oysters sold a market prices head the menu. Soups, salads, and pasta dishes follow.
But it is the curries that would make a latter-day Rudyard Kipling feel homesick. Some of Jimmy’s curries are served dry or with sauce. Others – such as the Lamb Vindaloo and the Beef Vindaloo – feature a hot and sharp spicy sauce.
What sets the curries at Jimmy’s Kitchen apart from the pack is that they are served with a Chinese New Year style carousel of condiments, which include shaved coconut, dried onion, mango chutney, raisins, peanuts, and mixed pickles.
Plus a pile of papadans!
The menu includes several seafood dishes, a vegetarian dish, several broiled meats, and a host of Jimmy’s Classics, all of which have passed the test of time.
The desserts are pure decadence. Perhaps the most famous is the Baked Alaska – ice cream and fruit sponge cake coated in lightly browned Italian meringue and flambéed at your table.
In addition to daily specials is a Traditional British Sunday Roast, which is served at lunch and dinner.
The set meal includesan appetizer, a soup, and a dessert. The main course is Roast USDA Prime Beef Rib on the Bone with a choice of British style thin cut (8 ounces), Hong Kong style cut (10 ounces), or New York style thick cut (12 ounces).
The restaurant is open for lunch and dinner. English breakfasts are served all day. At HK$158, they include streaky bacon, English pork sausages, black pudding, grilled Portobello mushrooms, grilled tomato, fried bread, baked bean, and two eggs -fried or poached.
Classic Prawn and Avocado Cocktail with Thousand Island Dressing – HK$138, English Crab Cake with Tarragon Mayonnaise – HK$136, and Waldorf Salad with Celeriac, Apple, Walnut, and Mayonnaise Dressing – HK92.
Traditional French Onion Soup with Melted Gruyere Cheese – HK$84.
Chicken Madras (dry) – HK$188. As with all of the curries at the restaurant, it is served with a carousel of condiments and papadans.
Pig’s Knuckle (boiled) – HK$228.
Prawn Kiev Filled with Garlic Herb Butter – HK$228.
Tagliatelle Carbonara with Bacon, Fresh Cream, and Paremsan Cheese Sauce – HK$178.
Crème Brulee – HK$68 and Baked Alaska – HK$184.
Kaos, Alvin, Ivy, and I sample a Special Tasting Menu of three appetizers, soup, four main courses, and two desserts on a visit to Jimmy’s Kitchen.
We share the appetizers, the main courses, and the desserts. We each have our own bowl of that hearty French Onion Soupo.
So what do we think of the eatery – and which of the dishes do we like best?
An amazing place. Love the desserts – especially the Baked Alaska.
Some things change, and some things stay the same. This relic from the past has passed the test of time, serving hearty comfort food in very comfortable surroundings.
I particularly like the Pig’s Knuckle with the picked veggies – pure dynamite with that industrial strength English mustard. Tread lightly!
The meat it succulent and sweet with hints of honey. But the star of the show is the Traditional French Onion Soup.
The thick, gooey cheese makes me feel homesick for a French cafe I used to frequent in San Francisco, except I think Jimmy’s version is even better than the soup served at than cafe in San Francisco
Jimmy’s Kitchen – G/F South China Building, 1-3 Wyndham Street, Central, Hong Kong. Telephone: (852) 2526-5293.