September 2017 Update: The Kinnet has now closed down.
The Restaurant by The Kinnet is a healthy hideout tucked away within the compounds of a lush holistic wellness retreat center right in the bustling Sheung Wan district. It is The Kinnet Café reimagined, with a whole new upgrade on the menu. We recently sampled their bevvy of wholesome dishes, part of their new Wellness Menu, and we were lucky enough to be accompanied by the talent behind the food: dietician Gordon Cheung and executive chef Sing Lau. Both Cheung and Lau collaborate on every item on the menu, working together to reinforce the Restaurant’s mission: to serve delicious, nutritious food that does not compromise on taste or substance. Every dish has its own healthful purpose, food that packs a seriously nourishing punch.
We started with the chicken paillard, favorite lunch choice of Manhattan’s female elite, and a perfect choice for a light, yet filling lunch. Paillard is a typically French method of cooking that involves pounding a boneless piece of meat, usually chicken but also veal or pork, into a thin cutlet for quick cooking. The Kinnet’s version is flattened out to about half a centimeter thick and came out very moist. Paired with a leafy salad consisting of baby spinach, rocket leaves, red cabbage and sprinkled with Parmesan cheese, the dish is packed with protein, not to mention flavor, without any heaviness.
Seared Cod Fillet
Next came the seared cod fillet atop a juicy avocado salsa that consisted of diced tomatoes, shallots, mint, shallots and a splash of lemon juice. The fish was perfectly cooked: crispy on the outside and soft and flaky on the inside. Cheung made a point about the dish’s healthy fat profile: you get the brain food omega-3 fatty acids from the fish and plenty of heart-healthy unsaturated fats from the avos.
Stewed Beef Cheeks
The stewed beef cheeks were meltingly tender with rich, deep flavors, the meat served in a broth of soaked barley, carrots and celery. This dish is the warm hug you need in the middle of a winter’s day, or anytime you feel a cold coming on. Simple, comforting flavors, the slow-cooked cheeks are packed with immune boosting and joint-supporting gelatin- ideal for those hitting the gym on the regular.
Vegetarian Wholewheat Penne
For those who think pasta can’t be healthy, the Kinnet’s wholewheat vegetarian penne will certainly defy expectations. Full of heart-healthy fiber, the wholewheat pasta is coated in sun-dried tomato pesto and lightly sautéed with an array of Mediterranean flavors including zucchini, eggplant, onions, pine nuts and a sprinkling of Parmesan cheese. This is definitely more than helping towards your five a day, and eating such a wide range of vegetables and colors will ensure your diet is rich in vitamins and antioxidants. Best of all, it’s delicious.
The vegetable curry is another must-try. Chef Sing incorporates a variety of regional ingredients like lemongrass, turmeric, lemon leaf, and coconut milk and coconut palm sugar for a sort of pan-Asian flavour that is full of flavour and spice. The curry is full of cruciferous veggies like cauliflower, broccoli and kale, all of which are high in phyto-chemicals, but also carrots, sweet corn, eggplant and cherry tomatoes, served atop fluffy brown rice.
Baked Salmon Fillet
The baked salmon fillet was another winning dish. One thing the Kinnet has down is how to cook a piece of fish. As with the cod, the salmon is prepped to perfection, in this case, seasoned with thyme and oven-baked for a few minutes before being covered in house-made salsa verde, a blend of pesto and capers and served alongside sauteed spinach and roasted carrots. There’s no beating salmon’s nutritional profile with its ideal ratio of protein and healthy fat.
The Restaurant by The Kinnet has a great ambience: it’s a relaxing space that feels miles away from the city’s hustle and bustle (while still being a stone’s throw from an MTR station). We especially enjoyed the ample outdoor balcony. Another pro? The Restaurant is open from 11.30am until 4 pm! It can be so difficult to find a healthy spot for a sit-down lunch that stays open past 3pm. So many of the healthier options in town are a take-away and/or self-serve affair. It’s nice to be able to sit down and be served. All in all, it’s an ideal spot for a nourishing meal during a busy day. We love!
All photos courtesy of Green Queen.