If you’ve feared venturing east of Kowloon’s central districts and into the wilds of Kwun Tong, you’ve never made it to Sam Tse Kitchen, a Chinese restaurant and most definitely a less-than-usual proposition in Hong Kong’s burgeoning private dining scene. Set in the unlikely environs of the Kwun Tong Industrial Centre Phase 3, Sam Tse is setting the pace for the redevelopment of the area into a dining and entertainment destination – albeit one that’s hidden four floors up.
The number of private dining restaurants in Hong Kong grows daily, but it’s the innovative establishments like Sam Tse Kitchen that get the blogosphere buzzing. This particular private dining institution specialises in contemporary Chinese cuisine (the Sichuan cucumber, Jiangnan ribs, and Hokkien fried rice come recommended), but given that it’s a safe bet to count on quality cuisine being served at this trending form of exclusive restaurant, it’s often the curious location that gets the city’s gourmands out of their usual haunts and over to Kwun Tong, in the eastern part of the Kowloon peninsula.
Sam Tse is set on the fourth floor of the Kwun Tong Industrial Centre Phase 3, behind Kwun Tong Road, and the industrial vibe has been preserved within, albeit softened at the edges somewhat so you’re not sitting on and staring at brutalist concrete. Indeed, salad vegetables are planted at the entrance so you enter and leave feeling fresh and green rather than grey and dreary. As for the name, sam tse means third sister in Cantonese, and indeed Cantonese is the regional Chinese cuisine that Sam Tse Kitchen specialises in, while the kitchen itself embodies the hard-working, family-oriented ethos of the Hong Kong people. Expect to find high-quality food at a reasonable price, and visit at your table from the chef, whose attention to detail is sustained by the feedback he receives from his customers. As a private dining restaurant, bookings are essential.