One of the most highly-anticipated restaurant openings of last year (particularly after delays that set the launch back several months), Kym’s is the second restaurant from acclaimed chef Andrew Wong.
Named after his parents’ former restaurant in Victoria, Kym’s resides within the Bloomberg Arcade in London City, with the likes of Vinoteca, Ahi Poké and Caravan for company, so you can expect the suit-wearing city crowd to make up much of the regular clientele.
While Wong is famed for his dim sum at his own Victoria restaurant A.Wong, Kym’s is more about roasting meats, which is evident by the sight of the open kitchen, with the meats hanging in full view.
The kitchen is brimming with chefs at work, but you have to look past the bar with its towering cherry blossom tree to notice it at the back of the restaurant.
My companion and I arrived early, so we pulled up a couple of seats at the bar and ordered a yuzu negroni each, made with yuzu-infused sake, rose vermouth and Campari (£9).
Before finishing our drinks, our table was ready, and we were led to the corner of the dining room to sit parallel to those roasting meats.
With every table laid with paper menus, our waitress advised on specific dishes to order by drawing little crosses against each.
By the time we’d got around to visiting Kym’s, it had been open for a few months, and the dishes that came highly recommended from one member of the national press differed from another, to the point that it seems to become more about personal preference.
Taking roughly one from each section of the menu, we opted for the rice cracker with seaweed and 1908 ketchup (£3) from the small plates; French beans with chilli, spring onion and black pepper (£6) from the fritters; crispy duck pancakes with plum sauce (£18) from the share options; the Three Treasures of crispy pork belly, soy chicken and Iberico pork char sui (£20) from the classics; and a side of steamed rice (£2.50).
The rice cracker, beans and duck all arrived within a few minutes of each other and we were already struggling for space on our table for two.
The rice cracker gave the most satisfying sound when broken apart and being able to pull the duck apart yourself enhanced the sharing aspect of the meal, although our waitress did offer to do it for us. The French beans, with their light batter and kick of chilli, made eating one of your five a day much more fun.
We were already feeling the effect of these dishes supressing our hunger, with a fear that the Three Treasures would be wasted once it arrived.
Fortunately, there’s something about a plate of food you’ve been longing to experience for so long, that when it landed it on our table, it gave us a sort of second wind.
The sweet succulence of all three meats made the dish easy to devour with nothing left on the plate. I can’t help but wish we’d have opted for the knife-cut noodles as an accompaniment over the rice, but hey ho.
While the food and cocktails are very much inspired by the flavours and traditions of Cantonese cuisine, the wine menu is limited to typical regions such as France, Spain and Africa. We went for a bottle of the South African Cederberg sauvignon blanc (£42), the lightness of which complemented the flavours of our food.
The options are so plentiful and enticing at Kym’s, that we had no room for the one remaining section: sweets. Perhaps this is why there are only two options. For those that do fancy dessert, there’s a Chinatown pineapple bun with custard (£6) or a selection of ice cream (also £6) to choose from.
I have a very big sweet tooth and even I’d just order something else from the previous sections. Could I cheekily return just to try the pork and shrimp bao bao (£12) or the Xian City lamb burger served with steamed buns (£14)? I’d definitely consider it.