It is sad how misrepresented the traditional Cantonese Chinese cuisine has been outside China over the years. In cities all over the world centuries old cuisine has turned into cheap fast-food with flavours far away from its original incarnations. Luckily, more and more people outside China start to understand how amazing the genuine cuisine is and one of the best representatives of it is doubtless the Founder and Director of Culinary Yau Tim Lai.
Master Chef Yau Tim Lai was born in Hong Kong in 1949 and he started his cooking career at the age of 17. Chef Choi Lee is considered one of the best Cantonese chefs ever and a legend. Yau Tim Lai and Choi Lee worked together at the banquet department of the Hang Seng Bank for four years before Lee passed away. Chef Lai founded his Tim’s Kitchen in 2000.
It did not take long before Tim’s Kitchen garnered both local and international acclaim for its amazing traditional Cantonese Chinese cuisine. Today Yau Tim Lai has expanded the business and has two additional restaurants, in Shanghai and Macau. The expansion has taken some part of the master chef’s attention, but all the restaurants are managed by his older son Maurice Y M Lai who is the Company Director and Group Managing Director.
Traditional Cantonese is far away from simple fast cooking, some of the dishes have to be preordered at the same time as you make your reservation since they are demanding unusual ingredients and take very long time to prepare and cook. Of course you can go for some delicious dim sum, but we recommend somewhat more extravagance and focus on Tim’s signature dishes like the crystal king prawn, supreme snake bisque, steamed whole fresh crab claw with winter melon and egg white or the deep-fried whole fresh crab claw with peppercorn salt. There are many dishes which are considered exotic for people outside China like the sautéed turtle slices with assorted peppers or the chilled marinated jelly fish, but almost all you order will play nice with your taste buds almost instantly even if you have never had the traditional Cantonese cuisine before.
Tim’s Kitchen is one of the best alternatives for the traditional Cantonese and a must try when you are in Hong Kong or at the other branches in Shanghai and Macau.
Written by Andy