Kym’s in the City: Andrew Wong’s new restaurant bursts with flavours
Kym’s is the new restaurant from chef Andrew Wong, the man behind michelin-starred Chinese sensation A Wong in Victoria. It’s set over two floors within the brand new Bloomberg Arcade, and when you step in you immediately get cool vibes from the brilliant design – a cherry blossom tree sits behind a semi-circular, alluring bar, and tables with smart-looking guests are situated below and above – the open kitchen’s scents and an overall busy environment.
Wong wanted to offer simple Chinese classics, heavily based on the roasting techniques and sweet-and-sour flavours. It comes off as a perfect place for a casual lunch but also cocktails and snacks right after work.
We sampled some of the small plates – all priced around £6 each. First the rice cracker with seaweed and 1908 ketchup; the visual side is very important at Kym’s and this big rice disk looks like an obvious best-seller. We also had Lotus Chips, Fermented Chilli Bean, Honey, Spring Onion and Sweet and Sour Pork Ribs. The latter is a good example of what they do here: dishes which pack an intense flavour without being too greasy. We continued with Sichuanese Spiced Aubergine, which was very filling, with some almost chocolaty notes. Despite being simple and punchy, plates maintain a degree of refinement, especially aesthetically.
For mains we had Crispy Duck served with pancakes and also a paintbrush to make your own dish. The duck was a little too dry but it didn’t fail when it came to taste and playfulness: you can literally build and be proud of your pancake. Three Treasure, which is made of a trio of classic meat cuts that you can also order individually, was a good highlight: crispy pork belly, soy chicken, Iberico pork char sui. Each of the meats was tender and juicy, making for a very welcome option. They come with three sauces and a bowl of rice.
A Chinatown Pineapple Bun, at just £6, was an apt ending for this journey through Chinese dishes. The contrast between the acidity of the pineapple and the comfort of the bun – crunchy on the outside, softer on the inside – completed by the custard, was very pleasantly fulfilling. The presentation, though, needed some refinement.
Kym’s is a very welcome addition to the casual dining scene. It can serve many purposes, especially for a smart clientele who can attend regularly without spending too much money. Andrew Wong confirmed his status as a flagbearer for modern Chinese cuisine.★★★★★Food ▮▮▮▮▮▮▮▮▮▮Drinks ▮▮▮▮▮▮▮▮▮▮Service ▮▮▮▮▮▮▮▮▮▮
Filippo L’Astorina, the Editor
To book a table at Kym’s, 19 Bloomberg Arcade London EC4N 8AR, call 020 7220 7088 or visit their website here.