Kinship: Elevated family-style dining in the heart of Central
31 Jul 2019
Address 3/F LL Tower, 2 Shelley St, Central
No matter where in the world you come from, food and family have the power to transcend differences in language and culture. The spirit of togetherness is the guiding force at Kinship, which opened in Central's revamped LL Tower in March. A collaboration between chefs Chris Grare (fomerly of Lily & Bloom) and Arron Rhodes (who opened the stellar Gough's on Gough before taking the reins at Aqua Group's Tai Kwun fine diner Statement), the clue is very much in the name at Kinship: simple, straightforward fare that the chefs hope gives diners the same fuzzy feeling they get from a Sunday roast.
Casual and Cosy
In line with its unpretentious fare, Kinship is not the kind of place where you have to sit upright and know which fork to use for each dish - it's comfortable, casual and very cosy. The guiding ethos of family first translates to an interior reminiscent of an family home, with raw unfinished textures on the tabletops illuminated by warm pendant lights re-creating the atmosphere and charm of a small-town neighbourhood eatery. The seating layout and sharing tables also make it fit for larger, family-style dining.
WOM Tip: For couples looking to get a romantic night-out, Kinship can get a little noisy so be wary.
Honest and unpretentious
With the chefs’ combined culinary experience and expertise, guests can expect dishes that don't hold back on flavour. Dishes are carefully crafted and deceptively intricate, making use of premium produce sourced from all over the globe, with more than a little nod to locally grown ingredients as well. We had the Family Meal ($488), which includes two appetizers, a choice of main and one dessert, a well-priced option considering the quality and portion size of the dishes.
Appetizers were impressive. The chicken liver mousse and burnt onion risotto were expertly executed, with the chefs turning hearty and potentially heavy flavours and textures into dishes that are light and not so overwhelming.
The chicken liver mousse is smooth and creamy but not too dense, making it an appropriate starter. With an extra layer of sweetness provided by an rehydrated raisin relish, the flavours are rounded nicely with the accompanying house-made oat crackers.
The burnt onion risotto, meanwhile, is perfect for sharing. Here, the perfectly cooked carb is given extra depth with a crumbed, slow-poached egg. Considering that the dish has a lot of different elements, the flavours blend together really well, and aren't overwhelming at all.
For mains, the sticky BBQ pork belly in dashi, edamame & sugar snaps and shiitake is the perfect analogy for the chefs’ partnership; great on their own but even better together. The broth acts as perfect counter to the meat, which retains a thin, crispy outer layer while remaining tender inside. It's a hearty dish that speaks to the wider offer here: food that's good for the palate and for the soul.
Leave room for the Mr Whippy ice cream mixed with actual chocolate brownie cubes and peanut brittle. This sinfully delicious take on a comfort classic ends things on a high - and you'll be pleased to know that there is indeed a Mr whippy machine in the kitchen, too.
Warm and sustainable
Service at Kinship is authentic and welcoming, and they make guests feel truly at home. It's often said that home is where the heart is, but we tend to think that home is often where the food is. Kinship shows that it can be both.