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Chef Andrew Wong at his new Chinese restaurant Kym’s in the Bloomberg Arcade, London. It is the follow-up to Michelin star dim sum restaurant A. Wong in Victoria.

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What London’s Most Creative Chinese Restaurateur Did Next

Andrew Wong has opened Kym’s at Bloomberg Arcade, following his Michelin-starred A. Wong in Victoria

After an eponymous Michelin-starred restaurant, what does one of the city’s most universally admired chefs do next?

Andrew Wong, Eater London’s chef of the year in 2017, answers this very particular question with Kym’s, his newly-opened restaurant in the City’s Bloomberg Arcade development. Sharing real estate with lauded udon noodle specialists Koya City, and the raucous bravado of Brigadiers, the Indian army mess tavern by the ever influential JKS Restaurants group, this is big-ticket. Where A. Wong in Victoria, evolved into one of the city’s best Chinese restaurants, principally through the immaculate execution of modern dim sum, at Kym’s there is expectation: both culinary and financial.

This restaurant is a two-part paean: one, to the historic art and craft of Chinese roasted meats; two, to the established Chinese immigrant chefs and restaurateurs who have mapped the terrain of Chinese cookery in London: the terrain that allows a restaurant like Kym’s to open with such anticipation. In July, Wong told Eater London that:

Like so much of Chinese gastronomy, it’ll be deceptively simple food with a big emphasis on the ancient craft of Chinese ‘roasting’ meats — and that includes poaching [chicken with soya].

For me though, it’s also about celebrating and paying my respects to the contribution the Chinese community has had over the past 100 years on British gastronomy. I think we’ve all evolved and I want to offer casual Chinese food that is something away from what guests have come to expect.

Crispy duck pancakes at Kym’s in the Bloomberg Arcade restaurant development, London - the follow-up to Michelin-starred dim sum restaurant A. Wong in Victoria
Crispy duck / Pancakes / Plum — to share
Samuel Ashton

The restaurant, through some apparently contrived branding efforts, was originally going to be called ‘Madame Wong’. That was rejected in favour of Kym’s, named for the restaurant Wong’s parents opened in Pimlico in 1985 and where he worked as a teenager; the premises that became A. Wong in 2012. His honesty and ambition, combined with fierce devotion to detail, is what makes Kym’s what it is: a restaurant that honours the technical sophistication of a meat cookery tradition some 2,500 years old with an oven that at first melted kitchen the floor, not just to adhere to that tradition, but to serve food optimised for the City customer. A customer who in theory has less time to spend in a restaurant. Thus, minimal preparation à la minute; quality achieved through the application of long processes ahead of time; fast-turnaround for high volume. The third of those, Wong admits, is largely in debt to Chris Miller of White Rabbit, the fund which in Kym’s sees an opportunity for roll-out — ‘the Dishoom for Chinese food’ as it was originally described.

It’s true that Kym’s is one of the most anticipated London openings of 2018. With anticipation left behind, and execution in the spotlight, Wong’s critical acclaim rightly precedes him. Here’s a closer look at how his vision translates to a new style of restaurant, where promising early signs indicate that the chef’s self-assuredness will guard against second album syndrome.


Simple, stylish table settings, with banquette seating

Table-setting at Kym’s in the Bloomberg Arcade restaurant development, London - the follow-up to Michelin-starred dim sum restaurant A. Wong in Victoria Samuel Ashton
Table-setting with velvet banquettes and chopsticks at Kym’s in the Bloomberg Arcade restaurant development, London - the follow-up to Michelin-starred dim sum restaurant A. Wong in Victoria Samuel Ashton
Terrazzo detailing at Kym’s in the Bloomberg Arcade restaurant development, London - the follow-up to Michelin-starred dim sum restaurant A. Wong in Victoria Samuel Ashton

Terrazzo details are grounding

Crispy duck with fresh plum, cucumber, and spring onion — served in a puddle of umami-rich chilli relish next to a piquant plum sauce to be painted onto the wafer-thin pancakes

Crispy duck pancakes at Kym’s in the Bloomberg Arcade restaurant development, London - the follow-up to Michelin-starred dim sum restaurant A. Wong in Victoria
The Kym’s iteration of duck and pancakes
Samuel Ashton

Aromatic, soya-braised chicken with garlic and ginger and soy dipping sauces

Pork belly at Kym’s in the Bloomberg Arcade restaurant development, London - the follow-up to Michelin-starred dim sum restaurant A. Wong in Victoria
Shattering skin; tender meat — 2,500 years in the making
Samuel Ashton

Roasted meats: Sweet, rich char sui, from Iberico pork; and meticulous pork belly, served with an almost biscuit-crisp crackling and honey mustard dipping sauce

Iberico pork char sui and crispy pork belly at Kym’s in the Bloomberg Arcade restaurant development, London - the follow-up to Michelin-starred dim sum restaurant A. Wong in Victoria
Meats, roasted — Iberico pork char sui and pork belly
Samuel Ashton

A cherry blossom tree is the restaurant’s centre-piece; hanging birds and roasted meats are as much a visual draw

The soon to be iconic tree at Kym’s in the Bloomberg Arcade restaurant development, London - the follow-up to Michelin-starred dim sum restaurant A. Wong in Victoria
Instagram, get ready
Samuel Ashton
Soya braised chicken hanging at Kym’s in the Bloomberg Arcade restaurant development, London - the follow-up to Michelin-starred dim sum restaurant A. Wong in Victoria
Soya braised chicken is a focus
Samuel Ashton

A classic in the making: Pork and shrimp dumplings served in a cast-iron skillet with fried egg, sweetened vinegar, and chilli

Pork and shrimp Bao Bao at Kym’s in the Bloomberg Arcade restaurant development, London - the follow-up to Michelin-starred dim sum restaurant A. Wong in Victoria
Bao, bao — pork and shrimp
Samuel Ashton

Koya City

10-12 Bloomberg Arcade, , England EC4N 8AR Visit Website

Brigadiers

1-5 Bloomberg Arcade, , England EC4N 8AR 020 3319 8140 Visit Website

A. Wong

70 Wilton Road, , England SW1V 1DE 020 7828 8931 Visit Website

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