A whirlwind tour of provincial Chinese cuisine, brought to life with personality and luxury in equal measure.
You’ve got to clear a few hurdles to dine at Andly Private Kitchen. First, a preliminary booking, followed by a bank transfer and several text messages to determine the desired cost of your tasting menu. Seeing as those menus begin at $100 a head and climb steadily upwards, you’d better have some cash set aside too.
Even the quotidian likes of fried rice finds a higher plane, seasoned with salted fish and meltingly tender pieces of just-seared wagyu beef.
Yet it’s every bit worth persisting, because what awaits is a singular spin on regional Chinese hallmarks, underpinned by a combination of first-class produce and exacting technique. A thrilling take on Shanghainese ‘lion’s head’ swaps traditional meatballs for firm-fleshed Patagonian toothfish with gingery pickles and collagen-rich chicken broth. Sichuan province gets a nod, too, by way of juicy stir-fried lobster brimming with citrusy numbing heat. Even the quotidian likes of fried rice finds a higher plane, seasoned with salted fish and meltingly tender pieces of just-seared wagyu beef.
There’s something deeply personal in just about every part of the experience, from the intimacy of the low-lit room to co-owner Olivia De Almeida’s humble, assured style of service and the very modest BYO corkage fee. Even eight years on, APK still feels like something of a secret – one you won’t want to keep for too long.