Kin’s Kitchen 9 Tsing Fung St., 2571-0913 Opened by gourmet Lau Kin-wai (owner of Sichuanese private kitchen Yellow Door), Kin‘s Kitchen is a world away from sweet’n’sour, MSG-laden fare. Picking up secret recipes during his journeys in China, the well-traveled gourmet gives Cantonese cuisine a twist and a kick. Their Pearl River Delta mains are one-of-a-kind. Think pan-fried, stuffed four-season beans and succulent smoked chicken. And don’t forget to order their delicate deep-fried fish seaweed rolls and crispy duck stuffed with lotus seeds, yolk and barley (instead of sticky rice). And above all, don’t miss their wholesome seasonal specials. This spring, they have created “therapeutic“ dishes such as braised fresh yam and black fungus with a splash of homemade chicken broth. Oyster C G/F, Belle House, 98-104 Hing Fat St., 2834-7748 Around four years ago, this restaurant pretty much exclusively catered to the rich and famous in affluent Happy Valley. Since moving to Tin Hau, they’ve raised the level of culinary cleverness in the area, and it’s no surprise that they have developed quite a cult following—it’s packed even on weekdays with loyal patrons and the curious, so best book a table to avoid being turned away (especially if you’re not a regular or a celeb). The décor is minimal; multi-colored graffiti penned by their clientele adorn their walls. You can tell that the attentive and friendly waiters enjoy their work as they recommend oysters with more than a touch of finesse. Choose from an international selection of the filter-feeders, from briny to sweet to unctuous (we particularly loved those creamy giants, the African rock). Not stopping at oysters, they have a wide variety of raw seafood, like sugary scampi sashimi, the heads showing up in a flavorful tom yum gung that comes later in the meal. Cooked seafood comes in the form of clams or mussels in white wine or sake. Don’t miss their excellent pastas at Tin Hau prices either; the crabmeat and black truffle linguine’s only $150. Tin Hau Laksa 31 Electric Rd., 2806-2683 When traditional laksa meets unlikely ingredients such as razor clams, deep-fried Japanese oysters and French duck breast, you may be forgiven for recoiling in horror. But not at Tin Hau Laska. With a secret recipe of tantalizing fresh herbs, the Malaysian curry-based broth is a delight just on its own, but boy, they don’t stop there. Their award-winning fat-free ox-tongue laksa will convert cynics to fusion cuisine after only one bite. And for the health-conscious, Tin Hau Laksa has a skinny laksa broth made with soya milk, if you fat fighters are really sure you can bear to give their creamy coconut version a miss. Les Artistes 1/F, Man Hoi Building., 98 Electric Rd. 3426-8918 At Les Artistes Café, you’ll be equally impressed by the bookshelves and paintings as you will be by the food. Tucked away off street level, the bookshop-cum-gallery café is an enclave for writers, artists and even celebs who live in the neighborhood. Try one of their artist-inspired non-alcoholic cocktails. A sip of The Starry Night will ease any artistic blocks, and the grape-flavored Depressed Prince should add a tinge of melancholy to your novel. You’ll probably mistake their mixed mushrooms fettuccine with black truffle sauce for yet another piece of artwork as it’s presented in its fried noodle cage. Still waiting for your muse? Console yourself with their homemade blueberry cheesecake, or better still, their multi-layered chocolate cheesecake. A La Umai 25/F, Morecrown Commercial Building., 108 Electric Rd., 2234-6628 With a French-Japanese name (Interesting pun: “Ara, umai” means “Oh my, yum” in Japanese), A La Umai is neither French nor Japanese—it’s an immaculate conception of both cuisines. With a semi-panoramic view, the minimalist fusion diner is the lovechild of a perfect trio, namely a chef, an interior designer and a food buyer. Here, you can expect only the freshest ingredients imported from all over the world. Their prime ayagyu (the chef claims that it’s the best wagyu from Ayacho in Miyazaki) is a must-try (order in advance). If the 8oz beefy steak is too much for you, opt for their braised Australian full-blooded Kobe beef for the less-trodden parts (e.g. tail, cheek and shank). The portions are generous and the meat practically dissolves in your mouth. For non-beef eaters, the 90 percent-done Miyazaki boneless chicken leg is utter heaven. So is the mentaiko salad, which is lavishly chock-full of fish roe. June 56 Electric Rd., 2234-6691 For a bit of old-school Japanese cuisine and a piece of (relative) serenity among the lively neighborhood joints along Electric Road, head over to June. Soft jazz floats in the air, somehow soothing and hushing up even the most boisterous of diners while warm, sultry reds envelop the place. The sashimi is fresh, but go for the toroyukke, too. It’s a big, luxurious ball of minced fatty tuna and scallions, topped with a raw quail egg. Mixed with wasabi, wrapped in the sheets of toasted laver and dipped in a sweet soy sauce, the combination is simply celestial. All the Japanese favorites are on the menu too, from tempura to old-style sweet sukiyaki beef in a cast iron pot, to satisfyingly blue-collar katsudon (pork cutlet on rice).