Nothing beats a good private kitchen, where you can spend hours over a lovely meal that has been prepared especially for you in a homely setting away from the Hong Kong crowds. Chef Studio by Eddy, tucked away in an industrial building in Aberdeen, is one shining example of an excellent private kitchen.
From the moment we arrived, I was instantly impressed as the lovely Chef Eddy Leung was there to personally greet and guide us to our table. Certificates, photos and medals line one wall, behind traditional birdcages and candles, giving the room a warm, homely feel and removing any hint that this was once an industrial space. It is such a lovely space that on the night we were there, one couple was actually getting married!
Eddy is a truly genuine person who cares about nothing more than seeing his customers leave with a smile as big as his. His personality comes through in his cooking, which he insists is always ‘real’ food with ‘real’ flavours. In fact, most of the herbs used to create these flavours are grown on the restaurant’s balcony, further contributing to that home-style, unassuming air. The seven to eight course set menu changes on a monthly basis, depending on what’s in season.
Ours began with what we thought would be a simple dish – scrambled egg with smoked salmon and caviar. However, this was not your average scrambled egg! Cooked in a bain-marie (water bath), it was the smoothest, creamiest egg you could ever imagine and paired perfectly with the delicate smoked salmon and salty caviar. If I was this amazed by such a simple dish, just imagine what was still to come!
Indeed, the following dish of pigeon consommé, served in an adorable teacup, was equally as impressive. The rich broth had slowly matured in flavour over two days through a rather complicated cooking process, resulting in a heavenly, deeply comforting dish unlike any consommé I have ever tasted. Goji berries, barley and small chunks of pigeon meat for extra texture were an additional bonus.
Perhaps the best dish of the night was the lobster with rice rolls. The chunks of lobster were perfectly buoyant, generously doused in a wonderfully creamy sauce. What I loved most about it was the addition of soft, fresh cheung fan (rice rolls), adding an unexpected yet lovely Asian touch.
As if to tease us, a glass pot containing whole truffles was then placed before us, before Eddy himself returned to the table to grate said truffle over a bowl of creamy risotto. This dish is not always included in the set menu, yet knowing how truly divine it is, Eddy insists on sharing it with as many diners as possible, even if it means sharing a portion between two. The rice was wonderfully al dente and heavenly creamy, generously covered in large chunks of incredible truffle. It was certainly decadent enough for us not to need our own portion, even if I was sad when it ended!
Another of my favourite dishes was the duck breast with vermicelli. The gorgeously tender duck was first cooked sous-vide, before being pan-fried, resulting in juicy, delicious meat that melted in the mouth. One drop of sesame oil was enough to give the vermicelli beneath it a slight Asian touch, while some buttery cubes of foie gras took it to a whole other level.
The last savoury dish of the night was Wagyu beef with roast potatoes. I wouldn’t go so far as to say it was tough, yet it was not as amazingly tender as we had anticipated. Nevertheless, the flavours were spot on and the roast potatoes were a perfect balance of crispy and fluffy.
Dessert was milk pudding topped with mango served in a sweet little glass jar. The perfect dessert to finish off the perfect meal, it was refreshingly light and fluffy after so many courses, yet still had depth and plenty of flavour.
Dinner at Chef Studio by Eddy costs $780 with free corkage and no service charge. If you’re impressed by the food (which you will be!), Eddy prefers that instead of tipping, you buy one of his recipe books, where all the profits go to building water pumps in poor areas of China. Whilst the price of the meal is more than some private kitchens, I can assure you that it is 100% worth it.
Eddy told us himself “I like to cook with my feelings, with my heart,” and this is evident in every single bite. I will most definitely be back.
Chef Studio by Eddy Room 5B, Kwai Bo Industrial Building, 40 Wong Chuk Hang Road, Aberdeen
Check out more from Ale on her fab blog, The Dim Sum Diaries!