Exquisite Taste - - Up Close & Personal -

Founder and Chef Erik Idos spent al­most a decade work­ing for the ac­claimed Ja­panese restau­rant chain NOBU be­fore branch­ing out on his own with CHINO, his much-ad­mired Hong Kong fu­sion eatery. The restau­rant con­cept, lo­cated on the corner of North Street near the Kennedy Town wa­ter­front was in­spired by his back­ground in Ja­panese fine-din­ing, his up­bring­ing around mi­grant Mex­i­can culture and food in Los An­ge­les and his own Filipino her­itage.

The cui­sine at CHINO is Mex­i­can, cre­ated with an in­spir­ing Ja­panese ap­proach. Its heart and soul how­ever are un­mis­tak­ably Filipino and even the name Erik chose, CHINO, comes from the Span­ish word re­fer­ring to a per­son of Asian de­scent. The re­sult­ing food, and the ways it is pre­pared and pre­sented, is a com­bi­na­tion of vastly dif­fer­ent cuisines, cook­ing tech­niques and cul­tural ap­proaches to eat­ing out.

The menu is a mix of shar­ing plates and tapas style and whilst the ever-pop­u­lar tacos, sal­sas and tostadas are clearly in­spired by Mex­i­can fare, as you delve deeper the many Ja­panese in­gre­di­ents, prepa­ra­tion and the clean pre­sen­ta­tion and style steer it into clas­sic fu­sion ter­ri­tory.

Whole­some and hark­ing back to his roots, dishes like the chorizo fried rice are un­sur­pris­ingly pop­u­lar, chef ’s take on the clas­sic Filipino break­fast dish with gar­lic rice and topped with a fried egg. It of­fers quite a kick too. Top tapas choices in­clude the chicken and egg tostada, a fried corn tor­tilla with chicken tinga and fresh gua­camole topped with a fried egg and the scrump­tious scallop and uni tostada, a spicy and com­plex eel with scallop mix atop a fried corn tor­tilla.

Closed on Mon­days, CHINO is a welcoming and com­fort­able restau­rant and does not take reser­va­tions.

Chino skirt steak with corn av­o­cado salsa

Iwashi pick­led in jalapeño vine­gar with Ja­panese fruit tomato and yuzu soy

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