ANITA PRIVATE KITCHEN
By : MELISSA RICHTER
16 July 2019
Anita Private Kitchen is the kind of restaurant Bangkok needs more of. Tucked away on the ground floor of the unassuming Young Place business complex, this is a quaint and welcoming test kitchen with just four tables, an open concept and a homey vibe that makes you feel like you’re at a friend’s house instead of a restaurant. Anita Tang who hails from Hong Kong is the proprietor, and she offers cooking classes, has a small lunch menu of Chinese dishes available a la carte, does in-home catering and has nightly set dinners from 6-8 courses with prices ranging from 1500-2500 net per person. Although bookings need to be made in advance, she will cook for as few as 2 people at a time up to 16 guests with the help of a small staff. She will plan a menu with you and even offer a wine pairing for an additional fee but she recommends that you just BYOB (Bring Your Own Beverage) as there is no corkage charge.
Anita is a very dedicated chef who ran a successful restaurant in Phuket for 4 years before moving to Bangkok, and she also spent several years living in Italy and learning how to make pasta, source quality ingredients and cooks classic Italian cuisine. She told us that her passion for cooking first blossomed when she was just 10 years old cooking with her grandmother from whom she learned to make authentic Sichuan and Cantonese dishes. “Not only do I want to share my cooking, but I also want to share my knowledge and love of food with my customers”; said Anita, “I am pursuing my passion now. I don’t have to choose between Chinese or Italian, I can cook both and everything else in between. I love traditional cooking, but I love to explore different approaches. I’m eager to learn modern and advanced techniques to take the dish to another level.”
When we visited Anita’s we were able to try a nice variety of dishes that showcased both her talent, creativity and cooking ability with the different techniques she used. One of the most memorable dishes was the fiery Jellyfish & Japanese Cucumber w/ Soy Sauce & Sesame Oil. Served cold this was a textural delight with the cucumber adding a nice crunch and freshness to the dish. The Pork Dumplings in Chili Sauce is another winner with the smooth silky noodle contrasting nicely with the well-seasoned pork in the center and the spicy homemade chili oil. Another Chinese dish that was noteworthy is the delightful Stir-fried Bean Sprouts w/ Chinese Garlic Chives. Deceptively simple, this is exceptional because she somehow managed to stir-fry the sprouts without them leeching their water so they remained crunchy and fresh. Favorite dishes influenced by the west include the elegant Crab Meat Spring Roll w/ Ricotta Cheese & Mango Salsa and the Stuffed Chicken Breast w/ Bean Sprouts, Shiitake Mushroom, Baby Onion, Carrot, and Baby Corn w/ Ginger Purée & Teriyaki Sauce. The spring roll was almost like a cracker tuile used in French desserts and the sweet and savory elements all paired well together. The chicken dish was particularly skillful as it was a roulade that remained moist and juicy with the rendered skin adding a rich sumptuousness to the dish. It was well seasoned, and every element brought something special to the table without overshadowing one another. It was truly excellent and showed a lot of technique and skill. We also enjoyed a lovely version of a Lobster Bisque and a flawless Mushroom Risotto w/ Parmesan Cheese. We ended the meal with a homemade Baked Blueberry Cheesecake w/ Raspberry Purée, Fresh Fruit & Coconut-lime Granita. The food is only one reason to come to Anita’s; her friendly persona, food knowledge and intimate setting all set it apart and make it something quite unique and special.