Executive Chef Kong Khai Meng will oversee the culinary team at La Chine, the new upscale Chinese restaurant at the Waldorf Astoria New York. With a menu focused on modern interpretations of provincial Chinese cuisine, including a raw bar, Chef Kong will provide diners of La Chine with an authentic, elevated Chinese experience.
Guiding the La Chine team with an eye for presentation, Chef Kong leads the kitchen of one of New York City’s most anticipated new restaurants. A specialist in Hong Kong Cantonese, Shanghai, Beijing, and Asia Chinese cuisine, Chef Kong offers an strong knowledge of complex Chinese ingredients and flavors. He was a pivotal leader in the curation of La Chine’s menu, developing a range of dishes showcasing regions such as Zhejiang, Guangdong, and Huaiyang with ingredients never before used in American restaurants.
“Chef Kong’s vast knowledge and understanding of Chinese provincial cuisine is a key component of our success, extending La Chine’s status as an unprecedented dining experience,” says David Garcelon, director of culinary at the Waldorf Astoria New York. “Our goal with La Chine is to showcase the complexity of Chinese cuisine in an exciting culinary journey, led by Chef Kong and his talented team.”
La Chine’s signature dishes include Long Island Fluke with Smoking Peony Oil, Crispy Spanish Mackerel with Smoked Soy Dressing, Star Anise & Soy Foie Gras Cherries, BBQ Iberico Pork Neck with Top of the Waldorf Honey Glaze, Sea Whelk Consommé, Beef Tenderloin with Hickory Walnuts and Black Pepper Glaze, and Wok Fried Maine Razor Clams. A separate private dining room features a distinct menu of select Chinese dishes. To continue providing guests with locally sourced cuisine, the La Chine menu also incorporates ingredients from the Waldorf Astoria’s 20th floor beehives and garden that complement classic Chinese items.
Hailing from Singapore, Chef Kong began his culinary career as a wok chef at several high-end restaurants in Indonesia, Hong Kong, Singapore, and Brunei. Under the guidance of Chinese Master Chef Jereme Leung, Chef Kong’s career flourished, leading to multiple roles as executive chef for high-end hotel restaurants including the Le Meridien and Zheng He’s at the Jumeriah Mina A Salam in Dubai, Four Seasons Hotel, Mandarin Oriental, and American Club in Singapore, and the Mandarin Oriental in Bangkok. During his time in Dubai, Chef Kong was also the Chinese corporate chef for the Royal Family Zabeel Kitchen of his Highness. A key strategist for restaurant openings, he directed the pre-opening task force for Chinese culinary projects at the W Taipei, W Guangzhou and most recently, the Dragon Hotel in Hangzhou. Most recently, Chef Kong held the position of Chinese executive chef at the W Beijing Changan, directing all Chinese menus, banquet offerings and a la carte menus.