A space at the edge of both Chinatown and the Financial District is going to become a permanent home for Four Kings, the nostalgic Cantonese and Hong Kongese pop-up from former Mister Jiu's chefs Franky Ho and Mike Long.
"Flavors of Hong Kong hangin' on ya taste buds/ 90s Cantopop bangin' on ya eardrums." That's the rap lyric-like tagline that Ho and Long and their respective partners Millie Boonkokua and Lucy Li used to introduce their Four Kings pop-up, which did a residency in June at Mission wine bar Buddy.
Now, as Eater reports, the foursome has inked a lease and will be bringing their "Canto nostalgia" vibes to Chinatown in more permanent fashion. They are taking over the former Slurp Ramen space at 710 Commercial Street, a two-story space with an open kitchen and some bar seating.
A few early hit dishes will be part of the menu, like a fried squab, escargot with house-made XO butter, pork chop fried rice, and mapo spaghetti — and the idea is to serve it all in a casual, bar-like setting. And despite Ho and Long's Michelin-star-level experience, that will only come out in the quality of the good.
Li told Eater this summer that the idea is "an izakaya-type restaurant, but for Chinese food, which we hadn’t really seen commonly in the food space — so we felt that it was a very exciting endeavor to pursue."
After meeting in the kitchen at Mister Jiu's, Long says, "We found that we’re very much aligned in what we want to do,” Long says. “We talked about Hong Kong street food, like dai pai dongs and the kind of food that we grew up eating that’s not necessarily available in the same way that we remember having it. That was the discussion that led us to think about maybe partnering up and doing something together after Mister Jiu’s."
As the SF Business Times notes, the name, Four Kings, is a nod to 90s Hong Kong pop stars the Four Heavenly Kings — Jacky Cheung, Andy Lau, Aaron Kwok and Leon Lai.
The crew is aiming for a February 2024 opening, with a pop-up or two likely before then. Follow Four Kings on Instagram for the latest.