1 Michelin Star Chefs: Alex Chow, executive chef, Kai

The Staff Canteen

Alex Chow is the executive chef at one Michelin-starred Kai in Mayfair.

Originally from Malaysia, executive chef Alex Chow worked in his home country as well as in Myanmar and Singapore before moving to London in 2004.


65 South Audley Street, London, W1K 2QU

Opening hours:

Lunch: Monday to Sunday, 12pm to 2:30pm

Dinner: Monday to Sunday, 6:30pm to 11:00pm

Afternoon Tea: Wednesday to Sunday, 3:00pm to 4:30pm

Website: http://www.kaimayfair.co.uk/

Telephone: +44 (0)20 7493 8988

Email: [email protected]

Restaurant Founder & Director:  Bernard Yeoh 

Facebook: KaiMayfair

Regarded as one of London’s most creative chefs, Alex specialises in modern Chinese cuisine. 

Food style

In 2009, Kai was awarded a Michelin star and was the only Chinese restaurant at the time to be on the Michelin list, since joined by the likes of Hakkasan and Restaurant A. Wong.

They balance their food between traditional and comfort recipes with a more modern interpretation of Chinese food – using ingredients from other cuisines.

Alex's food philosophy is based on tradition as well as innovation; and he is inspired by his Mum’s cooking which still guides him on how he would love diners to feel when he creates a new dish.

The restaurant has a focus on food originating from the Nanyang region of southern China near the South China Seas, but, as Michelin remarks, the menus offer a representation of all areas of China.

The style of food is liberated, meaning that it is free to innovate and isn't constrained by tradition.

While dishes like the 18 hour slow-cooked pork belly can be called classics, many other dishes are much more ose, such as the spring chicken and Szechuan spicy crumble.

Vegetarian dishes are aplenty, and the dessert menu is equally as expansive.

What the guides say...

Michelin Guide


AA Restaurant Guide









In recent years, the restauant has also started offering a 'Chinese Whispers’ Afternoon Tea, a relaxed afternoon tea experience with Chinese inspired sweet treats, along with a flight of tea cocktails and several miniature versions of the restaurant's desserts. 

Restaurateur and interior

Bernard Yeoh is the founder and current owner of Kai Mayfair. An ex-Olympian, Bernard represented Malaysia in Athens as a sport shooter.

The decor is authentic, with fabric seating and colourful cushions to set the mood. As with the food, Kai has chosen to blend traditional and not so traditional in design.


Kai was the highest-ranked Chinese restaurant in the Sunday Times in both 2012 and 2015. It was also awarded the title of best Chinese restaurant in London in the Hardens restaurant guide in 2009.

In 2006, Kai received a nomination for the UK best dishes as well as Tatler magazine best kitchen awards. Kai Mayfair has appeared in the Chinese heat on the channel four series, Ramsay’s Best Restaurant.

“I have been trying to win this award from the day we opened in 1993,” said the Penang-born restaurateur, famed for his soup – Buddha Jumps Over The Wall (touted to be the world’s most expensive soup) which costs £108 (RM606) per bowl.

Videos by Kai, Mayfair:

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The Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 13th December 2021

1 Michelin Star Chefs: Alex Chow, executive chef, Kai