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Kamelion

Hong Kong residents: Help to clarify if the store Chan Chi Kee 陳枝記 still exist?

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Kamelion

Dear forumists,

 

after getting a plethora of helpful tips in this thread, a helpful forum member tried calling Chan Chi Kee to ask for prices when buying in the store in HK, but he got no signal whatsoever. I have also tried mailing them, without answer.

 

This poses the question for me: Do they still exist? Or have they secretly changed address and all contact data? Does anyone live in the area or often pass by, and could check, or know anything about them, or has bought knives there and also know the prices …

 

A friend is going to HK next week to—I hope—buy some knives, but would not like to send him to the address if it does not exist. Would be glad to hear from you and appreciate any help I can get! 

 

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imron

That's the same site the OP linked to where apparently the phone number no longer works.

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abcdefg

I have another idea: Ask on Tripadvisor. They have a very active and well informed Hong Kong panel of experts. Someone should be able to clarify whether the Chan Chi Kee store is still operating.

 

Fallback plan: In May of last year I visited a less well known knife maker. Still hand ground cutting edge from good quality carbon steel or stainless. Prices in the hundreds of HKD (not in the thousands.) Might be useful as a "plan B" for your friend. It was in the Sham Shui Po neighborhood (not a touristy zone.)

 

The elderly gentleman doing the sharpening had retired some years ago and now was part of a "gray-hair team" of three "un-retired" senior technicians, each member of which had returned to work there part time. Note the array of whetstones to his right, each with a different grit. Using a progression of stones like that is the heart and soul of a custom ground edge. This knife maker/small factory was founded in 1946 and has been operating continuously since. 

 

IMG_6548.thumb.JPG.1640334ff07041ab7deec6d638dcd90e.JPGIMG_6551.thumb.JPG.18d310da900f0c4254f05c46a3731e1f.JPG

 

Here's the sign outside the door (below.) I don't have the address or phone number handy right now, but they should not be difficult to track down. The store was not large, one medium-sized showroom, stocking other kitchen wares in addition to knives.

 

The boss said most of their knives are made to special order; only a small percentage are sold from the displays to people who just walk in the door. Their knife business is geared mainly to professional chefs who wanted a practical tool that would withstand heavy use. Functionality trumped aesthetics. They also offered a re-sharpening service. It was an unpretentious shop in a relatively low-rent, non-glitzy neighborhood.

 

IMG_6552.thumb.JPG.a134afb3d3f08dbc62bf0ed40512fcf6.JPG

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited to add the address:

 

227 Cheung Sha Wan Road
長沙灣道227號
Hong Kong

Kowloon, Sham Shui Po

Phone:  +852 27280094

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Kamelion

In the road, so olnly briefly: Wow, looks highly intetesting. Probably as high (or even higher?) quality as CCK?

 

Will contact him. And check With tripadvisor as well. Thanks a lot!

@roddy The cat! It clarifies all!

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lips
12 hours ago, imron said:

That's the same site the OP linked to where apparently the phone number no longer works.

At least the first phone number on the web page (+852 2385 0317) worked two minutes ago.  The person answered "陈枝记" in Cantonese.

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Kamelion

@lips fantastic. Did you ask for any prices? 

 

The models, from thispage where you can see the translations for finding the right model—,that are of interest are:

KF 1102

KF 1302

KF 1401

KF 1912

 

 

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lips

梁添刀厰, suggested by the alphabet man, makes very good knives as well.  Some say his knives are better than 陳枝記 because he uses better steel.  BTW, 梁添刀厰 is also famous for his Wing Chun fighting knives.

 

Also check out  陳華記 from my previous post.  His store is not far away from 陳枝記.

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Kamelion

I am overwhelmed by the wealth of helpfulness and friendly attitude in this forum; thank you again, @lips and @abcdefg! @abcdefg

 

Prices probably about the same then in these two stores, 2-300 HKD for a cai dao, if I interpret you correctly? Must know approximately, so I can tell my friend how much cash to bring, since he will buy 6-7 knives.

 

Will try to send my friend to one of these stores.

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abcdefg
1 hour ago, Kamelion said:

Must know approximately, so I can tell my friend how much cash to bring, since he will buy 6-7 knives.

 

I know nothing about the prices of these items, but if buying 6 or 7 of anything in China, it's not unreasonable to try to negotiate a discount off the first asking price. Sometimes a "discount" will be in the form of something the shopkeeper will throw in free of charge as an extra inducement to close the deal. Maybe a sharpening steel or a whetstone or a pair of scissors.

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lips

Make sure that the knives are sharpened before you take it home.  Often these knives are not sharpened as sold.  Ask if first-time sharpening (开刃 or 开锋 in Cantonese) is included with the price.  It's preferable to have it sharpened by hand than by machine, but it may take some time.

 

Of course, you may prefer to sharpen it yourself, if you know how.

 

You may want to buy a good quality sharpening stone to go with the knives.

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abcdefg
Quote

Make sure that the knives are sharpened before you take it home.  Often these knives are not sharpened as sold.

 

Great tip, Lips. I would never have thought to ask about that.

 

Maybe next time I'm in Hong Kong I will actually have to buy one of these premium-steel, hand-sharpened knives and see if I can tell the difference between it and the funky hand-me-downs that I currently use.

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Shelley

I wonder what the situation is with carrying 6-7 of these knives on planes, crossing borders etc. I suppose if they are packed well in your suitcase that goes in the hold and not in your carry on luggage it should be ok. If it was me though, I would want to double check any problems you might encounter crossing borders etc with this sort of thing. some countries won't even let you in with nail scissors or small penknives.

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imron

Just pretend you're a travelling juggler :mrgreen:

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Kamelion

@Shelley good tip; will doublecheck. Last time I checked, only explosives and gas and the like is forbidden, but knives are OK in the checked-in luggage.

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Kamelion

All right everyone. Success! Another forumist finally got through, and for information and in case anyone is interested, I paste the result:

 

"Called ... Number works

 

KF 1102 - $HKD 420

KF 1302 - $HKD 290

KF 1401 - $HKD 310

KF 1912 - $HKD 320

 

open 7 days a week . 9am -6.30pm

 

They might close early the next few days due to the Easter public holidays"

 

I would say, fair price for me as a European at least. Maybe @abcdefg's suggestion is more price worthy though. Will think about it, in that case it would be good to know the exact Cantonese termini, and signs.

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