Pricey or budget-friendly? Good ambience and interiors or does it ultimately come down to the food offerings?
In Hong Kong’s bustling gastronomic scene, Japanese restaurants are among the most popular dining places and here we have compiled a list of what’s good and what’s worth checking out.
Des Vouex Road, B1 Gloucester Tower, The Landmark Central
Tel. 2521 3344
Pricey and classy. If budget is not a problem and you’re looking for a first-class Japanese dining experience, then this is the place. Reputed to be an institution in Japanese food in Hong Kong, only the freshest and the best sushi, sashimi and teppanyaki are said to be served here. Attentive service from kimono-clad waiters and tastefully-done interiors complete the whole authentic Japanese dining atmosphere. Out to impress that hard-to-please business client? Then you can’t go wrong with Benkay.
G/F 14 Ashley Road Tsim Sha Tsui
Tel. 2376 3323
Good food for all kinds of budgets. Hong Kong’s oldest Japanese restaurant thoughtfully provides several dining areas offering different kinds of menus. There’s the higher-priced kaiseki or set meals; the sukiyaki or shabu-shabu (one pot meals of assorted meats, seafood and vegetables of your choice and which you cook at your own table); the noodle dishes such as tempura udon, or the grilled and fried meats available for lunch; and the teppanyaki corner boasting of fixed-price meals of steak and seafood. Prices would range from a friendly fixed-price lunch at HK$63 (US$8) to as high as HK$500 (US$65) for the teppanyaki offerings.
18 Salisbury Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon, Hong Kong
Tel. 2721 1211
The best Japanese restaurant in the world is now in Hong Kong. Michelin-starred chef Nobu Matsuhisa brings his world-class culinary expertise back to Asia. If you’re thinking of a splurge, then it may be worthwhile to check out his famed new-style Japanese cuisine. Feast on Fresh Yellowtail Sashimi with Jalapeno or the elegantly-presented Matsuhisa Prawn with Caviar while enjoying the stunning views of the harbour. Truly a delight for the senses.
13/F Times Square 1 Matheson Street, Causeway Bay
Tel. 2506 0009
Come for the setting, stay for the drinks and the food. Touted as a place to “see and be seen,” Wasabisabi’s fashionably contemporary interiors reflect most of Tokyo’s cosmopolitan dining venues. It has a catwalk with a shimmering wall of beads and a lounge all done in red – from the walls to the furniture! Thankfully not to be outdone are their food offerings with an extensive array of choices from the staple sushi and sashimi to the chef’s own creations like the avocado and smoked eel temaki. For after-dinner drinks, try the restaurant’s signature “sake-tini” – good for sipping while enjoying the hip ambience.
R2-7/F Island Beverley 1 Great George Street Causeway Bay, Hong Kong
Tel. 2882 2167
Trendy Japanese fusion cuisine. Whilst the owners claim they serve authentic Japanese food, the menu lists otherwise - from starters like tofu and mozzarella dip and kabocha croquettes. There are, however, still traditional Japanese offerings like the cold Ta-Ke sake served in hollow sticks and bamboo cups and the artfully done sushi and sashimi platters. Freshness is also guaranteed as they swear their fish and seafood are flown in from Japan on a daily basis.
1A Wong Nai Chung Road, Happy Valley, Hong Kong
Tel. 2836 6992
Happy Valley’s pride serves only the best Japanese food. This testimony of course comes from its many happy patrons and even travelers dining in this elegant restaurant for the first time. Its master chefs also prepare special seasonal menus that showcase the freshness and the delicate flavors of their creations. Also known for its widest and most varied selection of sake, Kissho also boasts of seven VIP rooms for that private, intimate dining experience with your family, friends or business colleagues.
F1 Fashion Island, 19 Great George Street Causeway Bay
Tel 2882 1582
Sweet Japanese meal endings. It is casual Japanese dining, but the desserts are nothing but casual here. Think ice cream concoctions with red bean paste, dumplings and gelatin. Shaved ices perfect for the warm weather like double berry, fresh lemon and banana custard. The syrups and flavors are unique and are all signature creations – from the sweet and sticky lemon-honey sauce over warm sweet potato to a merry mixture of grapefruit, kiwi, almond jelly, strawberry in citrus sauce topped with dollops of whipped cream and aptly named Summer Parfait. Absolute heaven for the sweet-toothed.
7/F Island Shangri-La, Pacific Place, 88 Queensway, Hong Kong
Tel. 2820 8570
Fine Japanese dining experience as only a 5-star hotel can provide. With its team of Japanese master chefs, the restaurant features separate teppanyaki and sushi areas, as well as an a la carte dining area and private tatami rooms. The restaurant is also known for its wide selection of wines and its executive lunch sets.
G/F Far East Finance Centre, 16 Harcourt Road, Admiralty Hong Kong. Another location in Shops G7-9, East Ocean Centre, Tsim Sha Tsui East, Kowloon
Tel. 2722 6689
Fast, fun, easy. Three words that would best summarize the experience of any diner in this innovative Japanese sushi bar. A conveyor belt moves along the sides of the dining tables where sushi creations and sashimi of all persuasions are rolled right along and diners can just pick off the small, color-coded plates as they pass by. The uninitiated may find the dishes strange at first, especially since the menus are all in Japanese, but one can rely on the senses to make the right choices along the way or go for the adventure of sampling the unknown. After all, dining in this inexpensive joint won’t bust your bank account.
Grand Hyatt Hotel, 1 Harbour Road, Hong Kong
Tel. 2588 1234
Eat, drink and be merry. This could pass for Kaetsu’s credo because in Japanese the term stands for the sound a deer makes to call another deer to graze or eat together. For Hyatt’s fine Japanese dining restaurant, the invitation is for a pleasurable experience of first-rate eating and drinking with friends and family. Pricey but well worth it, patrons flock to Kaetsu for their traditional Edo cuisine, and the fine and fresh flavors of ingredients flown in from Japan. The minimalist design and interiors lend to the cozy but elegant feel of the restaurant and complement the attentive service by its friendly staff.
Rice is formed into a ball or a chunk and topped with fresh seafood.
Rice, fresh seafood and vegetables all rolled up in sheets of dried seaweed called nori with the use of a bamboo mat.
Basically the same as norimaki, but instead of being rolled in a cylindrical shape, the rice and all the other ingredients are rolled into a cone shape.
The rice is not pressed into any shape or form here, but just laid out in a bowl and all the seafood, vegetables and other ingredients are spread out on top of it.
Sushi rice is made as a filling for small deep fried tofu bags or aburaage.