Sunday, January 8, 2012

Hong Kong - Sushi Ta-ke 竹壽司

In my recent compilation of annual faves for 2011, I listed Sushi Ta-ke as "best Japanese restaurant opening".  In my 2 visits, I had the Omakase meal, which essentially means that like a lamb to the slaughter, you just perch and wait for food of the chef's choice to be served up and hopefully enjoyed.  There is a fixed price to the menu so for the uninitiated, there isn't that apprehension over how much you're going to be hit with at the end of the evening.  It's not a cheap place but for the overall experience, it's not totally unreasonable by Hong Kong standards.

Chef Kimijima Yukio with my minced toro handroll
And if you're lucky to be served by Chef Kimijima, you can also be entertained by his sense of humor, smattering of Japanese-accented Cantonese, and learn a thing or two about the food on your plate.

Overall, the raw food was more impressive than the cooked courses.  In the beautiful season straddling the tail end of fall and beginning of winter, nature's gifts were in abundance.

Sweet shrimp and white shrimp duo

Shirako or cod sperm sac

Amberjack sashimi
Duo of prawn and Maguro (back of tuna)
Matsuba crab with egg yolk vinegar
This signature of Ta-ke's was very good.  Sea-freshness from the crab, combined with the richness of egg yolk, but then put in its place by the vinegar.  A clever and well-executed rendition which leaves the diner wondering why Japanese portions have to be the size they are.  Still hankering..

In the cooked food segment, the wow! came from what Chef Kimijima called the egg dessert.  Perplexed since we were hardly midway through, but we quickly realized what he meant.

This is not your ordinary Japanese egg roll.  This was akin to a polenta cake but with all the fragrance and goodness of good eggs, with a sweet finish.  One of the best I've had.  It's just worth a repeat visit to just go and have this although I did not see it on the menu.  Perhaps only offered to diners who are naughty not nice?

After munching on tamago, we were too distracted to really pay much attention to the other cooked food.  I just remembered the simmered dish being a tad too sweet for me, and the grilled fish wasn't my favourite, since I'm not a huge fan of sword fish.

Simmered fish

Grilled sword fish
Preserved radish, cucumbers, alfalfa and toasted sesame
A crunchy and fresh palate cleanser and we were off the to the sushi finale.  And they were a great way to finish.  All pieces were fresh, served lightly sauced so no added soy is necessary unless you're a sodium fiend, and the rice grains perfectly separate but with an appropriate stickiness to bind but not be mushy.

Hamachi with a Yuzu pepper
Sea Urchin 
Miso soup
To end, a good quality miso which was beany but not salty put everything to bed, and concluded dinner on a comforting note.  Nothing to rave about, just a period to the end of a good meal.

Ta-ke is probably some ways away from its Japanese inspiration of Ginza Sushi Koh Konten and isn't quite the Michelin star quality Konten is but it's a pretty decent alternative to the Japanese offerings in the Causeway Bay area.

12/F, Cubus
1 Hoi Ping Road
Causeway Bay
Tel: +852-2577 0611

No comments:

Post a Comment