For most Hongkies, the cuisine of choice will almost always be Japanese. Whether it’s sushi, tonkatsu, teriyaki or takoyaki – anything Japanese, goes! So when we were invited to try a new Japanese resto in Hong Kong, Kishoku (started by Sushi Ta-ke former chef, Ah Do), I was super gung-ho to check it out.
With so many Japanese fine dining establishments in Central, Kishoku instead chose the location of Causeway Bay. It’s easy to see why – rather than being “just another” Japanese joint in the hustle and bustle of Central, Kishoku is hidden behind Times Square in a beautiful, serene space tucked away on Yiu Wa Street. The restaurant boasts high ceilings with decor that is simple and calming, setting the tone for a nice cosy Friday date night. Alternatively, with two private rooms (which seat about 10 people each), this is a great option for a dinner party away from home too.
Luckily, we snagged a pair of seats by the bar – front row tix to watch the chefs prepare our meal right before our eyes! If you are a foodie, this is the spot to be to watch the sushi masters get busy right in front of you; I loved watching them calmly prepare each dish and seeing the transformation of a piece of fish turning into beautiful, delicate dishes throughout the meal.
We started our omakase meal with a bunch of small plates – the first being sweet white shrimp, which were incredibly refreshing and cooling with just a hint of wasabi hidden in the midst of it all.
For those who are more adventurous, the octopus is a great option. There were two different textures to our eight-legged starter – one soft and delicate, the other the chewy, almost knobbly texture of a tentacle sucker! Even though the sauce was a tad too sour, it was great to try something I’ve never had before.
Probably the most complex dish in terms of flavour that we tried at Kishoku was the herring fish; diced into small bite-size pieces, I got a kick out of the gingery sauce. Sadly, I found a tiny piece of bone in my fish, which immediately made me put down my chopsticks.
After recovering from the herring, I just couldn’t say no to the toro. If you’re like me and have a love affair with toro, then be sure to order up one (or a few!) toro rolls. The fatty pink piece of toro wrapped in crispy seaweed was the simplest thing we had on the menu – but the one that made me the happiest! Just a thin shiso leaf in the middle provided the perfect balance to the fattiness of the toro.
The horsehair crab platter is perfect for those of you who aren’t fans of getting messy with hammers and crackers – I promise this dish is as easy as it’s gonna get for you crab lovers! With the crab leg already cut open, all you have to do is pull out and eat the sweet and tasty meat; my favourite part of the platter was the crab salad, which was beautifully light and airy… until you bite into some of that rich, delicious crab roe! Meanwhile, a little square of crab roe tofu in miso was a great little finish.
The last part of our meal was a selection of sushi prepared by the chef. Of the five we tried, my two favourites were the seared tuna belly tendon and the red bluefish. After so many raw dishes, it was lovely to have the contrast of a rich, charred crisp on the tuna. Likewise, our bluefish was so beautifully prepared that it almost pained me to eat it!
Even though I was super full after my Kishoku feast, I was still hoping for a great dessert as the cherry on top of my meal. Sadly, the dessert of the day was merely a small piece of cantaloupe melon! Even though it was very sweet, I was sort of hoping for something more exciting (if us girls don’t have high standards for desserts, what more is there to live for?!). There is also the option of nitrogen ice-cream, so be sure to try that out if you’re there.
Kishoku’s fish and seafood was wonderfully fresh, and service was flawless. With a minimum spend of $8,000, the private rooms are a good option for parties if you’re looking to avoid Central; meanwhile if you’re due a fancy date night, I’d suggest a seat right up at the bar for the ultimate omakase experience where you can watch your meal being prepared right before your eyes! Do be warned though – a meal at Kishoku won’t come cheap, with omakase menus ranging from $1250 to $1500, so be sure to decide on someone very special before coming here!
Kishoku 5/F, Bigfoot Ctr, 38 Yiu Wa St, Causeway Bay, Hong Kong
2893 0333 www.facebook.com/KishokuHK