Some of us wave our sushi delicately at soy sauce, some of us dunk, but at Taku, you dip your ‘soy brush’ into a tumbler of sauce, and paint your sushi. And, that’s the cute factor that drives this cosy but otherwise average Japanese spot in Soho.
Taku means ‘home’ in Japanese, and this restaurant strives to serve simple homely dishes. Home made tofu, onsen eggs (slow poached, usually in a broth), yakimono (grilled items, like at a robatayaki), tempura, and udon are the main features on the menu.
We ordered the miso soup, which arrived promptly, along with a dish of tofu and tomato salad compliments of the chef as an amuse bouche. Our bouches were appropriately amused – the tofu in the salad was firm, almost like a firm mozzarella, and tasted fresh.
We then moved onto a salmon avocado roll, which, interestingly, arrived with a sort of salsa piled on top. I wasn’t expecting a fusion piece (takes away from the simple ‘homely’ aspect of the menu offerings), and this was rather mediocre despite the curious attempt at innovation. The cucumber bits in the maki roll were chopped into larger than average pieces and made it a bit difficult to enjoy. Next up, salmon sashimi, which arrived in three hearty (well, as hearty as sashimi pieces get) and delectable slabs.
We decided to give the yakimono a try as well, ordering some glazed eggplant, and Japanese sweet potato. Both were fairly bland but very filling; the eggplant is served on two skewers of three large pieces each, and the sweet potato arrives in four large pieces. Don’t forget to brush these with your soy brush too!
Each dish costs about $98 so I’d say that Taku is a tad overpriced for the quality (not the quantity) of the food it serves. Service is prompt, and you should call ahead to ask for one of the booths for an even cosier feel in this dark, mellow restaurant.
A plus point for Taku is the freshly made wasabi – not the processed green gunk some other Japanese establishments get away with.
Taku G/F, 35 Elgin Street, SOHO, Central
2545 9966 www.taku.com.hk
By Sai Pradhan