There is a certain excitement that surrounds yakitori, and what’s not to love about beautiful pieces of meat being kissed by flames, and grilled to perfection? So if you’re looking for some inspiration (that’s sure to get your mouth watering), here’s our round up of the best yakitori restaurants in Hong Kong.
With its internationally acclaimed style of modern Japanese cuisine, ZUMA has become a Hong Kong staple for good reason. It’s been whipping up quality fare for this city for almost 12 years, serving dishes inspired by Japan’s informal Izakaya dining style. Make sure to come hungry, as along with everything from sushi, sashimi and tempura, there are also a selection of robata-grilled skewers to enjoy. Favourite skewers include the hokkaido scallops, umeboshi butter and mentaiko; chicken yakitori with baby leeks; angus beef with soy, garlic, ginger and chili; and pork skewers with apple miso and daikon. Wash it all down with a range of classic cocktails with a Japanese twist and plenty of sake, and you’ll be in for a good night!
ZUMA, Level 5 & 6, Landmark Atrium, 15 Queen’s Road Central, Central, Hong Kong, 3657 6388, email@example.com, www.zumarestaurant.com
Toritama is a fantastic place to have a great time and enjoy delicious Japanese skewers. It manages to keep the flavours clean, without compromising on taste. Chicken is the order of the day here, so you can take your pick from more than 20 different parts of the bird (including heart and gizzards). Or if you want to try a bit of everything, there’s a 12-course omakase-style menu, priced at around $588 per person. Our favourite dishes here are the “soriresu” – chicken oysters; and the “negima” – chicken thigh with leek. The chicken oysters (often referred to as the best part of the chicken) are succulent, while the negima has a beautiful aroma and subtle onion taste that compliments the meaty flavour of the bird and the crispness of the skin.
Toritama, G/F, 2 Glenealy, Central, Hong Kong, www.toritama.hk
Possibly the most-famed yakitori restaurant in Hong Kong, Yardbird is a must try. We’ve had friends describe it as the best they’ve ever had, and when we tried it for ourselves, it didn’t fall short of expectations. We love the chicken wings ($45), marinated with sea salt and shichimi, and the chicken gizzards ($45), that are grilled with slivers of fried garlic. It’s worth noting the restaurant doesn’t take reservations, and your whole party does need to be there before you can be seated. We recommend arriving early to avoid the queues, although if you do have to wait, the food will be worth it.
Yardbird, G/F, 154-158 Wing Lok Street Sheung Wan, Hong Kong, www.yardbirdrestaurant.com
At Nan Tei you can choose from a variety of different yakitori (it offers beef and pork, as well as the more traditional chicken). All are fantastic, but we recommend the beef tongue, chicken livers and the fresh eel. No matter what you try, it’s sure to leave you wanting more! The restaurant also has a selection of noodles, rice and soups to accompany your skewers, so it’s best to order several dishes to get some variety.
Nan Tei, G/F, 55 Staunton Street, Central, Hong Kong, 2559 6221
Nan Tei, G/F, 10 Yuen Yuen Street, Happy Valley, Hong Kong, 3118 2500
Nan Tei, G/F., 136 Tung Lo Wan Road, Tai Hang, Hong Kong, 2736 2500, www.nantei.com
Sticking to the tradition of grilling delicious chicken morsels, Ganbei Yakitori offers diners an authentic experience, and is a great spot to have a good time with friends (along with some sake!). The restaurant is simple yet refined, with reasonable prices and incredibly friendly staff. If you’re after somewhere that serves great food but won’t break the bank, this is the place for you.
Ganbei Yakitori, G/F, No 123 Chatham Road South, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon, Hong Kong
Ganbei Yakitori, G/F, West Grand Court, 403-405 Queen’s Road West, Sai Ying Pun, Hong Kong, www.ganbeihk.com
The chefs at Hanagushi Yakitori use all kinds of produce to make their yakitori skewers, including white eel and beef tongue, which makes them a bit more unique than other restaurants. The menu also features lots of other Japanese classics (think sushi, tempura, unagi rice bowls and bento boxes). So this is a great place is you want to enjoy some yakitori, but don’t want it to be the sole focus of the meal.
Hanagushi Yakitori, 8/F, M88, Wellington Place, 2-8 Wellington Street, Central, Hong Kong, www.hanagushi.com.hk
If we’re ever in need of a yakitori fix, this is the restaurant we normally hit up. It’s casual, the food is wonderful, and the service is good. Although during peak times, it can get crowded, so we suggest getting here early. Sen-Ryo primarily focuses on sushi, so the menu doesn’t have a huge amount of yakitori options, but the quality of the produce is fantastic.The prices are also pretty reasonable, so it’s a perfect option any day of the week.
Sen-Ryo, Shop No. B3-01, B3/F, the Kowloon Hotel, 19-21 Nathan Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon, Hong Kong
Sen-Ryo, 3/F, Century Square, 1-13 D’Aguilar Street, Central, Hong Kong, www.sen-ryo.com.hk
Located in the Harbour Grand Kowloon hotel, Robatayaki offers diners a modern, yet authentic, take on Japanese cuisine. The open grills are expertly used to cook everything from chicken, beef, pork, vegetables and seafood, and the skill of the chefs is evident in the food presentation. The staff here also help to make the experience unforgettable, so we recommend Robatayaki if you’re looking to impress family and friends with an immersive and unique culinary experience.
Robatayaki, Harbour Grand Kowloon, 20 Tak Fung Street, Hung Hom, Kowloon, Hong Kong, www.kowloon.harbourgrand.com/dining/robatayaki
The food at Bon Yakitori is delicious, and the sake choices are endless. The restaurant only opens for dinner, and reservations are needed, but we promise that you’ll want to come here again and again! Offering a modern take on classic Japanese skewers, everything on the menu is delicious, with smoky, juicy, tender and flavourful bites of succulent meat and fresh vegetables (along with a suitably thirst-quenching amount of sake). Although the price tag is on the higher side, we think it’s worth every single penny.
Bon Yakitori, 22/F, H8, 8 Hau Fook Street, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon, Hong Kong, 2710 8686, www.facebook.com/BONYakitori
The yakitori at Takagi Yakitori is good, although we do find some of the marinades and sauces a little too salty. However, the Wagyu beef yakitori is the absolute bomb, and the scallops and oysters are also delicious. The service is good and the prices are reasonable, so we recommend this as an affordable and casual restaurant, that offers big, bold flavours.
Takagi Yakitori, G/F, 13-15 Minden Avenue, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon, Hong Kong, www.facebook.com/takagiyakitori