This passion project by Chef Shun Sato and friends offers elevated teppanyaki with a personal touch.
District: Sheung Wan
Cuisine: Modern Japanese teppanyaki
How much: $1,280 per person for 8-course omakase menu ($1,480 per person for 10-courses)
Highlights: Shirako Gyoza and Ezo Awabi
Best for: Date night and special occasions
A seemingly never-ending influx of new Japanese restaurants has spoiled the city with everything from imported ramen franchises and modern sushi roll joints, to traditional yakitori izakayas and intimate teppanyaki concepts. ENISHI falls under the latter category, promising to offer a new kind of teppanyaki dining experience. We did not doubt the delivery of inventive dishes knowing that CENSU’s chef and owner Shun Sato was one of the three talents behind this new independent opening.
Translating to “fate” in Japanese, this passion project was born out of the friendship of Chef Sato and Chefs Toru Takano and Ami Hamasaki, which bloomed while the three were working together in Australia. Read on for our honest review and highlights from the menu inspired by their personal experiences and cherished memories.
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ENISHI’s unassuming front can be found along Bonham Strand. Through the wooden sliding door, you’ll find a few small tables reserved for à la carte dining and the 11-seat teppanyaki counter where you can watch the chefs work the iron plate.
Throughout the minimal space, you will find a few eclectic pieces from Chef Sato’s collaborations with local artists, such as denim wall art by WASHI and porcelain vases by Amanda Tong, which are available for purchase.
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What We Ate
The omakase menu begins with a dish that pays homage to Chef Shun’s hometown, showcasing jet-fresh oysters from Miyagi prefecture. Much like the oysters served at CENSU, the morsels swimming in a sanbaizu dressing are of monstrous proportions, making for a satisfying starter. The plate of Market Sashimi uses yoghurt and a dashi purée to balance out the richness of the fatty fish — a trick Chef Shun learnt from the fishermen at Tsukiji.
A highlight of the menu is Chef Hamasaki’s Shirako Gyoza. This love letter to Chinese dim sum takes the form of a neatly wrapped gyoza stamped with a Hokkaido shiso flower and crown daisy green sauce. The wonton-like parcels are filled with delicate cod milt, which brings a pleasant creaminess to the dish.
Teppanyaki veteran Chef Takano shows off his command over the grill with his Ezo Awabi creation, another standout featuring whole live abalone from Hokkaido. As he cooked the meat to perfection on one end of the teppan, Chef Hamasaki created a rich, buttery sauce made with the liver of the abalone on the other. It was so delicious we requested a spoon to scrape up every last bit on our plate.
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As expected, ENISHI delivered top-tier ingredients and clean, yet bold flavours, but what made the food so special were the personal stories behind the dishes and the tender attention put into each plate.
It was wonderful to watch the husband and wife duo work in concert behind the teppan. The connection felt and warmth emitting not just from the grill, but from the chefs made us glad fate brought them together to bring this concept to life.
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Opening hours: Tuesday to Saturday, 6pm to 12am, Friday to Sunday, 12pm to 3:30pm
ENISHI, G/F, 49 Bonham Strand, Sheung Wan, Hong Kong, 2626 9096, WhatsApp: 6604 9083, www.enishi-hk.net
Images courtesy of ENISHI and Sassy Media Group.