In case you hadn’t been keeping up – the Aqua Group’s sleek Japanese resto Shiro, which used to be in Pacific Place, now has a new home (and a new menu!) in Causeway Bay’s Hysan Place. Located high up on the 13th floor, the first thing that hit me was the décor – huge windows welcoming the light into an amazing 3,700 square feet of open space! Compared to the more seductive and mysterious atmosphere of the Admiralty establishment, this was bright and inviting; I definitely felt right at zen at the new Shiro!
Once there, Rach and I took a spot by the windows, taking in the awesome view of Causeway Bay and Happy Valley. You could also choose to sit along the ‘kaiten’ sushi bar and take your pick from freshly made sushi off the conveyor belt; I took a quick look at the prices and they’re incredibly reasonable (starting at only $15 a plate!) given their quality and Shiro’s classy décor.
Together with Aqua’s lovely PR Judy, we happily chatted and sipped on our Lychee Mojitos while waiting for our lunch (well… it was Friday!); the mojito was super refreshing, full of fresh lychee and mint leaves. If you’re still operating under the rule of no alcohol during lunch, don’t worry – this won’t push you over your limit, so don’t feel guilty about ordering this over your lunch hour!
First up was a trio of sushi served on a beautiful platter – salmon garlic sushi, lightly seared salmon and eel roll, and a seared scallop with cod roe sushi. My favourite was the seared scallop sushi with rice rolled in seaweed, which gave it great texture and flavor. Yuzu jelly on the side was a pleasant palate cleanser between the different sushi.
Next, we tried the spinach with self-grated sesame sauce. We were given a dish of roasted sesame seeds, a small bottle of sesame dressing, and two delicate rolls of spinach leaves. In the spirit of getting down and dirty with our food, we got to make our own sauce by crushing up the sesame seeds with mortar and pestles! The smell of crushed sesame hit me (in a delicious way!), and once mixed in with the sesame dressing, made for a perfect moreish dipping sauce. This was my highlight of the meal!
We then tried the seaweed-wrapped crabmeat. The presentation was beautiful, and the dish went well with the green tea powder sprinkled on the side. Do eat this right away though – it tastes best when the seaweed is still fresh and crisp from the kitchen.
Then for our main course, Shiro’s signature Ramen Tonkotsu. This popular dish is Chef Iwahashi-san’s own family recipe passed down from his father. The first thing I noticed was that it was huge (lunch on its own!) and packed with pork cha-shu, fresh seaweed and a “sweetheart” egg. This is what the Cantonese call “tong sum dan”, essentially a boiled egg with a deliciously gooey and soft centre. The soup base also had a touch of yuzu and black pepper, adding a sweetness that worked well to balance thick milky pork stock.
I’m not sure about you guys, but I always try to fit in dessert at lunch (… and every other meal), so we ended the meal with molten chocolate cake, and vanilla ice cream with banana tempura. The molten chocolate cake was perfectly baked and literally oozed delicious chocolate in the centre – the drizzle of yuzu on top was just the right pairing to the richness of the chocolate. Meanwhile, the creaminess of the ice cream complemented the crispiness of the tempura and the gooey banana wonderfully. These desserts are must-orders!
All in all, Shiro’s new location proved to be a great surprise. Prices are incredibly reasonable for quality Japanese food in a beautiful space in the heart of Causeway. If you ever need a break from shopping in Hysan, Shiro is the perfect place for a light lunch, teatime sushi or desserts with your girlfriends (or just your shopping bags!), so definitely take time to stop by soon!
Shiro Shop 1301, 13/F, Hysan Place, 500 Hennessy Road, Causeway Bay