Sashimi

Where:
Okra (fuck yeahhhh, absolutely useless HK restaurant websites)
110 Queen’s Road West
Sai Ying Pun, Hong Kong

Phone:
+852 2806 1038 (but they don’t take bookings, but more on the reservation bullshit later).

Price:
HKD500ish for the food per person.  HKD660 per person including sake.  The bill very clearly states that the 10% service charge goes directly to OKRA’s staff.

The deal:
Chef Max Levy has recently opened up OKRA in Hong Kong, after establishing OKRA in Beijing.  If you read the press, it’s often mentioned that Chef Levy was the only non-Japanese sushi chef at Sushi Yasuda in New York.  OKRA Hong Kong is currently in soft opening and after hearing some good shit around the traps and seeing all the Instagram #foodie #foodporn shiz, I decided to get my ass down to its small, 12 seat restaurant with a few standing tables that can accommodate two to three people each in Sai Ying Pun.

When I emailed OKRA Hong Kong to ask about bookings, I received a polite and swift response that they don’t take bookings, but given their location they were fairly confident that I should get a seat.  However, another homie gave me the low down that when he’d emailed OKRA Hong Kong about bookings he’d received a detailed email about how they only take bookings for 6pm and you have to do the tasting menu.  Like thanks a lot you OKRA assholes, that’s just fucking dandy for anyone that may have a J-O-B and can’t get their weary ass down to Sai Ying Pun for super early stupid o’clock dinner times.  Seeing as I’m suffering from a crushing case of Jobitis, I resigned myself to the no booking scenario, arriving at OKRA Hong Kong around 8pm.  We were politely told that our hopes of getting a counter seat were pretty much a big fat zero given that they were five parties ahead of us (even though no one was sitting at the counter yet) but we were welcome to eat at one of the standing tables.  Fuuuuuuuck, I get it, reservations are a pain in the goddamn ass for restaurants because customers are flakey, tardy dickwads who often don’t even have the decency to call up to cancel but FUCK, as a responsible customer who never ditches a booking, it still gnaws at my inner being that I am the one who is reaping the failed crop of no-seat-uncertainty sown by rude as fuck doucheknuckles who can’t keep bookings. Taking a more positive view, at least we didn’t have to wait to get a standing table but real talk, this sad sack of bones, blood and fat barely held together by some skin is not built for endurance sports like eating an entire meal standing up.

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I calm my rattled no-booking nerves by ordering a bottle of the Kaze No Mori Nama Akitsuho Muroka Nama Genshu Junmai sake (HKD418 + 10% service charge), after some considered discussion with our fuck yeahhhh, friendly as fuck waitress.  She promises a light effervescent fizz to it and the aroma of dried yuzu peel, green banana and fresh bamboo while giving us some nice chat about the Akitsuho rice that’s used to make it from Nara.  It all makes sense and with the green banana note resonating the loudest, I try not to glare too enviously at all the seated, comfortable OKRA homies, enjoying the privilege of a chair while eating dinner.

OKRA’s menu is split into an A-side (smaller eats) and a B-side (slightly larger), with the a recommendation printed at the top to essentially order one A and one B per person.  I interrogate my waiter and he brims with unbridled delight when he talks about the food while he makes some thoughtful recommendations, which makes me pretty fucking excited for my meal. Fuck yeahhhh, waiter homies who give a fuck.

Our first dish is the Carabinero Prawn Soup (HKD78 +10% service charge) which our waiter recommended not only for the sweet, delicate flavour of the red Spanish prawn but also the fact that OKRA smoke their own Buddha’s hand (a citrus fruit that looks like a yellow claw) and then incorporate it into a dashi stock, which is poured over the prawn.  He does point out that a reason he likes it is because it “makes a cool photo”.  Ohhh, cause that’s why I order dishes:

kanyecoolphoto

However, when our dish arrives we realise that while the menu claims is “Red Spanish prawns with smoked buddha’s hand dashi” it was clearly not drafted by some particular as fuck pedantic asshole because it’s a singular prawn chilling out elegantly in a no doubt, carefully selected ceramic bowl.  Which surprised us a bit, given that the menu claims that ALL dishes are built for sharing and at no point did our waiter point out that perhaps we should order three prawns, given that there’s three of us eating.  While I’m not that into photos, I was definitely into this sweet, sweet prawn which we dissected into three pieces, its sweet, raw body gently cooked by the hot dashi broth that is poured over it.

Our serve of Sashimi Ume (HKD178 +10% service charge) is the closest to a traditional Japanese dish that we ate all night and consists of “three types of fish” from Fukuoka and is everything you can hope for from sashimi.  I bristle at the menu drafting because I am a pedantic asshole, as one of the sashimi items is a cherry prawn.  OKRA, Y U say fish when it’s a crustacean?! But inaccurate copy aside, it’s still fucking delicious and off the charts sweet, which I guess is more important than imprecise menu descriptions.

The Bafuni and Smoked Anchovies (HKD160 +10% service charge) was fucking magical, combining flavours that I’d never had before, even if it was firmly in food for ants territory.  OKRA Hong Kong use some shit hot bafun uni imported from Hokkaido and pair these creamy fuckers with paper thin slivers of salted buddha’s hand, anchovies, shredded pieces of tofu skin and shiso.  The anchovies are purposefully not particularly salty or strongly flavoured which allows each component to sit quiet and confidently in fuck yeah territory.  If only I’d had this entire bowl to myself instead of having to politely share it with my dining homies.

We move into the B-Sides and despite the claims of it being larger, I’m already contemplating the high chance that I’m gonna have to make a bang-bang stop after OKRA Hong Kong to ensure I’m not going to bed hungry.  The Unakyu Foie Gras (HKD238 +10% service charge) is a predictable fuck yeah because how can combining house made BBQ unagi (eel), honey miso duck liver and sanbaizu sauce (dashi, rice vinegar, soy sauce and mirin) not be major fuck yeah love?  The Roasted Beef Love Handle (HKD188 +10% service charge) also resonates with me and not just because I affectionately grab my own love handles while contemplating how this Black Angus Prime Chuck Tail Flap served with burnt olive oil and soy sauce is fucking delicious but how I deeply wish that my love-handled cow had really committed harder to being a fat fuck, so there’d be more fuck yeahhh roasted beef love handle for me to smash into my desperately wanting face.

The Unagi Fun (HKD168 +10% service charge) is a new menu item and it’s roasted eel over crispy sushi rice and pickles, which sounds simple as fuck but it’s executed perfectly.  I am still dreaming about the crispy sushi rice and the rich, just fatty enough, caramelised eel.  It’s at this point, I start to throw some serious shade at the menu’s claim that dishes are meant for sharing.  Maybe sharing between ants who fucking love precisely prepared and thoughtful Modern Japanese influenced cuisine?  Or perhaps for sharing between homies that don’t really eat and sustain themselves on a mixture of cocaine, cigarettes and black coffee?

As our waiter’s suggestion on the number of dishes to order was clearly off (perhaps because he isn’t a unrelenting eating machine like I am), we added some more dishes as I was still far closer to hungry than full.  We ordered a serve of the Hentai Quail Tatsuta (HKD108 +10% service charge) which sounded so fucking tiny on the menu, described as a “half baby quail marinated in a secret sauce of 2 herbs and spices and fried with preserved ginger and spring onion” but was tasty as fuck.  But let’s be real, after sharing this with three people, one-sixth of a quail is not really gonna make me the Mayor of Satiety Town.

However, my insatiable desire for MOAR FOOD paid off because if I hadn’t piled in for additional dishes, I would have missed out on the Chicken Fried Buri (HKD258 + 10% service charge).  I’m at imprecise menu drafting fever pitch now because there’s no actual chicken in this dish and it would be more accurately described as yellowtail fish/buri prepared in the style of fried chicken.  FYN Fun Fact:  Yellowtail is known as hamachi if it’s under three kilograms but it’s only when a yellowtail really commits to being a big fucker of at least five kilograms does it earn its big boy stripes as a buri.  

Japanese nomenclature aside, this dish was fucking unbelievable and it may be one of the best things I’ve eaten so far this year.  The buri is coated in a super thin, subtly spiced batter and deep-fried til it’s all crunchy and shit.  However, the buri is all white and still slightly cool and raw in the middle, served on top of a tangy, “crystal sauce”, grated fresh white daikon radish and some peppery micro-daikon sprouts.  I’m awash in fuck yeah feelings because this dish is just throwing multiple contrasting texture, temperatures and flavours at me and I’m feeling it so hard.  It’s the contrast of the temperature of the hot deep fried batter vs the cool middle of the buri.  It’s the contrast of the textures – fresh green micro-sprouts vs the buttery flesh of the buri vs the crispy batter.  It’s how all the flavours combine, the buri, piquant sauce, the batter, the peppery micr0-sprouts and the cool daikon radish.  All I know is that I’m caught in a tsunami of fuck yeah emotion and the tidal waves of buri love crash down upon me until I know that my life is now better for knowing this fuck yeah dish.

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After the epic chicken fried buri, I would have fucking loved a dessert to round off this meal and declare it THE END.  Unfortunately, OKRA Hong Kong didn’t have any sweeties going which meant that we flagged down the bill and went to find somewhere else for fuck yeah cocktails and chairs.

So when thinking about the whole deal, if not for the whole NO BOOKING palaver, I’d be so into recommending OKRA Hong Kong because these cats are doing something which they clearly believe in and are executing the fuck out of it.  The staff were passionate as fuck, knowledgeable and completed invested in making sure you were having a fuck yeah time  The food was so fresh and while clearly Japanese in origin was modern but utilised subtle flavours or techniques which were additive to the experience vs some sort of gauche frankenfusion bullshit mish mash which tries to drag well established cuisines into something imaginative.

Verdict:
Fuck yeah for the inventive but tiny food but fuck no with the no bookings unless it’s at 6pm reservations policy.  I’m just too old and lazy to be messing around with that hipster, no booking bullshit.  But trust me, when the omakaze-style private dining room opens upstairs and I can make a glorious and certain booking, I’ll be most def rounding up some like-minded homies to check OKRA’s shit out and see what else they can do.  I just wanna do it from a seat and without the chance that I’m on my feet for the whole meal or even worse, desperately combing the backstreets of Sai Ying Pun with a furious hunger in my belly,  searching for a Plan B because I got jammed at OKRA.

Where:
Ore-no Kappou (Hong Kong) (website has no fucking information on HK though)
6/F, California Tower
32 D’Aguilar Street
Lan Kwai Fong, Central, Hong Kong

Phone:
+852 2328 3302

Price:
Food and sake, we were out at HKD600 each.

The deal:
The ORENO corporation have a whole slew of restaurants in Japan which all riff on ‘Ore’(俺), Ore-no Kappou, Ore-no French, Ore-no Italian, Ore-no Yakitori, etc, meaning ‘My _____ Cuisine’. The ORENO restaurant concept is that they allow their diners access to a Michelin-starred class chef and shit hot ingredients at an affordable price point.  Ore-no Kappou is focussed on Japanese food and it has just opened their first overseas branch in Lan Kwai Fong in the new California Tower, right in the heart of this filthy LKF shithole.  I’m reminded of this as I’m walking slowly through the increasingly heavy Hong Kong heat to get to dinner, pushing past slack jawed douchebags high on machismo and David Guetta as they eye off rubber ankled girls who emit high pitched giggles from, one can only assume, being choked out by heinous polyester bandage dresses. I take a look around this supposed entertainment district, waving off the beatific smile of a Buddhist monk of dubious provenance and his bogus-ass begging bowl while I mutter under my breath:

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Ore-no Kappou in Japan maintains their profits while keeping their premium shit cheap by having stand-up bar style restaurants, meaning they can churn through three times the number of customers as a sit-down restaurant.  Don’t worry my lazy ass HK homies, ORENO Corporation realised that this shit wasn’t going to fly in the Kong so there’s only a few standing tables for show up the front of the restaurant with the rest of the seats being your traditional sit down tables.  To maintain the profitable churn while allowing HK to sit down, a dinner seating is restricted to two hours.  It’s a large space, bright, modern and at dinner time, it is jam packed with customers.  Sake is also sold at retail prices with only a HKD99 mark up, which is some fuck yeahhhh drinking value that I can get behind.

My homies and I sit down and we are confronted with a needlessly complicated menu which comes in three separate parts/folders.  Ore-no Kappou, Y U have so many fucking menus when it’s just printed paper in a plastic sleeve??  Just put that shit into one menu with sections like Starters, Mains and Drinks vs the Special Month Menu, the Special Special Drinks Month Menu and the Normal Dinner Menu.  When we place our orders, it quickly becomes apparent that our servers have been given clear instructions to upsell the shit out of their multi-part menu. We try to order sake from the special special drinks menu and while the +HKD99 mark up is a nice nod to value, the proposition falls over quickly when your waiter tells you that they’ve sold out of all the mid-range sake so you can only choose from the exxy as fuck range.  To add to the menu confusion, our server shows up with another Special Special Dishes for Tonight menu and politely points us to a HKD800+ shabu shabu hot pot option.  Sorry homes, I don’t give a fuck about whatever snow crab you’ve got on offer, I ain’t got HKD800+ spare to snack down on some hot pot extortion.

Once we negotiate past the potential for upselling foxing, our food appears really fucking quickly. The saba sushi was a vinegary, pressed oily fish fuck yeahh.  The thick slice of pickled mackerel is rad as fuck, served on a big ass portion of rice wrapped in nori, giving me some onigiri rice ball feels due to its size.  At HKD60 for two huge-ass pieces, I’m super down down with this fuck yeah value proposition.

Our other dishes arrive and Ore-no Kappou are definitely keeping up their end of the quality ingredients bargain.  The Mushi Sushi (HKD370) serves a mix of hot and cold sushi ingredients including abalone, ikura (large salmon roe), prawns and uni (sea urchin) and fuck yeahhh, shit’s super fresh and plentiful as fuck.  There’s nothing worse when you order one of these chirashi style rice dishes and when you actually go to eat the fucker you soon realise that the appearance of volume is a result of creative plating and everything’s been sliced super fucking thinly to stretch shit further.

The bukkake udon (HKD50) was also a fuck yeah and I know all of you dirty fuckers are tittering at BUKKAKE cause like WTF LOLZ did you seriously order a bowl of noodles where they put jizz all over it?!!?!?!?!  But have some decency yo, cause FYN Fun Fact: the definition of bukkake actually means pouring on or splashing at something NOT NECESSARILY WITH SEMEN. So in this instance it’s just udon with egg, sesame and nori (seaweed) strips where you pour some very cumless, though fuck yeah, broth over it.

A fuck yeah stand out on the night was the A5 Kuroge Wagyu tenderloin with foie gras (HKD480), which might sound like it’s just doing luxury by numbers but Ore-no Kappou do right by the beef and cook it fucking perfectly.  There’s a very decent serve of foie gras which has been pan-seared to give it the right level of caramelisation so you’re not just choking back an expensive, grainy cold slab of corn-fed fatty sadness. While one of the more expensive dishes that we ordered, we easily shared this fuck yeah dish between four people and considering how fucking rich it was with the beef and foie gras, I don’t think I’d recommend tackling this dish solo. But fuck, no judgment if you’ve got an insatiable lust for luxury and you want to smash this expensive fucker all on your own.

Service at Ore-no Kappou was not fucking amazing and I’m guessing that part of keeping the profit margins up with shit hot ingredients also means not hiring too many staff. There were also some weird quirks like our waiter being able to speak English when we first arrived and then when he realised we had a Cantonese speaker at our table, he later claimed that he couldn’t speak English and switched to Cantonese only.  Fine, I can live with a waiter getting shy about his ability to speak English, even if it means that the majority of our table didn’t know what he was saying.  But service went from below average to really fucking dismal when our shabu-shabu arrived.  We asked whether we will be getting any dipping sauce for our beef because our shabu-shabu broth only consisted of hot water and a piece of konbu (dried giant kelp) which surely wasn’t going to give Ore-no Kappou’s shit-hot marbled beef enough flavour.  Our waiter resolutely declared that this was correct and that Konbu-san on his own was going to magically flavour every fucking thing in the shabu-shabu.  Our table is kicking up a fuss at this stage that surely this isn’t right and another waiter is called over, who confirms that yeah, deal with it, Konbu-san is singularly gonna save the flavour day.

downtonreassuring

After half our table had eaten the konbu-water-boiled beef to confirm that shit was just super plain, we questioned a third waiter (who looked more senior) who said that he’d see what he could do about sauce and after about 10+ minutes after Konbu-gate began, Ore-no Kappou finally bestowed upon us a ponzu (citrus) sauce and a goma-dare (sesame) sauce to dip our high grade beef in.

So overall the food at Ore-no Kappou was a solid fuck yeah (except for the sauceless shabu-shabu) and there’s no fucking doubt that you are getting quality fuck yeah ingredients at a very reasonable fuck yeah price.  However, as a consequence this means you have to endure fuck no shambolic service and a bit of pushy fuck no upsell from the waiters.  So would FYN go back?  Definitely not for an important occasion and only if I was with peeps where shit-house service wouldn’t fucking kill the night.

Verdict:
Fuck yeah for lunch or on unimportant, purely food-based casual occasions.  Despite the shit house service, I gotta face facts, I definitely want dat saba sushi in my life again.

Where:
Pololi
35-39 Graham Street
Central, Hong Kong

Phone:
+852-2755-8099

Price:
HKD90 per ‘poke’ / tuna ricey salad bowl

The deal:
Going out to lunch is a goddamn institution in HK, but old habits die hard and I still eat ‘al desko’ so I can save my calorific expenditure for night time and weekend nom adventures.  In really fucking boring news, I normally pack my own lunch (Salad! Lean proteins! Healthy fats!) but then sometimes the shit hits the fan, I’m out late the night before or the meat at the supermarket looks so fucking depressing that I can’t bring myself to buy it and then I’m fucking lunchless and about to endeavour on one of the most fucking depressing missions in Central – trying to find something decent for lunch which won’t leave you hungry in an hour (rules out pretty much all quick Chinese food) or bankrupt.

I don’t like to eat too much wheat, particularly if it’s in the form of sub-standard bread cause if you’re going to eat bread, make it fucking count for something.  So this results in me roaming around Central trying to find something which doesn’t resemble a fucking wheat field, but the options pretty much look like this:

breadbreadbread
But you know, I’m trying to be fucking healthy.  TRAIN MEAN, EAT LEAN like that motivational picture I pinned to my fucking Pinterest the night before, next to six recipes for kale smoothies and ‘no sugar’ grain free biscuits (which used a shit tonne of honey and are entirely made from calorie dense almond flour, but no biggie cause it’s NO PROCESSED SUGAR OR GRAINS).  So maybe I should go to Olivers or Great Food Hall and build my own fucking salad.  Except then you’re waiting a fucking eternity in a sea of people attempting to get their health on by also buying a pretty fucking lack lustre salad.

Artist’s impression of FYN at Great Food Hall / Olivers at lunch time:

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Or perhaps I could go to Pret a Manger to get a flat boxed salad, with its flaccid salad greens and utterly depressing proteins.  Yeah that smoked Scottish salmon and potato salad box or that “healthy Skipjack tuna salad” with those sad ass edamame beans, gives me feelings like this:

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I guess there’s always Simply Life – that brown cardboard box filled with some sugar snap bean salad, beet salad, the tomato salad and whatever fucking pathetic, shit boring selection is left if you get there any time after 1pm always excites the taste buds.  No really – not changing your shit ever is really working for you, Simply Life.  DON’T EVER CHANGE, that broccoli salad option is so so rad, you should serve it til at least the year 2050.

imsobored
Or maybe I should pay SEVENTY EIGHT FUCKING HONG KONG DOLLARS (that’s TEN US DOLLARS) for a pathetically sad looking tinned tuna salad from NOOD FOOD.  NOOD FOOD, R U FUCKING SERIOUS?  HKD78??? AREN’T YOU MAKING ENOUGH FUCKING MONEY FROM THOSE ASSHATTED JUICE CLEANSES THAT YOU’VE SUCKED HALF OF HONG KONG INTO BUYING?? JUDGING YOU NOOD:

oprahdisapprove
But seriously, If none of those options work, sometimes I like to go to MX, line up for fucking ages to get some unidentified meat, in some sort of cornstarchy sauce on some rice. LOLZ J/K – YOU TELL ‘EM DOWAGER COUNTESS OF GRANTHAM:

downtondowagerdesperate
So today, I finally decided to hike my lazy ass up to Graham Street to try Pololi.  Pololi is set up as a take-away joint with a few counter seats and a dog.  I even saw some customers eating their lunch on the steps outside (so fucking bohemian, amirite?).  Pololi makes “poke” (pronounced “po-kay”) which hails from Hawaiian – taking cubes of sashimi grade raw tuna, mixing it with a dressing/sauce and then serving it with the option of rice, salad or 50/50.

There’s about six different raw tuna options, one scallop option and a vegetarian option – a creamy tofu.  If you haven’t been before, they’ll let you taste all the different tuna + tofu options (which was surprisingly fucking good).  No scallop tasting though – can’t give that exxy shit away for free. Pololi homies, the taste test is a nice fucking touch.  The ahi tuna has options like the Hong Kong style (marinated in soy sauce and coriander), the wasabi mayonnaise with fish roe and spicy tuna.  Raw high protein tuna, salad, plain rice – it all feels pretty fucking healthy, doesn’t it?

You get to choose two proteins for your poke and I predictably went for the “wasabi mayo” and “spicy tuna” ahi options.  Fuck yeahhhh they will add more chilli for fuck yeah spicy times.  It looked like a fuck yeah and I wasn’t even crushed by disappointment when I finally ate it.  I gotta say, it’s been a long fucking time since I enjoyed a takeaway ‘al desko’ lunch in HK without feeling like I’d been totally ripped off.  The tuna was fresh as fuck, the dressing used to marinate the tuna was a fuck yeahhhhhh and mixed in with the rice, salad and the avocado I added in myself, shit was filling and most importantly, fucking rad.

I gotta say though, that Pololi can definitely lift their salad game. Their salad was just adequate with a good dressing but end of the day, it was just fucking boring ass lettuce. If you go 50/50, the salad gets packed right next to the warm rice, so there’s a bit of fuck no wilt going on.  I don’t think it would kill Pololi’s profit margins to shred a carrot, slice some tomatoes, maybe thinly shred some cabbage in there…Spotting this potentially sad salad times, I stopped off at the wet markets on the way back and checked out six different stalls to pick an avocado, my body braced for the constant disappointment of HK avocados.  I actually managed to select one which wasn’t a black fucker inside but it was still pretty disappointing in texture.  HK avos, Y U always break my fucking heart but why can’t I fucking quit you?

So at HKD90, Pololi is NOT super cheap, but as it’s only +HKD12 more expensive than those sad ass NOOD FOOD tuna salads and they use sashimi grade tuna, I can definitely live with their price point. Word of warning though, Pololi have only been open one month and while service was fine for me, I was also the one customer they had at the time. There’s only one very well intentioned girl proving tuna tastings and then making pokes, and shit is time intensive.  This is going to be fine for them if they only have one customer every 10 minutes but if shit takes off for them, shit’s gonna get  real.  Godspeed my Pololi homies, hope your service times don’t end up on Struggle Street when shit picks up for you.

Verdict:
Fuck yeahhhhh!

Where:
Sushi To (I fucking HATE how the Goldstein restaurants have this spinny 360 view for their websites.  What’s wrong with a normal website??)
29/F, Soundwill Plaza II
Midtown, 1-29 Tang Lung Street

登龍街1-29號金朝陽中心二期 Midtown 29樓

FYN hot tip:  Don’t try and get a taxi to Tang Lung Street.  Go to Times Square and walk the rest of the way there.

Phone:
+852 2970 3218

Price:
HKD428 (excl 10% service charge) for the sashimi lunch set (7 types of sashimi).  Other lunch sets were around HKD250+.

The deal:
I have to confess, I was a bit fucking sceptical before showing up to Sushi To which is part of the Harlan Goldstein empire, because fuck, Harlan Goldstein doesn’t sound like a very Japanese name to me.  However, Harlan has set the menu with the far more Japanese sounding, executive chef, Maeda Norihisa and the menu is pretty large and in charge – going from the traditional sushi / sashimi through to teppanyaki, sukiyaki, tempura and then the omakase tasting menus.  I took particular offence to the sections labelled “Harlan.G’s Funky Maki Rolls” (I don’t want my maki rolls to be zany, trendy or funky) and “Let’s Get Party Started” for starters – I mean, WTF is wrong with just calling it the simple though accurate “Starters” and if you really must, why isn’t it The Party??

The interior is pretty over the top and as it’s on the 29th floor of the new Midtown Soundwill Plaza II, you’ve got some pretty kick ass views across Causeway Bay and the harbour.  The interior style is that “Check my modern, opulent luxury shiz out” vibe that Harlan likes to have and it’s not really my jam.  Gold cranes, pale wood, glass, grey tiles and heaven forbid, one side of the restaurant even had some plush as fuck carpet.  Thank fuck, a restaurant which finally has something soft in there so you’re not just eating amongst an over the top cacophonous din which means you can’t hear jackshit.

However, despite my apprehension, the Sushi To lunch set is a pretty fucking good deal – while the sashimi set isn’t bargain basement (but TBH, I’m always wary of bargain basement sashimi) I think the price point checks out.  Fucking solid lunch set consists of appetizers at the buffet, main meal, selection of ice-cream for dessert and a coffee.

Sometimes Japanese appetizer buffets can be really fucking bullshit, involving iceberg lettuce, corn and thousand island dressing but the Sushi To one was legit. salads of different varieties, some sushi, grilled fish, pickles and I didn’t even eat everything I wanted to. The gyoza were good but their shape was definitely the victim of an “appetizer buffet”, given they were rectangles pressed together cause crimping that shit and making them dumpling shaped was obviously not worth the economic pay off.

The sashimi set wasn’t anemic and busted out seven different types of pretty fucking fresh seafood (yellow fin, a very decent sized prawn, fatty tuna, scallop, uni, ark shell and red snapper) and kept things authentic by not copping out and using that common favourite, salmon.  I know everyone likes salmon sashimi, but that shit is the poor sister of sashimi in Japan. There were some nice fucking touches too which showed some thought such as fresh baby shiso leaves (mejiso times yo), which doesn’t normally get a run at most Japanese restaurants in the Kong.

I’ve noticed a lot of Japanese lunch sets are starting to scrimp on the extras (hey Sushi Kuu, imma lookin’ at you with your no dessert or tea/coffee included in your lunch set), but Sushi To still included dessert (choice of matcha / tofu / vanilla ice-cream) AND coffee/tea as well. Plus HKD18 if you wanna fancy that shiz up to a cappuccino, latte etc.

So, shit was solid at Sushi To and I’d even consider trying them out for dinner (even if the Sashimi Set at dinner price becomes very large at HKD780 with only the addition of one more type of sashimi and none of the lunch extras – buffet / dessert/coffee). Service was functional, shit was fresh and lunch was priced correctly.  I know, my shit is so much more fun to read when things go wrong.

Verdict:
Fuck yeah!

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