Sushi

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:

leogodleft

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:
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!

Where:
Sushi Masa
G/F., 142 Aberdeen Main Road
Aberdeen, Hong Kong

香港仔香港仔大道142號地下

Phone:
+852 2501 0618

Price:
About HKD200ish per person for a shit tonne of sashimi/sushi.  0.5L bottle of sake for HKD330.  We got out at HKD300ish a person.

The deal:
Mr and Mrs Ain’t No Mountain High Enough made a healthful proposal that we smash up a yoga class, hike up to the Peak and down to Aberdeen and then proceed to eat our body weight in aqueous creatures before completing the circle of life and going to the beach.  It was proposed that we check out Sushi Masa because they had been told by a Japanese homie-san that this was their favourite sushi/sashimi place in Hong Kong.  I mean, hello race card, that’s a big fucking call desu.

racecard

However, similar to our last plans to climb a mountain which resulted in us ordering a metric fuck tonne of mojitos at the Mandarin Oriental Guangzhou, we saw some bad ass black clouds rolling the fuck in over the harbour and The Peak, so we fucked that hiking activity right off and quickly found solace in prosecco while listening to a rain themed playlist that had its birth when the sun did a fucking runner and the rain beat relentlessly down on HK for about three fucking months, earlier this year.

So you can blame it on the rain (cos the rain don’t mind), but with the Japanese homie-san recommendation ringing in our ears, we poured our lazy hikeless asses into a cab and down to Aberdeen.  Holy shit, check us fucking shit up and getting totally off the beaten path in HK.  Someone call Lonely Planet, I’m a goddamn pioneer.  Aberdeen is becoming the new trendy as fuck area in HK, so we were already pretty fucking excited about potentially being rack up foodie hipster wank points by being able to tell people that we totally fucking know a sushi/sashimi place in ABERDEEN, so suck on that you Sheung Wan, Sai Yin Pun hipsters.

We ordered the chirashi (diced sashimi over vinegared sushi rice) lunch set, the sashimi platter and a sushi platter.  The chirashi set claimed it was for two people and Sushi Masa went above and beyond, because it was fucking huge even by my greedy ass standards.  The chirashi came out in a large wooden plate, reminiscent of a paella in its presentation, flanked by two bowls of udon and two bowls of chawanmushi (egg custard).  Fuck yeah value at HKD198.  The sushi and sashimi platters were solid performers – fresh and generous in portion.  So despite a bottle of cold sake and some decent sashimi, how come I’m not having a “Suck my dick Sheung Wan Sai Yin Pun hipsters, yeah I fucking know a place and it’s authentic as fuck” moment.  Maybe it was the fact that the recommendation that had come from the Japanese homie-san was so fucking big (you can’t throw around words like favourite unless you really fucking mean it) that Sushi Masa was never going to be able to satisfy. Ultimately, shit was good but not exceptional and I wouldn’t make the trip out to Aberdeen just for this.  My hunt continues for some obscure foodie wank trump card and then, oh yes, I will unseat all the hipsters from their wooden crates and their slow drip coffee.  Don’t worry, I’ll keep you all in the goddamn loop, so we can all be fucking insufferable together.

Verdict:
Fuck no – not worth the trip to Aberdeen.  But fuck yeah if you live in Aberdeen and want some cheap Japanese noms.

Where:
Missy Ho’s (Ermagerd, functional and useful HK website with menu.  Be still my beating heart)
Shop G9, G/F, Sincere Western House
48 Forbes Street
Kennedy Town, Hong Kong

Phone:
+852 2817 3808

Price:
We got out for HKD550 a person including cocktails, drinks and tiny bottles of San Pellegrino.  I only mention that specifically because we’ve all fallen victim to a bill where it ends up being 70% food costs and 30% fizzy bottles of fucking water while some no-fun no drinking asshole claims that they should pay a reduced portion of the bill because ‘I didn’t drink any alcohol’. FYI, no assholes at my dinner.

The deal:
I was apprehensive about Missy Ho’s because their website proclaimed their style was ‘Funky Fusion Flavours’.  I’ve already outlined my views on what ‘Fusion’ translates to (ie. half assed Asian food with a snow pea to the side) but then you add that triple F alliteration and I was breaking out in fucked up foodie scrummy delectable hives.  I mean, why not just go all out food wank style and label yourself as describe yourself as ‘Funky Fusion Flavours For Fantabulous Femme Fatale Foodies’.  I was also fearing mediocre, overpriced noms  because it’s run by Castelo Concepts, which let’s face it can be the Basic Bitch of HK Dining Groups as I immediately had flashbacks to being in Wagyu Lounge and paying all the money ever for a tiny entree serve of basic beef squares on a stick to prevent myself from becoming a drunk ass bitch during drinks.

Missy Ho’s is pushing that eclectic, crazy ass, anything goes ‘woo girl’ vibe.  Black ‘secret’ door.  CHECK. Furry onesies in the corner so you can dress up and get keraaaaaazy.  CHECK.  Novelty hats on your chair.  CHECK. Bird cages, Union Jacks, dreadlocked Asian girl mural and chains which come down so you can swing on them.  CHECK.  WOOOO, I like to partayyyy.  The music is motherfuckin’ loud in here too – we were trying to sass the waiter, shouting at him ‘HI, WE CAN STILL HEAR EACH OTHER – COULD YOU TURN THE MUSIC UP SOME MORE?’ and not surprisingly he looked back at us and went ‘WHAT DID YOU JUST SAY?’.  As someone who wrote off at dining anywhere in Brim28 ever because all the restaurants have appalling font choices it goes without saying that the fact that the waiters were wearing tee-shirts which incorrectly spelt the name of the restaurant they actually fucking worked at, irked me to the bone.  MISSY HO WAITERS, Y UR TEE-SHIRT SAY MISSIE HO’S. I mean seriously, LURN 2 SPEL MISSY HO’S, I don’t even work at your restaurant and I gave you the fucking dignity of spelling your name right in my FYN review?!?!?

So, despite all my concerns it was going to be a night of Basic Bitch Overpriced Fuck No Half Assed Asian Food, Missy Ho’s was pretty fucking good and even if we couldn’t hear the waiters the service was a fiendishly friendly, fantastic fuck yeah.  There’s new style sushi which would upset any Japanese food purist with its spicy, creamy mayo style sauce and crunchy shit inside.  This was a group dinner (you know how that feels for me) so as I was sitting next to Ms Two Serves we had the following conversation after about 3 plates of food:

Sgt Noms:  I’m soooo fucking hungry.

Ms Two Serves:  Why do you think I sat down the end of the table where there’s more girls?  Cause most of them don’t eat a lot and I get to eat more of the share plates.

Sgt Noms:  Hand me one of those spare chicken and avocado rolls from your end NOW.

The salt + pepper cuttle fish was a fuck yeah.  The Snapper Carpaccio was definitely food for ants but whatever I could find (cause it was so fucking tiny) was delicious.  The Miso Cod Tacos are falling into the perennial category of ‘HK Y U charge so much for tiny ass tacos’ at a hefty HKD60 each but it was also a fuck (though brief) yeah.  My table ordered a billion serves of pineapple prawns but it didn’t set my world on fire.  I gotta say Missy Ho’s though – your dessert selection gets a FUCK NO.  The banana pancake was a fuck yeah (but I mean how hard is it to fuck up a pancake with ice-cream?).  We also ordered the Rocky Road Cassata – Ms Two Serves asked me what a cassata was and I told her it’s a shitty Italian ice-cream we used to eat in Chinese restaurants in Australia in the 80s.  She took one bite and goes ‘I think a cassata’s just a Shitty Neapolitan ice-cream….What’s up with this weird fruit shit in it?’ .  I don’t like cooked strawberries at the best of times and then a bowl of deep fried tempura strawberries appeared and they looked just as half-assed as you can expect tempura coated strawberries to look.   I wasn’t motivated to try them but Ms Two Serves gave it a fuck no.

In summary – fuck no to alliteration, fuck yeah to getting to wear a furry koala hat and eat Missy Ho’s food, fuck no to spelling your own restaurant name wrong on your waiters’ tees and fuck no to Missy Ho’s desserts.

Addendum – August 2014:  This was my third time back at the Ho and I can move past things like how they don’t put the animal hats out anymore on the table or the fact that the relatively small menu is STILL the same since it opened (though per their FB, think they’re releasing a new menu next week) because the food is pretty fucking good.  But the wheels came off the Missy Ho’s service train, despite it not being that full of people.  For a start, the floor staff seemed to be unable to see you needing them at your table, meaning that you had to physically stand up to get service.  Woop woop, sound the fucking alarm – I got a bad fucking feeling about this.

Cocktail service was also slow as fuck last night – with orders going missing and you know it’s bad when you have to start putting in your cocktail orders when you have half of one left, because you’re anticipating that it’s going to take fucking forever to get your next drink.  Y U do this Missy Ho’s – the margin’s in the goddamn booze??  I asked WTF was happening with their service last night (because I think it’s only fair to give feedback on the night before coming home to bitch about it anonymously online) and they answered “It’s been a long week”.

My reaction:

joanjudging

R U fucking serious??  That’s your reason for why shit isn’t working for you? Isn’t it your business to be on top form for Saturday night prime time which is when everyone who’s had a long week wants to get liquored up and give you all their goddamn money.

Missy Ho’s seemed to have some serious issues with keeping their kitchen stocked with shit – they couldn’t make any Apple Peng Chao pie cocktails as they didn’t have the ingredients and they only had one serve left of their fucking tasty beef satay.  We ordered rose and they couldn’t offer us any wine glasses – only tumblers and champagne glasses.  FYI Castelo Concepts, there’s a Japan Home Centre just down the road, walk yourself down there and buy some goddamn wine glasses, because you’ve been open for how long now?? For desserts, we wanted six of their espresso cocktails and they could only make three because they had run out of coffee.  I even offered to go to Pacific Coffee for them to buy some espresso.  I mean holy fuck, we went at 8pm on a Saturday – how can you be out of everything?!

It’s really fucking sad because the food is still on point and the atmosphere is fun, but based on the service last night – I can’t in good conscience recommend that you should go cause you run the risk that if Missy Ho’s have had a long week, they’re not going to give you any service.

Verdict:
FUCK YEAH – high recommend to get a bunch of homies together, wear a koala hat and have some fuck yeah fun noms at Missy Ho’s.

Based on the service most recently received – FUCK NO

Where:
Kaetsu
Grand Hyatt
M/F, 1 Harbour Rd ‎
Wan Chai, Hong Kong

Phone:
+852 2584 7722 ‎

Price range:
Lunch sets ranged from HKD300 – 600.

The deal:
Kaetsu has been under renovation and it reopened in October 2013.  It’s an entirely inoffensive business lunch location.  The decor is lacqured, shiny and sterile.  The service is prompt and courteous.  My chirashi sushi rice set was nice enough, except for a weird glutinous nightmare as an ‘appetizer’ next to it.  But it was also HKD600 so is ‘nice enough’, good enough?  Another member of the Inoffensive and Not Memorable Japanese Food Club in HK.

The verdict:
Fuck no.

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