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Sushi in Hong Kong - not Michelin

j
jujudee Feb 3, 2013 10:12 AM

I've been researching for an excellent sushi restaurant to try while in Hong Kong. Finding tons of recommendations for the Top 5 and very best sushi chefs (such as Kuu, TaKe, Yoshitake, etc). What we're looking for would be a step down from that, any recommendations? Finding it tricky to find the next tier level of sushi restaurants, maybe $100/pp or less.

Research so far suggesting maybe Mori Sushi or Gyotaku? And that there are many on Causeway Bay area that should be very good. Nadaman in the Shangri La?

Our logic on this is that any time we visit a major city, we try to take advantage of at least one high end sushi/Japanese opportunity, (along the lines of Barmasa or Shibuya in Vegas, Nobu, Sushi Taro in DC) For this trip, the timing is not right to treat ourselves to this 2-3* Michelin experience, also one in our party is not really a sushi fan.

If Hong Kong is not a good time to seek out an excellent sushi/sashimi meal, we can skip it. Just assuming the proximity to Japan, the size of the city, the reputation for food quality would mean that there are plenty of Japanese traditional chefs and fresh fish.

Appreciate any feedback! I did research threads here and didn't find what i was looking for, apologies if this topic was covered.

  1. Charles Yu Feb 3, 2013 10:31 AM

    Which sources did you use for your research??!
    If you haven't use www.openrice.com??!! Give it a try! Best food source for Hong Kong, period!!

    1. u
      Uncle Yabai Feb 3, 2013 02:20 PM

      Good sushi (as in sushi worth eating) is extremely expensive in Hong Kong. The places that come up regularly are Sase, Yoshitake, and Take. I've never been to any of them, because what I hear is that they are so expensive that it's probably cheaper to book a flight to Japan and eat there instead.

      3 Replies
      1. re: Uncle Yabai
        PhilD Feb 3, 2013 02:32 PM

        Here is an interesting link: http://hk.asiatatlerdining.com/featur...
        I tend to find Open Rice good for data but not for opinion (two many people more concerned about the attitude of the server, or minute detail about decor), Asia Tatler wouldn't be my obvious choice as a source, but it does seem to get it right most times.

        Uncle makes a good point, HK is expensive for good food, and Sushi price get into the stratospheric territory - like him I tend to get my fix on frequent Tokyo trips.

        One question are places like Nobu really good for Sushi or is this and "apples and oranges" comparison i.e. good US sushi is average HK sushi....? Genuine question as I have not tried much US sushi and Nobu never struck me (by reputation) as a place that would make the top league in any sushi table.....?

        1. re: PhilD
          j
          jujudee Feb 4, 2013 11:40 AM

          Absolutely good question, Phil. And in your question you answer what I was wondering. We have only eaten "US sushi", so our experience is limited. Although we don't like our city's local sushi places, we do thoroughly enjoy the better US options. But hear what you are saying, that they are apples/oranges from a true Japanese omakase, as I suspected. That's part of the reason we are hesitant to try one of the top spots, concerned we don't have the palate to appreciate it, in addition to having the diner with us that doesn't enjoy it. Still, when else can we experience this?!? HK may be the right opportunity. Thanks for the link too!

        2. re: Uncle Yabai
          k
          klyeoh Feb 9, 2013 09:16 PM

          I liked Sushi Sase - each chef serves about 6 customers there. Great tasting sushi - but I particularly liked the place because it somehow has this ambience that made me forget I'm in HK but am in Tokyo for a while.

        3. j
          joisey al Feb 3, 2013 02:44 PM

          Sakaegawa Japanese Restaurant
          7/F Macau Yeat Yuen Centre
          525 Hennesey Rd.
          Causeway Bay

          Try the Prawns sashimi style, you won't be disappointed

          1. K K Feb 3, 2013 03:26 PM

            Food prices are definitely on the rise in Hong Kong. Even if non JP food prices seem low, you will likely get smaller portions for local food items, but you can think of that as portion control.

            The top sushi restaurants in Hong Kong operate more along the lines of Urasawa (LA) or a more downscale version of Masa (NY) in terms of approach and style (not using them as comparison, but to give people an idea of what to expect). Impressive, traditional, yet with some modern flair, but not fusion for a global crowd. Nobu, Bar Masa, and it sounds like the others, are more fusion style that cater to a wider audience and are not the same. It's important to note that the experiences between these will vary depending on your expectations, but those generally are run by Japanese for the most part, have Japanese chefs, and more so follow Japanese trends (from Tokyo and elsewhere).

            With that said, Ta-ke, Sase, and Yoshitake are probably the best in HK. And this is also coming from speaking to a few locals when I last visited Ta-Ke (the patrons around me).

            Yoshitake is astronomically expensive, and likely you will not walk out of there full, maybe if you are willing to shell out almost US$700 per person (don't forget most places have a 10% service charge tacked on top) and that doesn't include drinks. This place has 2 Michelin star, unlike its flagship Tokyo location which scored 3, but to me that still doesn't mean anything, particularly when the most expensive course only gives you 11 pieces of nigiri sushi (you get far more than that eating at Masa or Urasawa or elsewhere).

            Ta-Ke is also very expensive but much cheaper in comparison...you could end up spending upwards of US$300 a person for omakase, although the quality is very very good. When I was there in late December, it was during a period of time when the fish market was shut down for holiday so they could only get goodies from Hokkaido and Kyushu, but still very good. Sase runs about the same to my understanding.

            Sushi Mori in Causeway Bay I feel is excellent for the money. Probably US$100 less for a sushi omakase meal than Ta-Ke, and the chef is really good (ditto for the service). The chef there can do a Ono Jiro style tamago, which is not easy to find in town (as I understand it Ta-Ke doesn't even do Jiro style tamago). I even had items at Mori that Ta-Ke did not have, within a week between the two visits, e.g. Japanese mullet roe, live unagi. But Ta-Ke had some items I never had before, like "grape shrimp" (budou ebi). Word to the wise, make reservations before going. Such places do and can afford to import fish from Japan several times a week (one of them claimed to get them in every day), which is something probably 95% of good JP sushi places in the USA cannot do due to high costs.

            Nadaman? It's a kappo ryori restaurant in terms of strength. You go there for what is mistaken as kaiseki type meals. When it season, grilled sweet riverfish (ayu) is splendid there. Or homesick expats go there for New Year's day set meals.

            Tomoe Sushi in Tsim Sa Tsui could also be a potential contender for good nigiri sushi, maybe comparable to Mori just based on preliminary research.

            Coming from someone who lives in California, I never regretted plunking down more than what I would comfortably pay for sushi, for a really nice sushi meal in HK. Sure, I could have gotten better sushi meals in Taipei or Tokyo, but unless I'm flying there, any well researched and reputable establishment in HK would be way better than most places in the USA. I wouldn't splurge on Yoshitake HK, never... (where I draw the line at insanity).

            5 Replies
            1. re: K K
              j
              jujudee Feb 4, 2013 11:42 AM

              Thank you for the detailed reply, you completely have us pegged and your info is super helpful. Thanks for taking the time!

              1. re: K K
                t
                tbtb18 Feb 8, 2013 07:22 PM

                KK - just curious, what are some of the good sushi places in Taiwan? planning on going in March and don't really know anyone in Taiwan....

                1. re: tbtb18
                  K K Feb 8, 2013 10:38 PM

                  I personally havent been to these but from what I know, they seem to be solid choices. Do some research into them before you go (they are all in Taipei):

                  笹(ささ)鮨
                  台北市中山北路2段42巷6號
                  2561-1246

                  筌壽司
                  台北市大安區安東街29號1樓
                  02-27711856

                  鮨十兵衛
                  地址:台北市安和路二段23巷5號
                  02-27037226

                  上引水產附設立吞壽司
                  北市民族東路410巷2弄18號
                  2508-1268

                  The last one is really interesting, it is in the same building that imports Japanese live seafood wholesale, and keeps them in separate holding tanks. Really good value if you order a nigiri combo set. But the other 3 are much better decor, upscale and fancier (yet very Japanese).

                  Basically anything in the Zhongshan district, along 中山北路, that's like the hotbed of authentic Japanese eats...ramen, izakaya, sushi, yakiniku.

                  1. re: K K
                    t
                    tbtb18 Feb 9, 2013 09:03 AM

                    Thanks for the info....will definitely go check some of them out next month~

                2. re: K K
                  vincentlo Mar 15, 2013 05:15 AM

                  "...(where I draw the line at insanity)"

                  Hey KK, that's why I haven't been to Sawa for years now. A friend urged me to try their new version just to see if they've changed. ;-)

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