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Nov 16, 2013 08:31 PM

Sushi Shikon (aka Sushi Yoshitake)

I had dinner at Sushi Shikon (former Sushi Yoshitake) last night, on my fifth day since I moved back to Hong Kong from New York. LOL

The kitchen is helmed by Tokyo Sushi Yoshitake's sous chef Yoshiharu Kakinuma.

I was served delicious seasonal female snow crab with crab roe gelee, really tender and juicy marinaded tako, steamed abalone with liver sauce (mushi awabi with kimo sauce), and seared mackerel (aburi saba) for appetizers. Everything was delicious.

Then followed by nigiri of tai, akamutsu, tsuke maguro, otoro, kohada roll with oboro, smoked sawara, ikura, kuruma ebi, and anago, followed by gyoku (egg cake).
Strawberry and red bean mochi with matcha ice cream was served for dessert,

Quality of neta was overall good, if not the best.
I also liked vinegared sushi rice (shari), which was neither mushy hard and dry.

I would have been very satisfied if the dinner had not been HK$3,500 without alocohol. LOL It was tasty and good, but for this price, I would expect a bit more. Uni could have been better quality, seaweed (nori) could have been better quality, neta could have been more interesting, etc, etc.
I know I shouldn't compare it to sushiyas in Japan, but even considering that this is not Japan, which means air-flown ingredients from Japan cost more, it left something to be desired. It's one of better sushiyas in Hong Kong no doubt, but will I go back? May be or may be not.

RyuGin, on the other hand, was really satisfactory in terms of price-to-performance ratio.

P.S. Chef Yoshiharu Kakinuma said he used to live in Atlanta, Georgia and worked in New York City for a short period too. So he knows chef Sotohiro of Soto New York, who is also from Atlanta, Georgia. He also said Sushi Yoshitake plans to expand to other major cities, probably New York. IMHO, New York definitely needs this kind of good sushi quality, but I am not sure if it will be popular at this price point (approx. U$500). They may have to either upgade the ingredients or lower the price in New York.
Masa costs over U$700, but its dinner course includes pricy ingredients like fugu, hairy crab, white truffle, caviar, etc. Sushi Nakazawa costs only about U$200 after tax and tip, and 15 East between U$200 - U$300, both serving comparable quality of sushi. Ichimura, famous for using dry-aged fish with shio kouji (fermented seasoning made from rice malt and salt) as neta, costs around U$300. Keep in mind though, all these New York sushiyas generally use once-frozen ingredients due to the regulations by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, which stipulates that fish served raw must be frozen first, to kill parasites.

Anyways, I am so glad to be back in Hong Kong. For the past 6 days, I devoured Shanghai hairy crab and French desserts at Salon de The de Joel Robuchon and Madarin Cake Shop, as well as delicious iced coffee everywhere, and Roast goose, not to mention great dim sum!!!! LOLOLOL

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  1. i had that steamed abalone with liver sauce at sushi yoshitake in tokyo...really good

    i wonder how it compares to Tokyo bc yoshitake in tokyo was really very good and it was about USD $315 per person (i think i had like one beer), i cant believe how expensive the HK branch is

    btw side note what i really think stood out in Japan was the quality of the shellfish. while the fish was better than NY / LA, it was the shellfish that was really on another level compared to NY / LA

    2 Replies
    1. re: Lau

      It was very good and I have no complaints. Just the price was really higher than at its Tokyo counterpart. But then, it's not like they are ripping off or anything. I guess it's just geographic distance that makes the price difference, having to ship fresh ingredients by air from Japan. :)

      1. re: kosmose7

        yah but that is a pretty hefty price, i think it must be the rent in HK as opposed to solely the transport costs

    2. btw on a completed unrelated note, check out this chiu chow place i was talking to charles yu. its in happy valley, i was doing some research on the chiu chow chamber of commerce (they have a members only restaurant) and i found this place, i think the family were cooks at the chiu chow chamber of commerce befor, opening their own place...looks really good, im going to go here next time im in HK. check out the signature dishes

      if you happen to want to be a scout that would be awesome...haha!

      11 Replies
      1. re: Lau

        Hay Lau!
        I was just about to make the same suggestion to kosmose7!! Foodies do think alike!!

          1. re: Charles Yu


            Thank you so much Lau and Charles Yu for this!

            It sounds great and I will definitely try it sooner than later!

            1. re: kosmose7

              yes please let us know how it is

          2. re: Lau

            Oh cool! Thanks for mentioning this place! I am very likely going to try it out. And it's perfect, I can walk to there from where I am staying and it's only a few minutes away!!!

            1. re: K K

              Awesome! And even more awesome for you!

              it looks very promising

              1. re: Lau

                Here's a local TV show interview with chef Alan who has Culinary Institute of America (NY) French cuisine background and his mentor uncle (former head chef of Chiu Chow Chamber of Commerce)


                It's quite astonishing to see some parallels between two aspects of Japanese cooking in the restaurant. The grilling of the conch is very similar to robatayaki style scallops on the shell, or sazae no tsuboyaki (grilled horned turban with sake and salt).....and the marinade that keeps on cooking is like nijiru (boiled down stock) for tsume (brushing sauce on anago for example) and/or for cooking anago...the soul of Chiu Chow food vs the soul (stock) of a sushi chef's.

                1. re: K K

                  very cool...this place looks awesome, i hope it ends up being as good as it looks

                  thats part of the reason i like chiu chow food, it feels quite different to me than alot of other chinese cuisines, but i generally think cantonese, chiu chow and shanghainese have a level of complexity that is really nice when done right

              2. re: K K

                From Shikon's Web site: "Using one’s hands to eat the sushi pieces is recommended because the chef can serve the 'shari' sushi rice at a softer consistency. Using chopsticks to eat sushi is also fine. As the rice is served at a slightly different consistency depending on which method is used; the chef will observe which method the guests prefer, and adjust the rice accordingly."

                Wow so serious. On OpenRice, there have been multiple reviews from people complaining that Chef Yoshitake wasn't particularly accommodating to requests, e.g., one guy got "cheaper" ocean trout because he refused to eat blue fin tuna, and another would ask for the crispy seaweed since she didn't want to eat the uni but got turned down ("Maybe next time"). Do you think customers should respect the "strict" Japanese way of serving omakase (after all Shikon massages their tako for 45 minutes right?), or they should give some leeway since they are charging that much $$$?

                1. re: vincentlo

                  A few things

                  Openrice reviews should not be taken too seriously, just like Yelp. It's probably worse in HK because many people love to complain and at times for no reason at all, or just write something negative because they were in a bad mood for whatever reason, or simply do not understand the nature of the business or the dining itself. Or perhaps they felt their sense of entitlement was violated. The other problem is that maybe a handful (or three at most) of all openrice reviewers truly understand sushi (beyond suddenly becoming an expert after watching Jiro Dreams Of Sushi) and have knowledge and experience of it in Japan and abroad, and of course those who are well traveled and do not post on OR but on other forums like here (or on their own blogs).

                  Japanese run high end sushi restaurants at least from my very limited experience and observations in HK (and even some locally trained HK sushi chefs agree), tend to be generally more on the rigid side and at times less willing to accommodate customer requests. Like for example if something is not in season or hard to get, they won't get it for a customer just because he or she wants it. But there are some HK sushi chefs (who trained with Japanese chefs locally) who will think the opposite and go out of their way to please the customer. Both approaches have their pluses and minuses. The obvious ones are that the top places run by HK local chefs are more personable to local patrons, but the quality of their ingredients will be no match with the Japanese run places (that have backing from Japan, e.g. Shikon, Ginza Iwa) who already have long standing relationships with their fish suppliers at Tsukiji Fish Market (it's the JP way of doing business, just like Jiro's relationships with his suppliers) these local chefs have to make up for this difference by putting in more skill and prepto execute at a high level (in addition to upping the service and rapport with customers).

                  There are very likely a set of very loyal regulars at Yoshitake/Shikon who do not write reviews online, who have no problem shelling out the big bucks yet do not share the same experience as openrice people (and probably don't want to share the better treatment they receive). Same goes for Sawa Sushi.

              3. re: Lau

                Since this was recommended in November, has anyone been? Sounds wonderful, and want to know if we should invest one of our three dinners here. Please let us know.

              4. Had a spectacular experience here a few weeks ago, from start to finish the food, service and gracefulness of the executive chef was something that I've never had before. Was it worth the price? For the first time, yes. Would I go back anytime soon? No... But maybe once a year?

                In any case it was one of my best 3* experiences to date. Highly recommend if price is not an issue.