101/F International Commerce Centre, 1 Austin Road West, Kowloon
Tel: 2302 0222
Open: 6pm-9.30pm (last order)
Cuisine: Japanese kaiseki
Price: the 10-course kaiseki dinner is HK$1,980 per head without drinks or the service charge.
Ambience: those sitting at window-side tables have a great view.
Pros: the service. The staff recognised my guest from her last visit two months ago and took pride in pointing out how much the menu had changed. The delicious food was beautifully presented on what must be a fortune in tableware.
Cons: the sashimi course was disappointing. Balsamic jelly overwhelmed the delicacy of tiny white shrimp; tuna with Japanese soy sauce was nothing special; and the pen shell clam came with eggplant, which had a smoky flavour that was too strong. The sake selection had only two choices of smaller bottles.
Recommended dishes: grilled corn custard topped with a jellied dried shrimp broth and fresh sea urchin was rich and smooth, with crunchy accents from finely diced cucumber, and the flavours were perfectly balanced. We also loved the foie gras, which had been marinated overnight in port and wasanbon sugar, served with fresh fig, sesame cream sauce and candied walnuts that added crunch. Steamed abalone with balls of lotus mochi and delicate sheets of yuba (fresh beancurd skin) was something that some people might find challenging texturally, but I thought it warm and soothing. Grilled 'large eel' (unagi, or freshwater eel) was cooked so perfectly that the skin was delicately crisp while the meat was soft and moist. The first dessert of mango candy 'chaud et froid' (hot and cold) was creative and delicious, with cold mango powder encased in a mango-coloured candy shell, perched in a glass above hot mango. Follow-up desserts of white snow mousse with sake kasu and a refreshing cold melon soup with fragrance of daiginjo sake were the perfect, light ending to a great meal.
What else? The restaurant will open for lunch by reservation only, for groups of eight or more booked one week in advance.