Arisu Korean Restaurant
3/F H8, 8 Hau Fook Street
Tsim Sha Tsui
Tel: 2369 8008
Open: 11am-2.30pm, 6pm-10.30pm
Price: about HK$300 without drinks or the service charge.
Ambience: the restaurant is decorated with an odd display of artfully arranged twigs along the windows and on the low partition that divides the room. Most of the diners were in groups of three or four, dipping into simmering, lavish vats of seafood hotpot cooked by the staff.
Pros: good, hearty food served in larger-than-expected portions.
Cons: those larger-than-expected portions meant we ordered too much. One waitress started preparing our beef and noodle hotpot (HK$220) by putting the vegetables into the simmering broth, but wandered off to help someone else and didn't return. I tried to cook it, resulting in underdone beef and undercooked noodles.
Recommended dishes: the pork belly bossam (HK$280) was one of the better versions we've tried in Hong Kong. It was an enormous portion that, with just one other dish, would have satisfied the three of us. Thick slices of cooked belly were arranged on the platter, along with a heap of white radish, apple and oyster kimchi, a pile of shredded spring onion salad, sliced garlic and chillies, and vegetables used to wrap the ingredients such as sesame leaf, lettuce leaves and raw and blanched cabbage. The resulting 'wraps' were rather large and unwieldy because of the thickness of the meat, but they made for messy, delicious mouthfuls. Stir-fried soondae (blood sausage, HK$250) was a surprise hit for my two guests. The spiciness of the sauce was tempered by the mild flavour of the sausage and the plentiful vegetables cooked with it. Fire chicken (HK$200), on the other hand, was very spicy, so delicate mouths should take care.
What else? The selection of side dishes was generous and varied, including the requisite cabbage kimchi along with fish cakes, chillies with dried anchovies, broccoli and shrimp with sesame oil, and shredded radish kimchi.