Hachi Japanese Restaurant
8/F Circle Tower, 28 Tang Lung Street, Causeway Bay
Tel: 2575 2257
Open: noon-3pm, 6pm-10.30pm
Price: about HK$250 without drinks or the service charge.
Ambience: friendly and quiet. We were happy to have booked, because the main dining area was full. There's a smaller private room.
Pros: our servers were eager to please. There were three of us, so for the dishes that were two per serving, the waitress suggested 1 1/2 orders, rather than making us order two portions.
Cons: the only dish we didn't finish was the assorted tempura (HK$98). It was a generous serving - three large prawns, a fish fillet, baby corn and other vegetables, but had a heavy, oily batter.
Recommended dishes: we ordered mostly from the specials menu. The green onion on minced tuna belly (HK$88) was lovely. The portion looked tiny, but for the price it was a surprisingly generous serving of finely minced tuna belly with cooked seaweed on the bottom and sprinkled with spring onions. It came with small sheets of nori - which we used to wrap the tuna - and toasted cashews, which gave it a mildly sweet, rich crunch. We loved the sea urchin bean curd (HK$88), which was sea urchin-flavoured bean curd topped with more sea urchin. Horse mackerel sashimi (HK$84 for a half order) was fresh and sweet, and came with grated ginger and minced spring onions. Skewers of minced chicken meat with plum and shiso leaf (HK$48 for two) were dense and meaty, with cartilage giving it a nice crunch. My guest liked the fried beef cubes with garlic and butter (HK$98) so much that I had only one piece of the tender meat. A special described as Okinawa bitter gourd with tofu (HK$88) came with sliced pork belly and bean sprouts, all cooked with egg into a messy looking but delicious dish.
What else? Hachi serves the type of food meant to go with drinks, but the place is quieter and better lit (although not overly bright) than most of the izakaya-type establishments we've been to.