74 Peel Street, Central
Tel: 2868 1428
Open: noon-2pm (Saturday and Sunday from 11am), 6pm-11pm (Friday and Saturday until midnight)
Cuisine: Japanese robatayaki.
Price: About HK$350 per person without drinks and before adding service charge.
Ambience: It's a long, narrow room with tables and chairs along one side and high stools along the counter facing the open kitchen where the cooks grill the food. It was full on a recent weeknight, with young suits doing their best to support the economy. We were given a nice table away from the crowd in the small backyard, which was lovely on a balmy evening.
Pros: In addition to the standard robatayaki offerings, there are some more inventive dishes. Service is attentive.
Cons: Items are priced per skewer so it can be hard to keep track of how much you're spending. Australian lamb chops (HK$68 each, above) were cooked slightly beyond our requested medium rare so the meat wasn't as tender as it could have been, although it had good flavour.
Recommended dishes: The jumbo tiger prawns seemed expensive at HK$98 each, but they were beautiful: fresh, huge, succulent and perfectly cooked. We had two innards: ox tongue (HK$32/skewer) and chicken hearts (HK$18/skewer) which were tender and well seasoned, as was the kurobuta pork with leeks (HK$38/skewer). Homemade mutton balls with Meaux mustard sauce (HK$28/skewer) was innovative and done in the style of rack of lamb: coated lightly with mustard and herbs then topped with breadcrumbs. We enjoyed the tomato and bacon rolls (HK$28/skewer) only after removing the unnecessary strips of melted cheese. Gingko nuts (HK$22/skewer) were chewy and nicely charred.
What else? There's an extensive sake list. There isn't much that would satisfy a vegetarian, and besides, all the food is cooked on the same grill.