If you're looking for a run-of-the-mill sushi platter at a quiet Japanese restaurant, Busy Suzie isn't for you. Gilbert Yeung's new Robatayaki restaurant serves up an experience rather than a meal, complete with clapping rituals, shouted interactions and a signature serving style that offer diners an immensely enjoyable taste of a Japanese culinary tradition.
At a Robatayaki - 'ro' meaning fireplace - the chef cooks over a charcoal grill and passes the dish to the diners with a wooden paddle. This practice is a nod back to the first 'robatas' hundreds of years ago - beach restaurants in which fisherman used their oar as a cooking utensil.
Along with the shouted greetings as guests enter the restaurant, and the loud, cheerful relay of orders between the waiters and head chef Mitsuo Tonoyama (below), another cultural touch is the clapping ritual that Mitsuo leads to interact with the guests. The dishes at Busy Suzie, which opened last December, are cooked with ingredients imported daily from Japan. Vegetable highlights include the ginkgo nuts (HK$60), shiitake mushroom (HK$80) and Daikoku Shimeji mushroom (HK$120), that are lightly seasoned and grilled to the perfect texture.
Our favourites from the meat and seafood selection were the melt-in-your-mouth Miyazaki beef tenderloin skewers (HK$238/60g) and the grilled king crab claw (HK$280). The conch (HK$280, right) was delicious, and diners are provided with a little sake glass into which they can pour the remaining broth through the spiral shell's 'spout'. For a nightcap, the Woooo!! martini (HK$98) is not for the faint of heart. The gin, sake and mint syrup concoction is served in a martini glass thinly coated with wasabi. The quality of the wasabi is such that it does not assault but rather adds a touch of fragrance to the drink.
Shop 209, 1881 Heritage, 2A Canton Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, 23690077