11/F Macau Yat Yuen Centre, 525 Hennessy Road, Causeway Bay
Tel: 2955 0005
Open: noon-2.45pm (last order), 6pm-11pm
Price: about HK$650 without drinks and the service charge.
Ambience: at the entrance, just past the noren (door curtain), is a simple, beautiful display of Japanese chrysanthemums. The feeling of the place is serene, with music played at a low volume and the two sushi chefs working quietly behind the sushi bar that is the focus of the main room.
Pros: the sushi and sashimi list offered some unusual selections of fish. Service was attentive and discreet. Next time we visit, we'll follow the lead of all the other diners eating there on the night we visited, who were sitting at the bar and leaving the decision of what to eat up to the skilled sushi chef.
Cons: most of the food came all at once, which made it difficult to eat the cooked dishes while they were still hot. Grilled yellowtail head with salt (HK$160) had moist meat, but none of the gelatinous bits that we want and expect when ordering fish head. Cucumber with sweet miso in two flavours (HK$60) was expensive for what it was. The Japanese flounder dorsal fin sushi (HK$80) had a tough piece of sinew running through it that ruined the piece of fish.
Recommended dishes: my other three pieces of sushi - yellowtail belly (HK$60), striped jack mackerel (HK$60) and sea urchin (HK$80) - were glisteningly fresh. The yellowtail belly and mackerel were topped with a small dab of spicy, citrussy yuzu kosho that balanced the fattiness of the fish and made the accompanying fresh wasabi unnecessary. Grilled Japanese steak (HK$390, above) was a beautifully marbled slab of meat that was seared until rare then sliced against the grain into tender pieces. We did not eat the tempura (HK$150) while it was hot because the beef was served at the same time and the waiter instructed us to eat it immediately. The vegetables suffered at room temperature, but the shrimp - in a delicate batter - maintained their crunch.
What else? the building housing the restaurant is more commonly known as the Continental Diamond Plaza, a treasure trove of quality Japanese restaurants.