WOO TUNG YAKINIKU DINING BAR
Shop 12, St Francis Street, Wan Chai
Tel: 2528 5788
Open: noon-11pm (Sunday 6pm-11pm)
Cuisine: Japanese barbecue
Price: about HK$350 without drinks and the service charge.
Ambience: for most of the evening, we were the only diners in the restaurant. The grills upstairs along a long counter use charcoal; those downstairs, where customers sit at tables, are electric.
Pros: there's a great selection of meats (beef, pork and chicken) plus seafood and a few vegetables. Most are inexpensive, except for the prime cuts of Japanese beef.
Cons: the selection of side dishes with the meat is quite limited. Don't wear anything that needs to be dry-cleaned because you'll end up smelling of the cooking meat. The prices for most of the meats seemed reasonable, but they turned out to be very small portions, except for the salted pork intestine (HK$69). The garlic supreme pork belly (HK$79) was coated in pureed garlic, most of which stuck to the grill while the meat was being cooked, which we were thankful for because the little that remained was far too strong anyway. The small chunks of the 'limited selection' barbecue sauce filet (HK$89) were dry. The rice ball (HK$39) needed more time over the coals to crisp it up.
Recommended dishes: the salted pork intestine was deliciously fatty inside, and when the fat dripped into the charcoal it flamed up, charring and crisping up the exterior. Barbecue sauce beef (HK$89) was sufficiently fatty, and the slightly sweet Korean-style marinade didn't overwhelm the meat. My favourite dish was the salted tongue with green onion (HK$79), which was tender and subtle, with a pile of sweet and mild spring onions.
What else? Unlike most other yakiniku places, which are DIY, the staff here will cook for you. We started off cooking the meats ourselves, but after a few flare-ups the staff took over, which made for a more relaxing meal.