33-35 Bridges Street, Sheung Wan
Tel: 2547 9273
Open: Monday-Saturday 6pm until late
Cuisine: modern yakitori
Price: about HK$290 without drinks. There's no service charge.
Ambience: loud, happy and casual. Diners in the two-storey restaurant (the kitchen is downstairs, the bar on the ground-floor level) perch on high stools at tiny tables; the music level is so high it can be difficult to hear a conversation.
Pros: we're always sceptical about restaurants that have too much of a buzz, but we had a good meal.
Cons: if you're not careful, the drinks will cost as much as the meal itself. The only dishes I wouldn't order again were the edamame with sea salt - expensive (HK$38) for what it is and the skill it takes to cook the soya beans - and the fried chicken with garlic and kewpie mayonnaise - also expensive, at HK$140. Although crunchy outside, with moist meat, the dish was too large for just two diners, and it was dull after one piece. Recommended dishes: this is a true yakitori place: only chicken 'parts' are skewered and grilled. We liked the tail with sea salt and pepper (HK$38) - boned, and the skin and fat were cooked until crisp; the skin with sake and sea salt (HK$38), and my favourite chicken part, the oyster (HK$42). Chicken oysters are small, succulent morsels from the lower back. Here, they were grilled with sea salt and lemon, so the dense, flavourful meat remained moist. Chicken livers were perfectly cooked - a little pink at the centre. Of the non-chicken dishes, we enjoyed the sweet corn tempura (HK$85) and the KFC (Korean fried cauliflower, HK$75). Coated in light batter before being deep-fried and dunked in a sweet-spicy sauce similar to that of Korean fried chicken, this was one of the best cauliflower dishes I've had; even my cauliflower-hating guest liked it. The only dessert on offer was peanut butter ice cream with sea salt (HK$40), which was lightly textured but intense in taste.
What else? Yardbird was opened by ex-Zuma chef Matt Abergel. They don't take reservations.