• Wed
  • Jul 30, 2014
  • Updated: 6:19am

Irori

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 24 November, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 24 November, 2011, 12:00am

2/F Bartlock Centre, Yiu Wa Street, Causeway Bay
Tel: 2838 5939
Open: noon-2.30pm, 6pm-10.30pm
Cuisine: Japanese izakaya

Price: about HK$350 without drinks and the service charge

Ambience: open screens here and there separate the restaurant space into smaller sections. The seats can be quite close together. We visited on a fairly quiet weeknight, and the waitress gave us a table that was sufficiently large for all our dishes.

Pros: the food - made to pair with drinks - is well prepared, with special skill showing in the fried dishes. Our helpful waitress told us when we had ordered enough dishes.

Cons: broiled spicy cod roe (HK$40) was nothing special.

Recommended dishes: we ordered the horse mackerel sashimi (HK$250) from the specials menu. The fish was served with its skeleton, which, after we finished the meat, was taken away and fried. The mackerel, served with grated ginger and spring onions, was fresh, but we thought the fish would have tasted better in larger, more substantial pieces - something we remedied by eating two slices at a time. Ankimo (monkfish liver, HK$90) was as smooth, rich and buttery as it should be. Fried ox tongue with spring onion (HK$70) is one of the restaurant's more famous dishes (almost every other table ordered it), and for good reason: the meat was tender and went deliciously with the mild sweetness of the spring onions. Deep-fried chicken cartilage (HK$60) was one of the best that we've tasted. The coating had a rich flavour and crisp bite, and the cartilage was crunchy without being chewy. Deep-fried sweet potato chips (HK$70) were crisp and addictive. Tomato salad (HK$70) had sweet fruit enhanced by the thin but well-flavoured sesame sauce.

What else? It's a good idea to book ahead as we've been turned away before because the restaurant was fully booked.

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