Japanese Style BBQ Miya
Shop A, 17/F Lee Theatre Plaza
99 Percival Street, Causeway Bay
Tel: 2881 0307
Cuisine: Japanese-style Korean barbecue
Price: about HK$220 without drinks and the service charge.
Ambience: the spacious padded booths are comfortable, and there are some semi-private tatami rooms with recessed seating. There were very few other diners on the night we visited.
Pros: the ventilation system is good, so we didn't leave the place smelling of cooked meats. Service is competent: they didn't offer information on which tabletop condiments to use for the different meats, but answered our questions. The condiments included a mild chilli paste and a delicious chopped onion relish that we ended up slathering on everything, and we had to ask for more. The list of grilled meats is divided into three categories: yakiniku (HK$29 a dish), special yakiniku (HK$59 a dish) and wagyu (starting at HK$79).
Cons: it's worth spending a little more for the better cuts of meat. With the exception of the pork ribs, which were boneless and well-layered, the ordinary yakiniku dishes paled in comparison to the more expensive ones. Yakiniku beef liver was sliced too thickly, so the exterior charred before the interior was cooked. The yakiniku skirt steak and karubi (short ribs) were tough, as was the special yakiniku ox tongue with salt. Beef and kimchi in stone pot rice (HK$59) was under-seasoned, while the Miya kimchi (HK$29) was a scant portion for the price.
Recommended dishes: special yakiniku marinated karubi was fatty and tender. Even better were the wagyu shoulder chops and karubi (HK$79 each), which were so rich, flavourful and fatty that they didn't need a marinade. Tofu and seaweed salad (HK$49) was refreshing, and the deep-fried chicken wings (HK$49 for four) were like a good, slightly greasy version of battered fast-food chicken.
What else? There's another branch of Miya at Langham Place in Mong Kok (tel: 3514 9227).