51 Peel Street, Central
Tel: 2104 9338
Open: Monday-Friday 11.30am-2.30pm, Monday-Saturday 6pm until late
Cuisine: primarily Japanese
Price: about HK$400 without drinks and service charge.
Ambience: there were only a few other diners when we visited on a drizzly weeknight. The place is almost entirely black, other than a few gold ornaments on the shelves, and the moving wall hanging that surrounds a large pillar in the middle of the room.
Pros: it's a friendly neighbourhood-type place with well-cooked food. We liked everything we ordered, and the food was served at an even pace.
Cons: don't bother to type the restaurant name into any search engine because you'll come up with a lot of irrelevant stuff. Hot spring egg with tomato, black truffle and vinaigrette (HK$68) contained mixed greens, without tomatoes, although we didn't notice until we re-read the menu description after the meal. It didn't bother us, though, because we liked the taste of it. The waiter presented the salad, then broke the softly set egg and mixed it into the ingredients, coating them lightly with a flavourful sauce.
Recommended dishes: sea snails in spicy wine soup was one of the first dishes served, and the hot stone pot in which the snails were served kept the ingredients warm throughout the meal. We used skewers to pry the snails from their shell and dipped them into the bubbling, well-flavoured broth. Prawn tempura (HK$78) was a lovely presentation, with light, lacy batter delicately coating the three prawns. Pan-fried lamb dumplings (HK$78) had a strong flavour of the meat that was balanced by minced Chinese chives. Our last savoury dish was the fried rice with crab roe and crab (HK$108), which we liked so much that we wished we had enough room in our stomachs to finish the entire plate. It had plenty of crab roe and crab to actually flavour the rice.
What else? The main F behind the name of the restaurant is owner Fenndy Lam. They also list the dishes in categories such as First choice, Fresh from the market and Favourites.