Restaurant review: YakiniKuu Japanese Restaurant, Central - quality meats
A few doors down from Ronin, and opened by Satoru Mukogawa of Sushi Kuu fame, YakiniKuu serves some wonderful food, including ‘wagyu light’ beef, but tables are small and ventilation could be better
Cuisine: Japanese, specialising in yakiniku
Price: about HK$360 without drinks or the service charge.
Ambience: we were seated in the small part of the L-shaped space, where it was quieter than the main dining area.
Pros: the quality of the meat is high. The menus is compact, listing marbled wagyu, “wagyu light” (less fatty cuts), “special selection”, pork, chicken, salads and specialities. Many of the grilled beef selections can be ordered in half portions.
Cons: tables are small and it’s hard to find space to put the food because of the table-top grill. Despite the pull-down ventilation system and the paper aprons diners are given to protect clothes from spatters, your hair will probably smell of grilled meat. The meat in the beef tartare (HK$110) was hand-cut and beautifully marbled, but the egg yolk was large for the amount of beef, making it too creamy.
Recommended dishes: the beef shabu shabu salad (HK$140) was fantastic - tender, thin slices of meat, mixed salad greens with pine nuts, fried garlic and bean sprouts, and a delicious sesame dressing. Fried chicken ($100) was hot and juicy, with a light coating. Lightly scored, thick slices of ox tongue (HK$140) were moist, and the rich, beefy flavour was complemented by a few drops of fresh lime juice. We expected the fatty rib-eye (HK$280) to be tender, and it was, but to our surprise, so was the lightly marinated skirt steak (HK$150). Sirloin sukiyaki (HK$290) was wonderful. We were instructed to briefly sear the very thin slices of meat, dip them in the sauce first, then raw egg yolk, before eating the beef with rice, making for delicious mouthfuls. Pork belly chan chan yaki (HK$120) - cooked by the kitchen with crisp-tender cabbage - was also enjoyable.
What else? YakiniKuu was opened by Satoru Mukogawa of Sushi Kuu fame. The address says it’s on Gough Street but the entrance is actually on On Wo Lane, a few doors away from Ronin.
YakiniKuu Japanese Restaurant, 29-31 Gough Street, Central, Tel: 2331 3805. Open: noon-3pm, 5.30pm-11pm