Tasty Japanese food at Tsuki Iso marred by background noise
13-15/F L'Hart, 487-489 Lockhart Road, Causeway Bay
Tel: 2838 5898
Open: noon-3pm, 6pm-11pm
Price: HK$375 without drinks or the service charge.
Ambience: the restaurant takes up two floors (the 14/F, of course, doesn't exist). You enter a room with a sushi bar and counter seating; the stairs lead you to the lower level which has a robatayaki counter and tables.
Pros: the menu is focused, listing primarily sushi and robatayaki. Our main waitress was friendly and helpful.
Cons: as much as we liked the food, we wouldn't go back until they have fixed the air conditioner and extraction fan on the lower level. It was far too warm and noisy, and did not make for a relaxing evening. The waitress apologised many times and set up a fan to blow on our table, but it wasn't very effective. The only dish we left unfinished was the black Iberian pork with salt (HK$120), which lacked succulence.
Recommended dishes: finely sliced and delicately textured snapper carpaccio (HK$120) came with ponzu, grated radish and minced spring onions. Striped jack sashimi (HK$120) was three thick, meaty slices served with fresh wasabi. Mentaiko chicken wings (HK$65 for two) were well-stuffed with cod roe, and grilled so they were slightly charred outside and moist within. A dish of Okinawa bitter melon with minced shrimp (HK$65) was a success because the vegetable, which is a speciality of the prefecture, has a crisper texture and more complex flavour than other types of bitter melon. Grilled teriyaki steak (HK$150) didn't have the overly sweet, thick sauce that you find at cheap Japanese restaurants. This one had a light sauce that complemented the meat, which had been grilled to a nice medium-rare. The steak and a succulent black codfish with saiyko miso (HK$160) were our favourite dishes of the night. Nagano soba (HK$120) was served in a dish with the sauce, fresh wasabi, seaweed and spring onions.
What else? Tsuki Iso is in a building that houses several restaurants and bars.