Kura Kura Robatayaki & Sushi Restaurant
7-17 Amoy Street, Wan Chai
Tel: 2528 2888 Open: noon-3pm, 6pm-10.30pm Cuisine: Japanese Price: about HK$190 without drinks or the service charge.
Ambience: it's a nice neighbourhood restaurant operated (at least on the night of our visit) by just two people: one person taking care of the front of house, and one busy in the kitchen. Pros: service was friendly, we liked the food, which came at a good pace, and the prices were reasonable. Unlike many Japanese restaurants in Hong Kong, the menu is quite limited, focusing on sushi and robatayaki, along with a few appetisers and noodle dishes. Cons: space in this restaurant, which has only about 25 seats, is very tight. Tables are minuscule, and diners perch on hard wooden chairs. The only dish I didn't like was the grilled corn (HK$18) because my piece tasted fermented, although none of my guests complained about their portions.
Recommended dishes: the bean curd with kimchi (HK$36) was a good start to the meal; the kimchi (Japanese-style, so it was sweeter and less spicy than Korean kimchi) and firm tofu pieces were cool and refreshing. Grilled lamb rack (HK$58 per piece) was moist and nicely charred. Chicken wings stuffed with pollock roe (HK$33 for two) were the bargain of the night: the boneless wing was well-stuffed and succulent. The grilled mackerel (HK$56), which had slightly crisp skin and rich, oily meat was also good value. The sliced ox tongue skewers (HK$33) were tender and mild, while the beef short rib stick (HK$38), served on the bone, was chewy, with a deep, beefy flavour. Soft-fleshed grilled eggplant (HK$28) came with katsuobushi (dried bonito shavings) and could have used a touch more salt. Fresh shiitake mushrooms (HK$18) were moist, with a slight char from the grill.
What else? Amoy Street is small street home to a number of good restaurants, including one that serves Thai food, and an authentic Sichuan place.