Food review: Sushi Kado in SoHo
Upmarket Japanese restaurant Sushi Kado delivers on taste, writes Susan Jung
Sushi Kado is a discreet little place on Elgin Street. The interior is just as low key, decorated with pale wood and shades of grey. The restaurant is small, with nine seats at the sushi bar and room for 12 at tables. We sat at the sushi bar, in front of chef Jason Tong Lai-ching, who used to work at Sushi Sase on Hollywood Road.
The menu is quite small, with an à la carte selection of appetisers, sushi, yakimono (grilled and pan-fried dishes) and nimono (simmered dishes). There were also three omakase (chef's choice) options, ranging from one with just sushi (for HK$800) to the Kado omakase (HK$1,300), which had appetisers, five types of sashimi, simmered and grilled dishes, seven pieces of sushi, and soup. We - and everyone else at the bar - ordered the Kado option.
We knew we were in for a good meal as soon as the appetisers were served: a rich mouthful of smoked salmon with Hokkaido cream cheese; refreshing fresh yuba (bean curd sheet) with jelly and sweet shrimp; and intense grilled sweet potato.
The chef seasoned the sashimi and sushi as we were meant to eat it, only occasionally telling us to add wasabi and soy sauce. Bonito sashimi was served with pickled myoga (ginger flower), finely minced garlic and chopped spring onions, and the assertive flavours went well with the rich oiliness of the fish.
Sanma (Pacific saury), a lighter fish, came with ginger and spring onion. Tong handed us delicious little sandwiches made with toro (fatty tuna), shiso leaf and nori (seaweed), served with another slice of toro.
The disappointing dishes were the hot ones. Grilled ox tongue was overcooked - we like it with some pink at the centre - but it came with a delicious pickled daikon (Japanese radish) that had been carved into the shape of a chrysanthemum. Seafood egg custard with black truffle, scallop, shrimp, abalone and uni (sea urchin) was a little heavy to serve mid-meal.
Things picked up again with a small dish of warm Japanese hairy crab meat and roe. Yuzu-scented daikon and pickled ginger cleansed our palates before the sushi courses.
The highlights were the lightly seared ika (squid), which had been delicately scored so the flesh curled up slightly; sayori (half beak) brushed with tare sauce and a squeeze of kabosu citrus; tender, sweet scallop and rich Hokkaido sea urchin. Ikura (salmon roe), served with rice in a martini glass, was less salty than usual, so it seemed to be sweeter. Sushi Kado serves set lunches starting at HK$150.
Sushi Kado, 7 Elgin Street, SoHo, tel: 2982 1099. Open: Monday-Saturday noon-3pm, 6pm-11pm. About HK$1,300 per person without drinks or the service charge.