35 Elgin Street, SoHo
Tel: 2545 9966
Open: Monday-Friday noon-3pm, nightly 6pm-11pm
Price: About HK$380 for dinner without drinks and before adding the service charge.
Ambience: The front of the restaurant has a sushi bar displaying fresh fish, while the back evokes the feeling of a traditional Japanese inn, with dark wood panelling, tables and chairs and private booths.
Pros: The design details - from the placemats to the menu to the hangings on the walls - were interesting. Food presentations were lovely.
Cons: The waiter repeated our order back to us yet we were served two incorrect dishes. The kitchen needs to learn to pace itself - we were served many dishes very quickly, which meant we couldn't eat the food at the optimal temperature, or at a leisurely pace. The chefs use quality ingredients for most of the dishes so it's a shame they use wasabi paste rather than grating fresh wasabi, which is much more subtle. The sashimi platter (HK$220) was a predictable selection, although the quality - especially of the amaebi and hamachi - was very good (the other two fish were maguro and salmon). Soft shell crab tempura (HK$108) had a heavy batter and the crab didn't have much flavour.
Recommended dishes: The restaurant prides itself on its homemade tofu dishes, and with good reason. The chilled silken tofu with diced tuna and yuzu (HK$60) was one of the mistaken orders - we had wanted the one with ikura (salmon roe, left), but it was enjoyable, with the distinctive taste of the yuzu providing a lovely citrus undertone. Even better was the steamed silken tofu with ginger shoots and yuzu (HK$55), which was warm and comforting. The waiter suggested an off-the-menu dish of grilled yellowtail collar (HK$25) which was perfectly cooked so the skin was slightly charred and the meat came off the bone easily in moist flakes. The tuna tataki (HK$120) was too cold when served, but as the dish warmed slightly, the bright, fresh flavours of the myoga (ginger flower) and ponzu sauce revealed themselves. Onsen egg (HK$38), which was poached very slowly, was soft and delicate.
What else? Taku takes the space that was formerly occupied by Vietnamese restaurant Cafe Annam.