15/F Macau Yat Yuen Centre, 525 Hennessy Road, Causeway Bay Tel: 2891 2556 Open: Tuesday-Sunday noon-2.30pm, 6pm-10.30pm Cuisine: Japanese Price: about HK$415, not including drinks or the 10 per cent service charge. Ambience: Gokayama is less than lovely. It's the type of place in which you dine within sight of a drinks fridge and wish you were wearing sunglasses to dim the lighting. And we don't recommend booking a table because chances are you'll be seated at a table with plastic banquettes that make embarrassing sounds every time you move. Pros: Gokayama offers dishes that will please diners with a taste for basic Japanese meals, among them ochazuke (rice, green tea and toppings such as pickled plum and salmon). Natto (smelly, fermented soya beans) is also on the menu. Cons: apart from the ugly interiors, the food presentation (such as for the HK$320 mixed sushi platter) was pedestrian. And service was patchy: one waitress aimed to please, but her colleague acted as if a favour were being asked of him when questioned about the restaurant's special dishes. We also baulked at the HK$60 charged for two appetisers presented as though they were on the house. Only when it came to paying the bill were we told that credit cards couldn't be used because the machine was not working. Recommended: the mixed sashimi with natto (HK$100) was pure comfort food and tasted much better than it looked. A raw egg sat atop the diced raw fish, which hid a mound of natto. After being mixed vigorously with soy sauce to create what looked like pablum, the gloop was wrapped in nori and popped in the mouth. The yakitori (HK$40 a skewer) was also good. Plum sauce with bits of negi (Japanese leeks) coated the grilled chicken, adding a pleasing sweet-sourness. A third winner was the grilled mackerel (HK$110), which was juicy and had a rich, dense flavour. What else? The name of the restaurant might persuade you to visit the ancient rice-farming village of Gokayama, a Unesco World Heritage Site in central Japan that has preserved its traditional multistorey gassho-zukuri (prayer-hands construction) thatched-roof houses.