Hong Kong restaurant reviews

Restaurant review: Sushi Tokami, Tsim Sha Tsui – omakase specialists

Popular Japanese restaurant lives up to its reputation with great fish dishes and varieties of tuna

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 31 March, 2016, 12:00pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 31 March, 2016, 12:00pm

I knew Sushi Tokami was popular when posts about it began showing up on my Facebook feed. Most of the reports were enthusiastic, with one friend saying it’s the best sushi meal he’s had in Hong Kong. So we arrived with high expectations.

All 11 seats at the main sushi counter were full when we visited; and there was a noisy group in the back area. Tucked away in Ocean Centre, Sushi Tokami is a branch of the Michelin one-star restaurant in Tokyo. They specialise in tuna – a fish I try to avoid, although when reviewing this restaurant, it would have been difficult.

The very first course of the omakase meal (the only option at dinner, and priced at HK$2,000 per person) is tuna tossaki temaki, made with rich, fatty meat that comes from near the head of the fish. Served with rice seasoned with red vinegar and wrapped in a crisp sheet of nori, it was an excellent first bite.

The omakase meal is extensive, with seasonal snacks, sashimi, a special dish, seasonal or grilled dish, 12 pieces of sushi, soup and fruit.

Our favourite non-sushi courses were the aka ebi sashimi that had been lightly torched, giving the shrimp a smoky flavour; thick, succulent pieces of smoked kinmedai served with thin shavings of sweet raw onion and ginger flower; kawahagi (filefish) mixed with its liver and served on top of rice; and grilled tachiuo (scabbard fish) served with bamboo shoot and a fiddlehead fern. Of the sushi dishes, we loved the hobo (sea robin); hotate (scallop) with sudachi and black salt; sumi ika (squid) and nodokuro (rosy seabass).

It was interesting to compare the increasing fattiness of the tuna trio (soy-marinated maguro zuke, chutoro then otoro) that was served in quick progression.

The disappointing dishes were the cooked kuruma ebi (I prefer it raw), the too-soft torigai (cockle), the fishy and mealy anago, and worse (because it was the piece we looked forward to the most), the beautiful, generous uni sushi, which was served too cold, which muted the flavours.

Service by the Japanese-, Cantonese- and English-speaking waitress and the serious but helpful head chef (Taga Satoshi) was excellent. The menu changes according to the season, and some dishes might not be available on your visit.

Sushi Tokami, shop 216A, Level 2, Ocean Centre, Harbour City, 17 Canton Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, tel: 2771 3938. HK$2,000 plus 10 per cent for the omakase dinner