Restaurant review: Jan Jan Kushikatsu, Wan Chai - fried skewer heaven
This is a crowded and friendly temple for fried food fans and lovers of Japanese snacks on a stick
Cuisine: kushikatsu/kushiage (fried skewers)
Price: about HK$360 without drinks or the service charge
Ambience: crowded and convivial. There are a couple of tables for larger groups, and high stools for couples, but most of the seats are on backless padded chairs very close together around the glass-enclosed kitchen.
Pros: ordering is easy – you tick off what you want from the sheets, and the staff are helpful. The menu offers a few non-fried dishes.
Cons: you’ll probably come out smelling like fried food. The grilled yuzu and sansho chicken (HK$29/skewer) was made with breast meat, which was dry. Grilled onigiri (HK$23 each) was tightly packed, very heavy and needed more char. Fried pork (HK$24) was tender, but because it was such a fatty piece, it probably would have been better grilled. Two skewers of baby corn (HK$24 each) were completely different sizes: one was almost twice as large as the other.
Recommended dishes: fresh Japanese tomato (HK$44) was so sweet and refreshing that after we ate one for an appetiser, we ordered a second to cleanse our palates after all the fried dishes. Fried prawn (HK$24/skewer) was succulent and sweet, while shiitake (HK$22) was meaty and moist. Lotus root (HK$27) had a nice, crunchy texture. A thick slice of fried onion (HK$24) was surprisingly delicious – it was soft and sweet, and we also liked the thick spears of asparagus (HK$35) that had been partially wrapped in foil, to make them easier to eat. The waiter recommended a fish that he said had just been delivered. Mehikari (HK$38) was rolled up before being skewered and fried and was soft, moist and delicious.
What else? The food comes when it’s ready, so if you don’t want everything all at once, spread out the ordering. Jan Jan Kushikatsu is part of a chain that originated in Osaka.
Jan Jan Kushikatsu, 2/F, 100 Queen’s Road East, Wan Chai. Tel: 2157 1408. Open: 6pm-11pm