Restaurant review: Sushi Gin, Causeway Bay – beautiful omakase meal with great uni and tempura
Each of the three omakase menus comes with hot and cold courses and dessert – and each offers a long, filling sequence of dishes, most of which work very well
Having an omakase meal (a series of dishes selected by the chef) while sitting at the sushi counter at Sushi Gin is a lovely experience. If it’s a clear day, you’ll have a great view of the sun setting over the Hong Kong skyline through the large windows, but even better is being able to watch the chefs as they prepare your meal.
For dinner, we had the choice of three menus: Kumo (HK$1,480 plus 10 per cent) which serves appetiser, sushi, soup and dessert. Shou (HK$1,680) and Gin (HK$1,980) add sashimi, but with slightly different dishes. We considered Kumo, but in the end went with Shou. It’s a long, filling meal (10 cold dishes, many with several elements; two hot ones; a palate cleanser; then the sushi) but much of what we ate was delicious, with beautiful presentation.
Of the cold dishes, the highlights were the lovely, light and refreshing Kuruma ebi with seaweed noodles; and a composition of a single octopus sucker (delicious), lightly torched geoduck, succulent hotate, sweet, crunchy and raw Hokkaido corn on the cob, and a freshly fried miniature crab.
Another composition gave us a thick piece of tender, meaty octopus that had been simmered for eight hours, served with a beautiful piece of tuna wrapped in daikon sliced so thin that we could see the colourful fresh flower petals underneath. A third composition was thin slices of shimaji wrapped around chives and uni, yellowtail with kani miso, grilled kinmedai with shiso flowers, and a sweet skinned cherry tomato.
One of our favourite courses was the Hokkaido purple needle uni served in its shell with salmon roe and chopped tuna. We ate the uni on its own, then used nori sheets to wrap the tuna and salmon roe. We also loved a thick slice of fatty tuna wrapped with shiso and seaweed, but a Hokkaido rock oyster with bonito jelly and tiny cubes of Japanese apple was too large to eat comfortably.
Of the hot dishes, we liked the tempura course, which was very different from the lightly battered shrimp and vegetables you normally get. This one had ayu and sea urchin spring roll, a fritter of giant clam with mochi and colourful rice grains, a lightly battered fig, and a fried lotus chip. The next hot dish was disappointing: overcooked ox tongue with mashed avocado (the first part is rich, the second is even richer), although the shishito pepper stuffed with shrimp paste was nice.
We were served nine pieces of sushi, and loved the iwashi with myoga, the Hokkaido uni, and lightly torched engawa. Saba topped with shio kombu was too salty, while a piece of tuna belly – torched to release the fat – was too rich at this point in the meal.
Clam, shrimp, fish and roasted fish fin broth was nicely presented in a tea pot, and soothed our stomachs after the rich meal.
Sushi Gin, 27/F Zing!, 38 Yiu Wah Street, Causeway Bay, tel: 2151 1888. Omakase menus range from HK$1,480 to HK$1,980.