Newly opened Gakuensai in Tsim Sha Tsui – Japanese and Korean in a classroom setting

Knutsfood Terrace restaurant offers diners a good serving of old-school nostalgia as well as flavourful dishes with interesting twists

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 28 July, 2016, 12:00pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 28 July, 2016, 12:00pm

Going to Gakuensai is a trip down memory lane. The Japanese and Korean restaurant in Knutsford Terrace transports diners back to their school days in classrooms, with wooden desks and shelves filled with textbooks in a history room, while a chemistry lab has lab tables and plastic models of particle structures.

The covers of the menu and drinks list make them look like exercise books.

Our drink called Soda Bomb (HK$180 for four cups) sounded intriguing. Our server arrived with two beakers full of ice, a beaker of liquid yogurt, and a bottle of blueberry flavoured soju. She mixed them in a soda maker and it spewed out a creamy white drink at room temperature initially, but once it was cooled by the ice, was very refreshing and dangerously easy to consume.

With the food, we got off to a rough start. The sashimi platter (HK$330) was a nice presentation of eight different types on an artist’s palette. It featured slices of squid, salmon, tuna, toro, prawns and scallops.The uni looked fresh, but tasted off and that made us wary about the other items, so we didn’t finish the plate.

The sashimi came with six test tubes filled with interesting sauces in addition to the usual soy sauce, such as yuzu, chilli and vinaigrette. While these were fun to try, we preferred sticking with soy sauce.

We thoroughly enjoyed the Korean-style stewed beef brisket with radish and carrot (HK$138). The tender meat fully absorbed the flavours of the delicious sauce, as did the sweet potato noodles served with it.

The poached clams with Korean spicy sauce (HK$48 for a small portion) were a highlight too. Garnished with marinated onions, the clams weren’t too spicy, and were plump and cooked just right.

A disappointment was the deep-fried chicken with honey butter (HK$88 for a small portion). While the pieces were crunchy on the outside, with tender meat inside, there wasn’t much taste.

For dessert we were given a complimentary scoop of refreshing yuzu sorbet.

Gakuensai, 6/F, 1 Knutsford Terrace,

Tsim Sha Tsui, tel: 2687 6565