Hong Kong budget eats

Restaurant review: Yone Emon -Hong Kong actor gives Fortress Hill workers a new dining option with Japanese deli

Dominic Ho’s latest venture offers grab-and-go Japanese meals for busy workers, specialising in rice balls with a wide selection of different fillings and fresh and delicious poke bowls

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 29 December, 2016, 12:00pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 29 December, 2016, 12:00pm

The latest venture of actor Dominic Ho Hou-man, who starred in The Gigolo (2015) and Lan Kwai Fong 2 (2012), is not another erotic comedy, but rather a Japanese deli serving onigiri (rice balls) and poke (pronounced po-kay) bowls.

Yone Emon offers a new dining option for workers in Fortress Hill. The onigiri, made with rice and seaweed imported from Hokkaido, make for great breakfasts. To truly taste the flavour of the Japanese short grain rice, try the plain salt rice ball (HK$19). The rice is cooked to perfection – moist with a firm, chewy texture.

There is also a wide selection of different fillings, including less common ones such as nitamago (soft boiled ramen eggs) (HK$24), mentaiko (cod roe) (HK$24) and barbecued wagyu beef (HK$24).

The rice to filling ratio is a bit high – we had to chew our way through mouthfuls of rice before reaching the filling at the centre. But this is consistent with traditional onigiri, where the rice is supposed to take centre stage.

With just about eight seats, Yone Emon is more of a place for grab and go. If you order takeaway, make sure you request the separation of the nori and the rice, so the seaweed will still be crisp when you eat it.

For lunch or dinner, try the poke bowls, which are reasonably sized and more filling. Of the toppings available, chunks of raw salmon mixed with crab roe and sesame seeds (HK$59) does not look very appealing, but was fresh and delicious. We also liked the uni lover bowl (HK$88). The uni (sea urchin) was rich and creamy, with a lovely golden colour.

Add extra snacks, such as the takoyaki balls, to your meal for only HK$14 or make it a combo by adding a drink (HK$10). We tried the matcha latte, but were slightly disappointed, as the taste of green tea was so faint as to be barely detectable.

Yone Emon Japanese Deli, Merlin Garden, 160 Electric Road, Tin Hau, tel: 2265 7599. Open: 8am-11pm

Other places we’ve found for a poke fix

Restaurant review: The Poke Co – Hawaiian dishes with a Japanese twist

Restaurant review: Pololi, Central - Hawaiian dishes for under HK$100