Newly opened Kagura in Elements mall – Japanese-style Korean barbecue hits the spot
With delicious Mirai beef from the owner’s Hokkaido farm, aprons for the oil from spitting meat and good ventilation, this yakiniku restaurant is well worth a visit
Japanese restaurants continue to proliferate in Hong Kong and one of the latest is Kagura in Elements mall. It specialises in yakiniku – Japanese-style Korean barbecue, featuring Mirai beef from the owner Haruyoshi Kashiwaba’s farm in Hokkaido. The opening of Kagura in Hong Kong also marks the restaurant’s first expansion overseas.
As a result the decor has a rustic theme based on the original restaurant, with piles of wood decorating the exterior, while inside there are brick walls and wooden beams on the ceiling. It feels cosy despite having a large dining space, and the restaurant was practically full on the night of our visit.
As at many yakiniku restaurants, diners are given a disposable bib to wear to protect their clothes from the splatters of the grilling meat,although it would have even betterif the tables were a bit bigger. The Hokkaido potato salad (HK$58) was already sold out on the evening we went, which also meant we couldn’t try the warm mozzarella and potato (HK$78), so instead we tried the tomato salad (HK$78). It had wedges of Japanese tomato, chopped cos lettuce and a light vinaigrette dressing. Assorted kimchi (HK$78) wasn’t that spicy and featured the fermented cabbage, small sliced cucumbers and radish.
The assorted Mirai beef yakiniku platter for two (HK$420) showcased different parts of the cow – loin, rump, tenderloin and karubi, or boneless short rib.The gas-powered grill cooked the thin slices quickly, and left hardly any smell of smoke on our clothes. Unlike most traditional grills where the smoke is removed by an overhead ventilator, at Kagaura, the smoke is pushed downwards into an exhaust system.
The rump and loin were leaner than the karubi and tenderloin. The grilled meat could be dipped in a light sweet soy sauce for extra flavouring, or seasoned with a pinch of pink salt. It was served with a bowl of vegetables,including pumpkin, mushroom, onion and slices of pepper.
We were still peckish, so we tried the Kamikomi pork belly (HK$128),although we were somewhat surprised by the large amount of fat. It dripped into the grill, making it flare up sporadically, but gave the meat a lot of flavour.
The rice soup (HK$85) was a large portion and couldhave been a meal in itself.The large bowl of broth was full of chopped beef, mushrooms, vegetables and rice. If you’re looking for comfort food, this would hit the spot.
For dessert, the yuzu sorbet (HK$38) was refreshing, while almond tofu topped with slivers of lemon (HK$32) was disappointing in that it was only a step up from the cheap powdered version.
Kagura, Shop 1086, 1/F, Elements, 1 Austin Road West, Tsim Sha Tsui, tel: 2682 3913
While you’re in the area