Hong Kong restaurant review: Chotto Maki, Central - inventive giant sushi rolls are made fresh to order at this lunchtime favourite
This busy takeaway sushi shop in Central serves up signature fusion as well as create-your-own maki sushi rolls. The portions are so big, it’s hard to taste all the flavours in one bite, but the jumbo rolls make for a satisfying lunch
Tucked away in an alley off Queen’s Road Central, a new takeaway sushi shop provides an inexpensive option for hungry office workers in Central business district.
Serving up jumbo maki rolls in a dizzying range of flavour combos, Chotto Maki on Li Yuen Street West doesn’t claim to have the healthiest – or most authentic – sushi around. But the restaurant’s offerings are an interesting variation on the bite-size, ready made sushi that is a common lunchtime standby in Hong Kong.
We managed to find some standing room in the small space despite visiting during the weekday lunch hour rush, and were able to watch the cooks prepare the rolls. Food preparation was brisk and efficient, even though it was peak time, we collected our orders after a 10-minute wait.
In addition to customised rolls where you choose your own ingredients from an impressive array of fillings, sauces and toppings (starting at HK$78), the menu offers a number of signature rolls with fusion flavours, such as beef teriyaki with tofu skin, avocado, tobiko (flying fish roe) and garlic chips; and salmon with mixed greens, asparagus and sakura shrimp, which all cost HK$68.
The Veggie Lover maki roll was packed with a rainbow of vegetables that included beetroot, asparagus and cucumber.,It was an interesting combination of tastes and textures, with a welcome crunch from the garlic chips scattered on top, but the mango overpowered the other flavours, and the generous amount of truffle mayo dolloped on top was too rich and sickly.
We really enjoyed the Sea Monster maki roll which contained crabsticks and tempura prawns, along with crunchy vegetables, sweet potato powder and two different sauces (unagi and house special). The roll had a pleasing umami flavour and was quite rich and hefty for a lunchtime option, leaving us well satisfied.
The mini udon (HK$18) we ordered on the side was soggy and overcooked, but the soup had a decent richness. By then, we were very full from the sushi rolls; next time we’ll skip the side orders.
Overall, Chotto Maki is a convenient, casual choice for a tasty lunch in Centralif you fancy a change from your usual takeaway sushi. However, the supersized portions tend to fall apart very easily, so it is difficult to taste the individual flavours in one bite (which is the whole point of maki rolls).
Don’t expect to get a table at lunchtime, since they mostly seemed to be occupied by professionals who manage to get there early.
I would return to try out more of the innovative flavour combos – but only on a very empty stomach.
Chotto Maki, 3 Li Yuen St West, Central, tel 5111 6074
Open: Mon to Sat 11.30am-7pm
While you’re in the area