New restaurants in Hong Kong: Fukuro, SoHo – modern izakaya offers taste of Tokyo with indulgent and delicious dishes
This latest addition to the Black Sheep restaurant group is sure to please. The short, but tempting menu includes crispy caramel butter corn, yaki udon with snow crab, and a dessert featuring black cherry jam and seaweed ice cream
I barely made it through the front door of Fukuro in SoHo before being recognised. I had arrived at 6.30pm to avoid having to wait, as this newest addition to the Black Sheep restaurant group doesn’t take reservations. The place was less than half full when my guest and I arrived, but it filled quickly.
The menu is reasonably priced, brief and tempting, with just a few offerings in each category, which include raw, snacks, tempura, robata, and noodles/rice.
From the raw section we chose the pickled mackerel (HK$138) – six thick, meaty and soft slices of the oily fish served on ice.
From the snacks section we picked prawn gyoza (HK$78), crispy caramel butter corn (HK$58) and Japanese omelette (HK$68). The gyoza were fat, well stuffed and succulent, with thin wrappers. The corn – served on the cob – was addictive. I was worried that it would be too sweet, but it wasn’t. The kernels, which were easy to bite off the cob, were buttery, soft and just sweet enough, with a gentle crunchy coating.
The omelette, topped with grated daikon and salmon roe, was my least favourite dish. I expected it to be the omuretsu style, rather than tamagoyaki (rolled omelette); although, in retrospect, I should have figured it out from the price.
Chicken karaage (HK$68) came as five large chunks of moist meat. We would have preferred smaller pieces of chicken, to get more of the light, delicate coating.
Our favourite savoury dish was the yaki udon (HK$188). The thick noodles were mixed in with a heart-stopping amount of crab miso butter and topped with a heap of snow crab and shredded nori; it was fantastically indulgent and delicious. It was so rich that we decided we needed vegetables to eat with it.
Seasonal vegetables pickled in yuzu (HK$48) perfectly balanced the richness, with a very nice selection of ingredients including carrot, cucumber, radish and yellow pepper. Fried vegetables – in the form of tempura (HK$98) – weren’t ideal to go with the udon, but we were glad we ordered it. The tempura batter was thin and light, and as with the pickles, it was an impressively varied selection of vegetables.
There’s only one dessert on the menu and it’s a good one. The monaka ice cream sandwich (HK$48 each) was filled with black cherry jam and seaweed ice cream, giving it a complex sweet-savoury flavour that I loved from the first bite. My guest was slower to warm to it, but she liked it by the time she finished.
Fukuro, Winly Building, 1-5 Elgin Street, Central, tel: 2333 8841. About HK$400 without drinks or the service charge.
While you’re in the area: