New in Causeway Bay: go the whole hog at Mokumoku Yakiton, Japanese pork skewers restaurant
Like a yakitori except that it serves pork, this Japanese restaurant, with its authentic decor and ambience, doesn't disappoint; you can be as adventurous as you like, with dishes such as pig brain and oesophagus
A yakiton is to pork what yakitori restaurants are to chicken: it’s a place that specialises in a wide variety of skewered and grilled pig parts, including lots of the innards. In Hong Kong, yakitori-yas can be found easily, but yakiton restaurants are not that common.
Mokumoku Yakiton, which opened recently in Causeway Bay, fills that gap, and is a popular place, judging by the many customers. The ambience – dim lighting, friendly staff, jazz music playing at a reasonable volume and whimsical touches like pig tchotchkes and pillows – is like what you might find at many neighbourhood establishments in Japan.
The menu lists salads, snacks and sashimi, but you’d be silly to ignore the grilled pork, of which there is an extensive selection.
We ordered one skewer each of the most interesting pork meats (the squeamish might want to stop reading here). The only dishes we didn’t like were the too-chewy small intestine (HK$34) and oesophagus (HK$34).
Smoked pork flank from Yamagata prefecture (HK$128) was succulent, with a nice layer of fat. Thick pieces of kidney were moist, with a mild flavour that showed they had been cleaned thoroughly. I worried that the liver (HK$28) would be overcooked, which makes it very dry, but this was perfectly cooked, with a mild sweetness from the tare (sauce).
Pork tongue (HK$38) is much meatier, leaner and denser than beef tongue (also available) but it’s still enjoyable.
The waitress told us to eat the leaf lard (HK$28) hot. It was just fantastic – one of our favourite skewers of the night. Yes, it was pure fat, but, it was cooked so it was delicately crisp, and a dab of the spicy, citrusy flavour of yuzu kosho balanced the fattiness.
We liked the minced pork with egg yolk (HK$58) – like the tsukune (chicken meatballs) you get at yakitori restaurants – and the thin slices of kurobuta sausage (HK$28) so much that we were tempted to order second portions of each (we resisted because we wanted to try other things).
Pig brain roll (HK$38) had a too-chewy membrane, but the interior was gooey and delicious.
The vegetable selection isn’t that extensive. Japanese sweet potatoes (HK$28) were intense and sticky, while portobello mushrooms (HK$38) were succulent and nicely charred.
Grilled rice balls with cod roe (HK$38) and a tender, well-flavoured braised pig’s hand cooked in miso (HK$38) were a nice ending to the meal.
Mokumoku Yakiton, 7/F Circle Plaza, 499 Hennessy Road, Causeway Bay, tel: 2886 2062.
About HK$350 without drinks or the service charge.
While you’re in the area