Hong Kong restaurant reviews

Hanami Koufuku in Tsim Sha Tsui review: cook your own teppanyaki and okonomiyaki

An amazing teppanyaki is all about the details: cooking instructions, quality ingredients and seasonings. Hanami Koufuku provide this, and will cook it all for you if you can’t stand the heat

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 26 September, 2018, 12:46pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 27 September, 2018, 5:23pm

My guest took one look at the table top teppans (flat-top grills) on the tables at Hanami Koufuku and balked. “We’re paying money to cook our own food?” Don’t worry, I’ll cook, I told her.

Hanami Koufuku is a restaurant for anyone who’s wanted to have a go at being a teppanyaki or okonomiyaki cook.

They provide the ingredients, tell you how to prepare them (including how long to leave them on the grill) and also give you whatever seasonings and sauces they need; cooking the food is up to you. If you don’t want to DIY, you can sit at the counter, where a chef will prepare the food for you.

I had a bit of performance anxiety – what if I messed up? Could I write a scathing review, about myself, saying the cook is incompetent?

Fortunately, I rose to the occasion.

We ordered the most expensive item on the menu – Japanese A5 wagyu beef rib eye steak (120 grams for HK$438). It was very tender, as expected, but the fattiness was a bit too much after just a couple of bites; it would be better to share with more people.

We far preferred the Hanami beef tongue (HK$68). It was thinly sliced and very tender, although the heat of the teppan wasn’t high enough to sear it without overcooking it.

Gyoza (HK$48) were delicious. I was instructed to put them on the grill, add a splash of water (provided in a squirt bottle) then cover it with the domed lid. They were perfect, with well browned bottoms and a nicely seasoned filling. Our waitress said “Compliments to the chef!”

For the squid okonomiyaki (HK$78), the staff told us to cook the squid first, then add the pieces to the bowl and mix. It wasn’t easy because the bowl wasn’t roomy enough. The mixture seemed dry when I put it on the teppan and shape it into two pancakes, which would be easier to flip over than one large one.

When the pancakes were cooked, we used the squirt bottles to add mayonnaise and okonomiyaki sauce, then added katsuoboshi (bonito shavings that were rather thick and coarse). The okonomiyaki was surprisingly moist, with crunchy cabbage, a nice tangy flavour from the kimchi, and a slight chewiness from the squid.

For dessert, Japanese pineapple sherbet (HK$68), served in a small pineapple, was refreshing and not too sweet.

Even better was the Japanese peach sherbet (HK$62), which tasted as if we were eating a fresh peach, only frozen.

Hanami Koufuku, 11/F H8, 8 Hau Fook Street, Tsim Sha Tsui, tel: 2668 3867.

About HK$375 without drinks or the service charge.

While you’re in the area

Restaurant review: Hexa, Tsim Sha Tsui – most dishes hit the target

Restaurant review: Espuma, Tsim Sha Tsui – Spanish desserts fantastic

Restaurant review: Imperial Treasure, Tsim Sha Tsui