ENMARU IZAKAYA Shop 1001A, 10/F Times Square, 1 Matheson Street, Causeway Bay Tel: 2721 9955 Open: noon-3pm, 6pm-11pm Cuisine: Japanese PRICE: about HK$250 without drinks or the service charge Ambience: it lacks the intimacy of most izakaya, the dark (usually), cosy (usually) pubs where the food is just as important as the alcohol. The focus of the large room is the robata, the hearth where the chefs grill many of the dishes, in this case, over binchotan charcoal. Recommended dishes: thick-cut bacon (HK$58) was fatty, smoky and delicious. Mixed mushrooms in foil (HK$48) came in a good variety, and were moist, slippery and perfectly seasoned. The Enmaru signature simmered beef offal (HK$72) had tender pieces of meat in a sauce that was so good we soaked it up with slices of garlic bread. The thin slice of meat in the roasted rib-eye sushi (HK$98) didn't taste roasted, but it was very tender and had good flavour. The rice served with it was too hard. Pros: despite the lack of intimacy, the place did have the friendliness of other izakaya; at one point, the chef served us one of our dishes, telling us the best way to eat it. Cons: we disliked the beef with wasabi (HK$128) — the meat had a mushy texture, and the wasabi was overwhelming. What else? Enmaru Izakaya has seven branches in Japan, as well as several in other places, including Singapore.