Old shop focused on Kaiseki Ryori;
Serving "high class" food at low class service.
Decent kaiseki ryori fare but nothing exceptional.
Both the way the sashimis were cut and the quality were bad.
If you like Kaiseki, I'll recommend Nadaman at Admiralty.
TOMI - not recommended.Kaiseki ryori.
If ramen and yakitori restaurants are at one end of the spectrum, Kaiseki Ryori is at the other end - i.e. sophisticated and delicate fine dining (read small, slow and expensive.) I invariably have one or two kaiseki ryori meals whenever I'm in Japan. Not that I'm a big fan of it, but I was dragged into those restaurants by kind Japanese hosts. It's the equivalent of bringing guests from abroad to have sharks fin soup, abalone and a full seafood meal in Hong Kong.
This place is apparently famous for their "kaiseki ryori", perhaps one could loosely understand it to be a "banquet" with about 8 dishes or more. Decor:
A brighter version of Michi. About 4 tables for 4 persons and 3-4 counter seats facing the open kitchen. Placed pretty close to each other. Actually not a place you'd expect to be serving kaiseki ryori. More like a casual diner than a fine dining place.Menu:Kaiseki lunch set
is available at HK$450 each (minimum for two persons).
This price is similar to Nadaman.
In addition they also served 7-8 simple set lunches such as "Bento Set", Grilled cod, a small number of cutlet sets (e.g. fried oysters), sashimi set and a few others. Yaranai:
The shop was about to close at 3:00pm. We entered at about 2:20pm. We were informed that we could still order anyway and sit until we finish our meal, so we entered.
We wanted to order kaiseki set lunches (which was the only reason we came) but was told that the chef "might" not make it. We asked for it anyway and heard a loud an clear reply from the open kitchen :
!" (Not doing it!)
The waitress then returned and said words to the effect,
"See, I told you so
I'd expect this from hot tempered and stressed out chefs in a Cha Chaan Teng or rude local eateries but not in a place for fine dining.
We consider this rude to the extreme, especially in front of customers .(￣^￣)"
Perhaps we should have left the place immediately but we didn't. The chef was willing to take our orders for Kaiseki Bento set
(which should have something to do with kaiseki) and a Saikyo yaki
set.Kaiseki Bento set:
A bowl of udon
arrived on our table very unceremoniously with a bang. Without a tray or any accompanying appetizers...etc. Again, not something you'd expect from a kaiseki ryori place, in fact, not something you'd expect from any decent Japanese restaurants.
To be fair, the udon was nice and chewy. The bonito broth was quite pronounced and pretty aromatic. I didn't mind the way the udon was presented to us since I'm from Hong Kong (thus used to the occasional rude service
) and I was quite hungry. On the other hand, this was rather shocking for my wife as this was served without any warning, and before the main set. This is like serving a bowl of white rice to you out of the blue before other dishes.
What immediately struck us was the strangely cut tuna
. We have never, ever, seen tuna being cut in large triangular chunks in any shop in Japan. I hazard to state that this is never a proper way to cut sashimi. This was again quite shocking to my wife.
Other than the strange cut, which already seriously undermined our confidence in this shop, the quality of the fish was also bad. Not a bad as NOBU but getting there.
The shrimp did not look very fresh either. The only thing that was acceptable was the small piece of shell fish.
Kaiden sushi shops like Genki already serve better quality sashimis.
To be fair, the other items in the kaiseki bento set were not too bad but nothing exciting.
Two fried oysters
in bread crumbs (top left) which were fairly oily. Most Japanese restaurants that serves cutlet (e.g. Kitchen J, Tonkichi, Romankan Yokohama...etc.) serve better oyster cutlets.Bamboo shoot
& ors. (lower right) : Another standard dish you get in kaiseki ryori. The bamboo shoot was fairly sweet and crunchy. There is also a small piece of sweet potato
which tasted fine. The two grape-like items were black beans (kuro mame
). It's a popular display of skill to stick a piece pint leave
through either black beans or ginkgo. You're not supposed to eat it. Fancy. But I don't see the point of that at all.
We failed to understand why a slice of lemon
was placed together with other items.
I've never seen this in any kaiseki ryori in Japan. Oversight, or a space filler? It's a mystery.
At the lower left corner you see two types of vegetables, the green one was Komatsuna
and the black one was shredded Konbu
. No problems with either of those. The komatsuna tasted similar to spinach.
The appetizer (I'd be surprised if this was considered as part of the main meal), which came shortly after the main set, was a small bowl of cold stir fried egg with ham
and a small amount of green pepper. Not easy to go wrong with this.
Unfortunately, the rice was just average quality. Don Don Ya's and Ca-Tu-Ya's were far better than here. Completely unacceptable for a place that purports to be specialists in high-end Japanese cuisine.
Miso soup had a strong miso content, resulting in a strong flavour. No complaints.
I may be utterly wrong but it seems to me that the whole bento set consisted of a few kaiseki ryori surplus ingredients, plus surplus ingredients from other set meals, e.g. the fried oysters and sashimi, and the piece of lemon, all placed on the same bento box. (Note: Not leftovers obviously but ingredients prepared but not used in other meals) Saikyo yaki set:
The cod was better than Roka but not as good as NOBU. Acceptable. (I forgot to take a photo - possibly due to my bad mood.)
Also served with udon, miso soup and the cold egg with ham.
Bring out the Tommy gun:
When we left, the chef finally realized that we understood Japanese, what he had said. He was visibly embarrassed. He switched to very polite Japanese immediately. Too little, too late.
We've thought long and hard whether to give this place a "crying face" or "OK"....
Neither my wife and I will consider returning nor would we recommend any of our friends here. So on our scale, it has to be a crying face.
If I want kaiseki, I will go to Nadaman at Admiralty instead. Tomi: Not recommended.
Spending per head: Approximately HK$160(Lunch)Other Ratings:
Value for Money 2