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燒物可匹敵 拉麵: 不敵 Invincible? Too ambitious.
May 29, 2012
燒物有無敵之處。但拉麵 不敵! We didn't know what to expect from the shop since the reviews of Mutekiya (Sheung Wan) were pretty mixed. The photos of the new branch seemed to indicate that it's not exactly the dimly-lit, dark, smokey and shady izakayas - which i really like - but instead bright with tables without partitions.
The only point which seemed clear from the previous reviews was that the ramen appeared to have much room for improvement.
We decided to give it a go since we just recently had "Koshu" 湖舟 already (seafood was very good btw ) and were feeling more adventurous than usual. It was relatively near the Wan Chai MTR station and wasn't too hard to find.
We arrived at about 8:30 p.m. and got in without any difficulties. We sat at a table right at the corner.
After fumbling through the numerous menus - and they were quite numerous indeed as there were at least 7 or 8 of those - which might seemed like we're playing a card game to onlookers, we decided to go all in! (i.e. placed our orders.)
First things first, drinks!
Unfortunately, they did not have draught beer when we went there.
They only had one type of bottled beer - "Sapporo Premium Malt". As the name suggests, it was a bit malty but the general taste was on the light side. I'd say it's a bit like a Sapporo (only a bit milder and with a little bit more hops). It's a good quality beer worth trying.
Despite the whole pillar decorated with sake bottles, the sake list was still quite limited since the shop was quite new. They had about two types of small sake and only one type of Sochu. Sochu "Kuro kiri shima" 黑霧島 at HK$48 per glass.
Talking about the alcohol, it looked as if i was the first guy who ordered Sochu! By the looks of it, probably for the sake too. It certainly took them a while to figure out how to give me a glass of Sochu on the rocks. Also, they appeared to be fumbling for the correct sake bottle. We didn't mind that too much because those eventually came and all the staff were very sincere and tried their best to help. The staff took their work very seriously, no doubt significantly "motivated" by the Japanese and Cantonese speaking manageress, who was polite to the customers but provided a lot of "on-the-job training (and strict supervision)" to her staff!
Back to the
: The sake was very good! We were told that they're the sole distributor of this brand of sake, "Mimasake GozenShu 美竹". Furthermore, we were also told that this particular brand was very popular in...... England
Well, I'm not sure whether being told that a Japanese sake is very popular in England increases its appeal or constituted a quality assurance or not (probably not... I prefer my pint of Guinness or Greene King "IPA" instead). Anyway, we were pleased that the sake was actually quite good! It's even similar to the really good sake "kuboda (haku siu) 久保田 (百壽)".
Recommended (even if you're not from England!
Back to the food:
One of my wife's all-time favorite. The salad consisted of very fresh avocados and chopped tomato bits. Quite simple really but it's fresh. Some Japanese salad dressing, which, no doubt to for the sake of clarity, is simply called "Dressing" in Japanese - were placed on the salad. It's taste a bit like a ponzu to me. It's vinegar based, with a bit of very light soy-sauce and even a little bit of Mustard seed . Don't worry, it's not spicy at all. Very fresh veggies, very crisp lettuce & avocado.
But really expensive for the size - which was about a normal small salad bowl (or two small rice bowls) for HK$78!
Then came the
grilled pork neck:
Then came the grilled pork neck. Those were very good! It looked a bit dry at first sight but was actually quite nice. Very tender and crispy on the outside and pretty aromatic. It was grilled with some sea salt. The sea salt really brought out the meat taste. The price was reasonable (about ~HK$23) Recommended!
Then came the
, which we invariably order every time we go to a yakitori shop to clear "internal heat". The two shishitou skewers were quite fresh with a lot of shredded bonito . The size of the shishito were quite big. The quality was above average. Good stuff!
We arrived here at about 8:30 p.m. But by 9:00p.m, most customers had already left.
At this point we noticed that there seemed to be a very professional foodie next to me!
A smart-looking lady who was having dinner alone and sitting in the middle of the restaurant. She was having some yakitori, thought for a while and then dropped some notes on her I-phone. She repeated the same procedure until she left. She did not order any alcohol. Perhaps we'll see her review later?
(OR? Michelin? Magazines?
Anyway, then came the
grilled prawn wrapped on chicken skin
. It's HK$45 per skewer which had two of those per skewer so definitely not cheap:
But luckily those were very delicious! The prawns were of reasonable size. Juicy. The skin helped preserved the seafood taste and prevented the prawn from being dried up. Also, the chicken skin combined to create a very interesting flavour. I'm pretty sure they sprinkled some sea salt and pepper on top so it also helped bring out the taste. This was stated to be a signature yakitori in Mutekiya. I can recommend this too.
which completely took us by surprise:
雞肉軟骨串: 推介! 絕對可與港島燒鳥店匹敵。
It's very good! The size is similar to the very good one at "Nishiki (TST)". It was crispy on the outside (just a tad over-grilled) but the chicken meat was very tender and had pretty good chicken taste. Of course Nishiki TST is still the best but HK$45 for this quality and size is definitely worthwhile!
The egg which came with it was fresh too. It should be imported from Japan, which really could make a big difference in size, the colour of the egg yoke and the taste of the egg.
We also ordered one
It's $28 for one skewer. Pretty crispy and aromatic. A little bit bigger than those served at "Insen" (very good yakitori at Tai Hang but more expensive than here).
將軍 vs. 無敵家
The General vs. the Invincible Ramen?
After 9:30p.m. the place became very busy again! Some Japanese customers arrived. The moment they sat down, they said "Nama Beiru
" x 3 (i.e. literally "Raw" Beer - which meant Draught Beer) - they were told by the manageress not yet, but not when.
I wasn't quite full enough so I was a bit tempted to order more. I was quite curious about their "infamous" ramen.
We eventually ordered a "miso ramen" and a portion of kimchi.
Quite crisp. It wasn't too spicy. It had more salt in the kimchi but less chilli and less vinegar. Quite good.
Then came the infamous ramen:
I remembered we ordered
. However, the broth here seemed to be a mixture of tonkotsu (Pork bone) and miso. Although mixing broths is common and, in fact, an essential point in a good bowl of ramen, I have to say the effect here was a bit strange. I could barely taste any miso taste in the ramen!
The tonkotsu taste wasn't pronounced anyway. The result was a slightly below average. The broth was definitely nothing to be excited about and felt a bit artificial.
was the best part of the ramen. It's Sapporo style. I understand that Mutekiya apparently got their noodle cakes from Hokkaido. It's really quite chewy and had some egg taste in it. I'd say it's better than "Hachiyo" and "Yukitei". Not as good as "Hakodate" or "Inari".. A bit better than average. Generally quite good. Quite generous portion.
The two pieces of
were not bad: I'd say it was average. With about 80% lean and 20% fat. Nothing remarkable but nothing much to complaint about either.
, "kuraage", were good too. Those were nice and crisp.
The Boss/Manageress who spoke almost perfect Japanese boldly asked for our opinions on the ramen.
I just told her directly, but - I hope - politely, that there weren't miso taste in the miso ramen. She thus stated that the "Tsukemen" was their signature dish.
All in all, HK$68 for the ramen with a broth similar to those which you could prepare at home (from the expensive instant packets: the price should be a bit similar too). Not something I'd recommend you. Tsukemen might be a different matter as the noodles themselves were good. I was even tempted to try it out at Sheung Wan, but that's another story (or another review: "Ryo Tei".)
Although the ramen was really nothing special,the yakitori dishes were pretty good.
The price for most of those skewers were not excessive.
The quality of the tsukune was surprisingly good! The prawns wrapped in chicken skins were equally good.
Very good and attentive service.
Pretty spacious. Seemed pretty crowded before 9:00p.m. so booking is recommended.
All in all, I wouldn't worry about the ramen too much but the yakitori is worth a try.
新鮮好吃，但份量小及貴! HK78 - 兩個飯碗!
無敵家名物。確有其無敵之處。蝦有蝦味，雞皮包著肉汁。令味道更有層次。HK$45一客兩隻 - 好吃!
無論如何，好飲。易入口。似 "久保田 (百壽)".可以一試。
將軍 vs. 無敵家: 無敵拉麵......不敵!
但湯底實在太淡。有豚骨湯的色水 - 但冇豚骨湯的味道。味噌湯底冇味噌味。不推介。
The story of "Bak Fa Yau" 白花の物語~ There were at least two very annoying flies which could not be deterred by using high tech I-phone programs. (Interestingly, the I-phone program could get rid of the bigger flies but not the small ones). Luckily, my wife had a small bottle of "Bak Fa Yau" with her, We could only get rid of that fly by using Bak Fa Yau brought by my wife! It's made in Hong Kong, Muteki da!
Table Wait Time:
Date of Visit:
May 16, 2012
Spending per head:
Value for Money
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