Unique Japanese/Hong Kong fusion. Very good Japanese egg rolls and Tempura! Very friendly and sincere service. Decent environment. Recommended!
F has been on my Central "hit-list" for quite a while. A tai-pai dong nearby is also on my list.
After a rather intoxicating drinking session at a Shisha Bar in Central, I was trying to sell either "Shing Kee" or "F" to my friends. Since the ladies were afraid of the prospect of eating with fast approaching cockroaches, "Shing Kee" was immediately vetoed out.
I then suggested F. One of my friends was from America, another was from Malaysia. They weren't too interested in any "standard" restaurants in the SOHO area (btw, not everyone from abroad likes the Soho/LKF "lifestyle" - it can get a bit boring.) It took me some persuasion skill and persistence to make the point that F appears to be a very unique restaurant that's worth a try.
Fortunately for me , they agreed. I phoned F to reserve a table at 9:00 p.m. I was extremely glad to know that their final order was fixed at 11:00p.m. Perfect for late night diners.
Lost & Found:
We then set off to locate "F". Being a Kowloon person, I constantly lose my way amongst the streets in Central
ϵ( 'Θ' )϶
As the four of us were a bit stuck in the middle of a road junction, the person in charge, whom we have never met before, actually came to the streets to search for the four of us! Amazing. He approached one of my friends and asked whether we're looking for F.
I have no idea how he could identity us! Σ（ﾟдﾟlll）
Perhaps it's easier to spot 4 clueless individuals looking around in the middle of Peel Street ?!
I asked Mr. F how he knew we were the group. He - no doubt diplomatically - stated that he had anticipated that we should be around the area by that time (conveniently avoiding any description about our cluelessness ϵ( 'Θ' )϶).
坐位不多但寬敞。提議訂位。樓底高。有點煙味。算舒服。服務超好! Mr.F 爽快又有禮。
坐位不多但寬敞。提議訂位。樓底高。有點煙味。算舒服。服務超好! Mr.F 爽快又有禮。...
With Mr. F's friendly assistance, we finally found the not too flashy entrance of F and entered it.
Fancy modern decor in black with dark wooden tables and some mirrors. Quite comfortable.
Forewarned is Forearmed:
Mr.F offered a table for 6 to us since it wasn't too crowded at the time. Thanks!
There was good space between tables. Around 20-24 seats. Booking is recommended.
It was a bit warm. We asked whether we could turn up the air-con. No problem.
After a while, we still felt a bit warm and found the place a bit smokey after we've placed our orders. No problem.
Last order was indeed at 11:00 p.m. The kitchen staffs fled shortly afterwards.
Luckily, friendly Mr. F dutifully fulfilled his duty as the person-in-charge (is he the boss?) We enjoyed our drinks until 12:00. We never felt rushed at all, but we kept our promises and left on time. We really appreciated Mr. F's fantastic service before, during, and after the dinner.
Excellent, sincere and friendly service. Top marks!
A lot about the friendly service and fancy decor so finally, the food.
The menu had a lot of skewers on offer. Some of those were quite exotic (as you'll see later ). There is also tempura, fried rice and a few nabe mono (food/stews in stone pot).
The drink list contained many types of sake, including stock choices like "Kubota" and I believe "Hakkaisan". However, I didn't notice any sochu, which I think would be very good for the generally strong flavoured food they provide at F. (Then again, my attention might have been affected by the Egyptian beer and shisha I had before the meal.)
They also had a small number of white wine and red wine available. We ordered a bottle of white. Robert Mugabe, pardon, Robert Mondavi, at $420 per bottle.
We found it expensive for the quality (but we still ordered two bottles.)
I recommend ordering sake instead. Anyway, about the food:
Meitaigo Tamagoyaki ($108):
明太子燒玉子: 相當好! 蛋有蛋味，有蛋汁。軟熟。像比【一遊】好一點，接近【一門】。推介!
明太子燒玉子: 相當好! 蛋有蛋味，有蛋汁。軟熟。像比【一遊】好一點，接近【一門】。推介!...
First came the Japanese egg roll with fish roe (meitaigo).
It's very good!
Fluffy, soft and filled with egg taste. Not overcooked. There is still some egg sauce inside the roll. The meitaigo were also very flavourful. The salty meitaigo mixed well with the light taste of the egg.
The quality was similar or even better than those provided at "The Yuu" at TST and approaching "The Mon" at Causeway Bay!
It definitely fulfilled the Japanese standard (Ms. Japan liked it! )
Faint-hearted, not for the:
Turkey Testicles, grilled - ouch ($75 for two skewers):
This was the first item recommended by Mr. F.
It's bigger than chicken testicles. Grilled with some sea salt. The texture was a bit like sausage mixed with the chicken version.
Perhaps one will need balls to eat these. The girls just had half of it. But Mr. USA and yours truly enjoyed those.
Recommended to those who have balls.
Crocodile meat: ($50)
I had a crocodile steak once at Wooloomooloo. I found it to be very tough and rubbery. I was quite hesitant upon seeing this initially. However, these turned out to be quite nice!
The texture was very interesting. Somewhat like cod fish mixed with pork! It was very aromatic.
I've been trying to stop eating fattened liver. But I couldn't resist the temptation whenever my friends ordered it. The foie gras here were very thick, oily and pretty aromatic. Not bad but I'd prefer to have it grilled a bit more.
The price was reasonable. It's similar to most yakitori shops in Hong Kong, like Nan Tei, which also provide nice foie gras.
The sauce had some kimchi taste with a lot of garlic and a bit of red chilli and sesame. It had more Chinese wine than usual. The taste was strong.
The sea snails were very meaty and tender. Perfectly cleaned and gutted. I think the chef did the sauce and the sea snails separately as the snails were still quite tender but the sauce did not completely overwhelm the original seafood taste.
The konyaku inside did not absorb the sauce very much and were just average quality.
I don't usually eat sea snails but I still had two, which was a big leap forward.
About 10-12 sea snails.
Worth a try.
Pig intestine in miso ($78):
This was one of their signature dishes. I'm a fan of pork innards so I had to try this.
It came in a boiling hot stone pot. The daikon (turnip) and motsu were inside a miso broth. It's dark yellow, probably made of rice miso. It tasted a bit sweet with a slightly salty aftertaste.
The motsu was supposed to be marinated in the miso for three days ?!
Actually, I find the taste of those pig innards light. Those didn't feel like being marinated for three days. The miso taste didn't really enter the intestines. I prefer the motsu nabe at "Jun". The taste there is generally much stronger and the motsu there were fatter. The taste of the miso didn't really enter the daikon as well.
(Note: I prefer strong flavors. So it might be fine for you. )
It was very very tender indeed and cleaned properly - which is crucial. The motsu were the thin and smooth type and not too fatty. Good for those who prefer a (relatively) healthier option. Quite a lot for the price. Worth a try.
I've tried many tempura specialists in Japan. Most of those were in business since 100 years ago. Those weren't that expensive. Most self-proclaimed tempura specialists in Hong Kong are grossly overpriced. It's very hard to find good tempura with a good price in Hong Kong.
To my surprise, the quality of the tempura prawns here were very good!
The batter was very crisp. It's wasn't oily at all. The large prawns were meaty, fresh and flavourful. It's even a bit better than the very good one I had at "The Yuu" (Wan Chai branch)!
Four large prawns for $104 is very reasonable.
Crab Meat and Crab Miso Fried Rice ($108):
Approaching the end of the meal so we ordered some carbs.
The fried rice was nicely executed. Each rice was separate from each other. The rice was mixed with very fresh and sweet crab meat. The restaurant was very generous with the amount of crab meat they put into the rice! The crab miso (crab cream?) wasn't too flavourable but acceptable.
The only complaint was that the seaweed weren't kept dry enough. It became a but soggy and hard to mix into the rice. Still, this dish is recommended.
We also ordered:
Chicken wings (not caught on photo). Two large pieces for $30. Honey glazed. I didn't try it but Ms. Malaysia was very happy with those.
Pork cheek ($65 for two): These were also decent. The timing was good and the cheeks were tender. Everyone enjoyed it.
I'll definitely frequent F whenever I'm up for more fun and fanfare with friends!
Finally, I Fondly hope that I would be Forgiven if I've Foolishly