|Taste ||Environment ||Service ||Hygiene |
Value for Money
|Alcoholic Drinks||Phone Reservation||Parking|
Really good Okinawa food :o Feb 21, 2013
Took my aunt and uncle there before leaving Hong Kong. Made a reservation, was suppose to be at the bar only, but by the time we got there, we were able to sit at a table, so we were happy. Second time at Rakuen, first Okinawa food experience in HK was at Bridges, which happened to be a chain after looking at their 'cards table'. Anyway, back to the restaurant. The environment was very Japanese looking with Okinawana décor all around, a half rounded bar table that over looks the kitchen, but I'm more interested in their jugs of sake! No alcohol that night, so next time.
Menu looked the same as last year when I first went there, but unfortunately the two things that we really wanted to have was unavailable, which was the ice flower salad and sea grapes :'( so here's what we ordered( out of memory, hopefully I got everything down, and yes we ate a ton!)
Sake clams- so fresh, so good, we kept drinking the sake soup! I even ate the 2 closed ones, and I am still alive!
Daikon salad - cant go wrong, really good!
Grilled eggplants - good, very flavorful, and the sauce doesn't over power the fresh sweetness of the eggplant itself
Gyu tongue (robatayaki) - nice juicy and thick, can't go wrong unless their grill broke
Grilled Fish fins - grilled (forgot what fish, but I know it's not shark) fins. Great w sake and as an appetizer
Miso Grilled Cod? I don't think it was a cod tho I only looked at the pic when we ordered, but was super soft juicy and yummy just like cod!
Stir fried tofu and vegetables - think its better to order their bitter gourd, not too special, taste was good tho
Plum onigiri - ume lovers, they have great plums for their onigiri (rice triangles), nice soft rice
Eel&eggs - in sukiyaki sauce I think, a bit too soupy and sweet, but overall taste was good.
Udon - ordered by accident cos my aunt didn't realize the Eel & Egg was ordered, was good Inawa udon
Okinawa Beef tataki- recommended by a waitress, it was nice and soft, but a bit too chewy, would I order again? Prob not, but might try some other beef thats a bit more cooked.
Supplementary Information:Think this was it, would we come back again? Defn yes, so hopefully they will have what we want next time!
Service was ok, they were busy, no big complains. Sorry no photos, lost my phone that night :'(
Table Wait Time: 0 minute(s)
Date of Visit: Feb 16, 2013
Spending per head: Approximately HKD600(Dinner)
Dining Offers: Credit Card Offers
Value for Money4
Okinawa delights in Hong Kong Jan 29, 2013
Ever since I saw pictures of the seagrapes and jewel leaves I have always wanted to try them.
I have not been to Okinawa before but I was surprised to see that they have other cuisines in their cooking such as squid ink rice and salted pigs knuckle on the menu.
As there were so many items to try, we decided to try items that could not be easily ordered elsewhere, so we did not order much of sashimi/sushi/grilled items.
The restaurant is decorated really nice with lots of Japanese ornaments and displays.
When you touch them those droplets do not come off.
Jewel leaves are scientifically called Mesembryanthemum crystallinum which is covered with large, glistening bladder cells, commonly called common ice plant, crystalline iceplant or iceplant.
When you eat them, they are delicate and crispy and just collapse into liquid.
Its almost like a fibreless vegetable!
The wine taste was really aromatic and could be quite salty so it is advised to eat with rice or other items.
I had it with the sausage platter and it was quite nice.
Home made peanut flavoured tofu:
The texture was really interesting because it was similar mochi and jelly mixed together and the taste was lovely and savoury.
Deep fried pork with taro:
I found this slightly sweet but the mashed taro and pork were really nice together.
There was more taro than pork which made the texture similar to croquettes.
Camembert cheese topped with spicy fish roe:
Fried rice with seaweed and pork:
Squid ink fried rice with egg:
(picture credit: thanks to Mjqueen7e)
The squid ink taste was really strong and there were pieces of octopus tentacles in it too.
The fried egg on top was nicely done and gave a nice colourful contrast to the rice.
Sea urchin wrapped in rudder fish:
The taste of the sausages were nicely balanced with the sauce.
Deep fried spicy pork knuckles:
The knuckles have been fried to the point that the skin is almost like gel and hard to pick up with chopsticks and when you eat it, it is almost gooey.
Overall they were really delcious but could have been less salty because in contrast to the rest of the dishes, this one had a really strong taste.
Dessert platter (okinawa black sugar cake, sweet purple potato icecream, baumkuchen cake:
The icecream was really nice and tasted natrual which I ate with the Baumkuchen cake because I felt that the butter taste was a bit too strong for me.
For drinks I had Bittermelon tea which was from Japan, it comes in a bottle and the bitter taste is not strong at all.
There is Jasmine tea too which comes in a huge can.
Dishes I would definately come back for: tofu, squid ink rice, jewel leaves, stir fried bitter melon and pork.
Dining Offers: Tasting Event, Group-buy, Credit Card Offers, Coupon
Value for Money4
It's just so good May 15, 2011
The decor is quaint and interesting, transporting you immediately to a little izakaya in Okinawa. The service is tentative and polite, and if you speak the lingo, there are the Japanese waitresses who are happy to chat with you in Nihongo. The food is fantastic, faultless to the T, and you can just taste the freshness in every bite. We went just after the "nuclear incident" and the waiter informed us when we ordered that they were using local gourd. Not sure if the two are related. Don't expect sushi and sashimi here to be the main stars, what really catches the eye are the little dishes of cooked goodness - potato and beef croquettes, stir fried gourd with pork, stir fried eggplant in misu, deep fried squid, gyoza, and yakisoba. The kimchee udon wasn't as spicy as I had expected, perhaps kimchee fried rice would be better as it wouldn't dilute the spices as much. And of course, try the sea grapes if you don't know what they are! Each little pearl bursting with briny juices straight from the sea. The peanut tofu sounds weird, but it's got a lovely texture and almost like a dessert save for the soy sauce that comes with it which transforms it into an appetiser. One of my favourite places in town, two thumbs up. There's a tatami room to the side, perfect for small gatherings.
Recommended Dish(es): Bitter gourd,eggplant,beef croquette
Table Wait Time: 0 minute(s)
Date of Visit: May 12, 2011
Spending per head: Approximately HKD250(Dinner)
Value for Money4
Rakuen Feb 01, 2010
I’m writing this quite a while after going to Raku-en and am not able to remember too much detail about the separate dishes we had. But the quality of the Okinawan food offered here made me want to write at least a short listing to be updated on a second visit.
Hidden away at the top of a tower, this place specialising in Okinawa style Japanese food felt authentic the moment we stepped in. Japanese magazines and other items crowded the front counter, sake bottles lined the walls, and all the tables were already filled by excited groups of young Japanese. It’s one of several Causeway Bay based hideaways for Hong Kong’s Japanese community.
The menu had a massive range of small plate dishes ranging from about HK$40 to 70. I am fairly new to Okinawan food, so was fairly bewildered a choice of dishes that stretched from stuffed fried chicken wings all the way to snapper carpaccio.
The pork belly in miso had beautifully soft pieces of meat which melted in your mouth, their small layers of fat adding a richer buttery hint to the taste. Each spongy piece has soaked up the sauces stronger flavours and let these drift sumptuously out as you chewed.
Fried chicken sunk into a pile of crumbled bread and garlic and chilli also tasted great. Each crisp piece of chicken would gather up so of this pile to add to the crisp flavour of the skin. Both this, and the skewers, were ‘snack style’ dishes prepared excellently and with extra elements.
The stuffed chicken wings were another example of this. With the bones taken from the middle of the meat, little fleshy white pockets were filled with a pasty stuffing. This was sealed in a wonderfully crisp skin that was perfectly fried to fill it with taste whilst keeping it from being to charred or oily.
Almost all of the other dishes we had followed a similar trend – full of flavour and with meticulous attention to detail. The cod showcased as well as anywhere I have been in Hong Kong the Japanese ability to prepare fish in a very simple way that brings out all of its flavours.
Overall, Ruku-en is a great place to go to explore Okinawan cuisine and to try a wide range of different dishes. I felt confident that the things I was eating were genuine and that whatever I ordered it would be well prepared and offer something interesting.
Spending per head: Approximately HKD200(Dinner)
Value for Money4
Back in Okinawa!!!! Oct 10, 2009
Tried this Okinawan restaurant finally! I have been searching for a good 海鹽雪糕 in HK after I'd had it in Okinawa this summer. I had tried it somewhere else in CWB before but its disappointing. This time, though its still not the one I had in Okinawa, other food had surprised me, seems like I was brought back in Okinawa. Really miss this place.
Last time I wanted to have sat lunch here but its open only at night during weekend! Booked a table for 4. When we arrived, there were only Japanese customers.
Four of us ordered (i forget most of the food name, but its easy to figure them out in the menu):
1) peanut tofu: the texture is very special, you can pick it up with your chopsticks! half peanut and half tofu flavour. tasty!
2) fried sweet potato cake: although it doesnt look good, its very tasty. it seems to have some minced meat inside.
3) fried goya with pork: the goya tasted like those i had in Okinawa! very bitter!
4) fried rice with squid ink: usually the food with squid ink just gives you the black colour without giving you the taste of squid ink, but this dish had a rich flavour of squid ink, good! we love it
5) soba with pork: as tasty as the one i had in Okinawa. esp. the pork ribs!
6) 麵筋炒豬肉: both 麵筋 and 豬肉are very soft, delicious. best served with rice i think. so i ate it with the squid ink fried rice.
7) 海鹽雪糕: although not as good as the one in Okinawa, you can still try to taste this salty ice-cream. I think I really needa go back to Kokusai Dori (in Okinawa) to have the real sea salt ice-cream
a very good dinner with very special food. worths a try if you're tired of the traditional japanese food.
Date of Visit: Oct 08, 2009
Spending per head: Approximately HKD161(Dinner)
Value for Money4
Ku-suya Rakuen 古酒家-樂宴 Sep 27, 2009
This little hideaway Izakaya in Causeway Bay is famous for its Awamori (泡盛) which is an alcoholic beverage originated from and unique to Okinawa, Japan. It also turns out that this place also specializes in Okinawa cuisines. When you first step into the restaurant, all you can see are shelves and rows after rows of various sake , shōchū and awamori. It was quite a scene to me. In addition to the normal bottles, they have some clay pot containing the Awamori (泡盛) which was something new to me indeed. The whole decor and atmosphere was perfect for a few drinks after a long day of work!
Unfortunately, it was not a night for drinking, it was a night of chit-chat, catch-up and deep-talk with a friend. It will be another night before I go try out the various Awamori (泡盛).
We were basically the first group to arrive and I got to take as many pictures as I wanted. My friend took the following picture of the chili clay container which I think is wonderful and I like to share with others. Also, I did a quick search on the Internet and apparently this restaurant is part of a chain / group, the En Group, which runs the Wa-En 和宴, Zempachi 禪八 and Chura (which serves Okinawa cuisine as well). I guess it is time to visit the rest of the franchise again especially Chura which I am yet to try.
(1) Home Made Peanut Flavored Tofu
After hours of thinking, I am still having difficulty coming up with the right words to describe this tofu but I am going to try my best. First of all, it was thumbs up and a must try indeed! The texture of this tofu was not more firm, more elastic and gluten-y. It was more like jello but way firmer. Flavor wise, it was not as strong or rich as I suspected but good enough. Do give it a try, a must try indeed.
(2) Sliced Frozen Squid
It was very rich in flavor, a bit too strong in my opinion. It would be better to eat together with the minced radish for a more balanced flavor. Texture wise it was very chewy and some parts were overly elastic that I thought I was chewing on rubber band.
(3) Deep Fried Bitter Gourd
It was very crisp and the immediate taste of the flakes were rather tasteless. It was the aftertaste that came 5 - 8 seconds later that contained the bitter gourd flavors. It was a great dish to go along with beer.
(4) Smoked Pork Knuckles
No surprises here but a positive note was that the skin remained crispy even after sitting at room temperature for a while. Also, it was not too salty as I would have expected from the look of it. This reminded me of another point to mention; do not order all dishes at once because they serve them pretty quickly, faster than you can complete them especially if you are there to chat over a few bottles of beer or glasses or Japanese wine.
(5) Shrimp & Cheese Croquette
It was a wonderful dish with beer of by itself. The outer layer remained crisp throughout every bite and the mashed potatoes inside carried traces of shrimps and cheese which I hoped there can be more, especially the cheese part! Overall, thumbs up !!
(6) Grilled Ox Tongue
It was time for my favorite grilled ox tongue. However, it was not as good as I expected. It was rather too thin. While the texture was chewy it would be better if it was thicker. The use of salt and seasoning was good, with just the right amount.
(7) Stuffed Chicken Wing with Cod Roe
Another thumbs up dish! It was unlike other I had before because this one was actually FILLED with Cod Roe. It was heavy weight stuffing as shown in the picture. It was slightly salty in my opinion, but the flavors of the cod roe together with the deep fried chicken made up for that. I have nothing to complain at all and it would be best to go with any kinds of alcoholic beverage.
* Stuffed Chicken Wing with Cod Roe - heavy weight stuffing!
* Shrimp & Cheese Croquette - wonderfully done, more cheese would be better
* Home Made Peanut Flavored Tofu - still having difficulty describing it, so give it a try yourself.
* Grilled Ox Tongue - the slices were too thin for grilling
* items being served too quickly
Avg Spending: HKD 300 -500 per person
Original Blog with more pictures: http://jason-bonvivant.blogspot.com/2009/09/ku-suya-rakuen.html
Value for Money4
Theme Dinner 6: 古酒新菜 之《沖繩泡盛宴》 Sep 06, 2009
Although most food genres in Hong Kong aren’t restricted by seasonality, there are certain kinds of food that are best eaten at a certain time, such as claypot rice in the winter. For me, summer is the best time to enjoy Okinawan food (沖繩料理), which tends to have stronger and spicier flavors than other Japanese food with influences from Chinese and American cooking styles. The scotching sun in Mid-August gave us a perfect excuse to visit Kushuya Rakuen 古酒家樂宴 for a feast of Okinawan alcohols and food.
One of the reasons to visit 樂宴 is the extensive selection of awamori (泡盛), a special Okinawan liquor made with rice and black yeast in a single distillation process. I am no awamori expert but luckily KC took charge of the alcohol selection and the food pairing. Note that I said food pairing because the main focus of the night was tasting awamori, and for detailed reviews of these fine awamori concoctions, you can read KC’s blog: http://gourmetkc.blogspot.com/2009/07/episole-1.html.
The dinner strategically advanced in 4 rounds with progressively stronger awamori for tasting. Since the food is served to support the awamori, an array of chinmi 珍味, fried food, and small plates seem to be the natural choice.
Round 1: A lot of cold appetizers to kick off the night
Featured 泡盛: 残波 25度(新酒, 1.8L, $700)
(Sea Grape, 海葡萄), $55
- a type of edible seaweed with tiny seeds that hangs from its stems, and with a texture like caviars these seeds burst into juice concentrated with oceanic umami flavor.
(Korean Style Pickled Cod Stomach, 韓風漬魚腸), $55 &
(Octopus with Wasabi, 芥未八爪魚), $48
- they aren’t uniquely Okinawan but the spicy and savory “fishiness” complement the alcohol just fine.
(Okinawan Shallot Tempura, 炸沖繩特產蔥頭), $53
- Very subtle sweet shallot flavor, a good fried food for alcohol
(Okinawa Sausage Platter, 沖繩香腸併盤), $65
-Average porky flavor
Round 2: Starting to have stronger flavored food to complement the awamori.
Featured 泡盛: 島唄古酒 25度 (古酒3年, 1.8L, $653)
(Preserved Sliced Pig’s Ear, 胡麻醬青瓜豬耳), $45
- Crunchy juliennes of pig’s ears blended so well with the light sesame dressing, awesome!
(Sliced Frozen Squid, 螢光魷魚漬), $78
- This has always been one of my favorite items as the oceanic fishy flavor is so intense! Here the ika is marinated in house, and if you are lucky to get its “heart”, it is an explosion of briny bile essence! Slimy with a chew, the texture may not be for anyone, but people who appreciate it (like us) can’t stop raving about it. In fact, we encored for another!
(Fermented Beancurd, 沖繩腐乳), $25
-Another Okinawan 珍味 with a flavor similar to our Chinese 腐乳, it’s the Japanese answer to cheese-wine pairing, only this time with awamori!
(Snapper Carpaccio, 酸汁半生熟鯛), $105
- Very mild in fish flavor, one enjoys the refreshing sauce than the carpaccio itself
(Deep Fried Bitter Gourd, 炸苦瓜片), $65
- Fried food is always a good companion to alcohol, and the bitter aftertaste of the Okinawan goya is certainly stronger than the Chinese bitter gourd. A good contrast to the subtle bitterness from the awamori.
Round 3: Moving on to the stronger awamori, heavier food with grease like pork helped us to neutralize the alcohol.
Featured 泡盛: 海乃邦 10年貯蔵 25度(古酒10年, 720 ml, $420)
(Miso Flavored Stewed Pork with Japanese Radish, 蘿蔔煮豬肉), $65
- A famous signature Okinawan dish, this local version of 豚の角煮 features fatty, tender slices of pork stewed in a sweet brown sauce made from soy, 泡盛, miso, and ginger. I consider it a clear wisdom of using 泡盛 in cooking as the pure and concentrated fermented rice flavor deeply penetrates the meat and tenderizes it simultaneously. The version at 樂宴 is expertly prepared, with the entire slice of pork (not just the fatty parts) extremely scrumptious, and not an ounce of dry, stringy pieces. In fact we said that texture-wise it surpassed 東坡肉 in many famous Chinese restaurants like the downhill version at 天香樓. Don’t forget the daikon which has absorbed all the wonderful pork juice, awamori, and miso. A bit of this pork and a sip of the 海乃邦 = 泡盛 on top of 泡盛! A MUST TRY!
(Camembert Cheese Topped with Fish Roe, 明太子芝士餅), $45- A simple fusion dish which works surprisingly well! We encored this again, and I even make it at home now!
(Goya Champuru, 苦瓜煮豚肉), $72
One cannot talk about 沖繩料理 without mentioning ゴーヤーチャンプルー. While it doesn’t appear new as we have similar dishes in Chinese cuisine, it just seems so appropriate to order it here and it still satisfies as a hot dish
(Deep Fried Pork with Goya, 苦瓜豬肉餅), $55
-Not strong in either pork or bitter melon taste, this is average but very filling and good if you are getting drunk (which we were…)
Round 4: We are in high emotion at this stage, but certainly not stopping! Next is a very strong awamori, and one really needs some carbohydrates to combat the alcohol!
Featured 泡盛: 久米仙5年, 40度 (古酒5年, 720 ml, $630)
(Fried Rice w. Seaweed and Pork, 沖繩風昆布豬肉炒飯), $68
- Surprisingly good in flavor and the saltiness simply drives us to have more awamori
お茶漬け & おにぎり(さけ,梅)
(Rice in Soup and Rice Ball – Salmon and Plum, 飯糰&茶泡飯-三文魚,梅), $50 each
- Standard offerings and exactly what we need when drunk...
Round 5 (Final): Now that we are winding down with most of us completely drunk and lying on the floor (luckily we were in the private room), a relatively mild and approachable awamori is chosen.
Featured 泡盛: くら, 25度(古酒3年, 720ml, $340)
(Smoked Pork Knuckles, 燻豬手), $68
- Very delicious with a powerful smoky flavor! The tender gelatin from the knuckles coats my lips and mouth, in a good enjoyable way! I will totally order this again next time!
(Spicy Pork Knuckles w. Garlic and Chili, 椒鹽炸豬手), $65
- This is not as juicy as the smoked knuckles but benefits from the fried garlic. Not spicy at all
(Okinawa Styled Deep fried Donut, 沖繩風炸冬甩), $10 each
- A native Okinawan dessert, even the sweets can’t escape the deep fried process, and this is sweet , filling, but a bit doughy at the same time.
(Okinawa Salt Ice Cream 沖繩盬味雪糕 $30, Green Tea Ice Cream 抹茶雪糕 $25)
-I make sure to get a scoop of the salt ice cream and while its salty taste, as far as I am concerned, is the same as the salt ice cream you can get in grocery stores in Japan (but not as good as artisan ice-cream). Excellent~
This was certainly a great awamori tasting and an epic for those who attended as there were so many funny stories with the drunken minds! The food is fantastic and very authentic, and I know this will not be the last time we come here for more awamori and fun!
*Total Cost: $699 Food Alone: $365
Recommended Dish(es): All awamori, 蘿蔔煮豬肉, 明太子芝士餅, 沖繩風昆布豬肉炒飯, 炸苦瓜片,沖繩腐乳, 螢光魷魚漬, 海葡萄, 燻豬手, 沖繩盬味雪糕
Spending per head: Approximately HKD699(Dinner)
Value for Money3
The better choice for Okinawa cuisine in HK Feb 07, 2009
Although originating from the same company as Chura (I learnt that after browsing through its website), in my opinion this "hidden" (situated on the 12th floor of a building) and rather "elusive" restaurant (just forget about the information listed here, for it only opens at dinner time on weekdays and weekends) obviously does a far better job than its counterpart in TST Came with 2 other friends of mine and we ordered quite a number of items, all of which were of at least of satisfactory standard (in terms of quality and quantity). My only concern with this place is that due to the relative lack of space, it can be a really "intimate" dining experience (meaning that you can at times literally run into the other's conversation at the next table; some may even find it claustrophobic sitting inside the small room next to the entrance ); the other thing I dislike most is that indoor smoking is allowed here, and obviously the air ventilation system is incapable of taking care of all the excess smoke... ... (This is really ridiculous in a sense; I mean isn't Okinawa cusine supposed to be more "healthy" than the other usual Jap stuff ........??) Service-wise the waitors do a fair job here - efficient and polite service, and knowledgable enough to give you recommendations on their dishes. Oh, and a few more thing before we start, just to clarify things: no free drinks served here (meaning they charge even for hot tea), and an obligatory fee of $20 will be charged per head for appetitizers (just a small bowl of Edamames, by the way). We made orders for 2 small glasses of asahi (cold and refreshing !) and a non-alcoholic "siquasha" juice (basically cold lime juice with soda added, not bad according to my friend), and before long, our orders arrived one by one .... ...
For starters we ordered sea grapes (actually a form of seaweed), which got an interesting texture and a unique "sea water" flavor (ok); Jimami (peanuts) tofu, another interesting dish with the tofu having a "tangy" texture and a hint of peanut flavor(good, worth a try); and the tai (snapper) carpaccio, which, although labelled as "half-cooked" on the menu, was actually raw as sashimi in our eyes. Not bad though, as it was very fresh, and just lightly marinated with vinegar to enhance its taste. The onion garnish which came with the fish was also soaked with the vinegar and was also quite fresh and tasty. Not bad for starters !
Next came the "mains". The clams cooked in sake sauce were fine, with the clams being fresh and full of seawater flavor, but there was hardly any taste of "sake" remaining in the broth or in the clams (?probably lost in the boiling process); the aspara buta (grilled bacon wrapped around asparagus "sticks") and "Okinawa" pork dumplings were also fine but not outstanding and nothing to boast about really. The stewed tender beef in miso sauce was quite nice, with the beef cooked really tender and soaked in a sweet miso sauce, this would have been a nice dish to take with rice or soba The beef tongue skewers were also quite nice, with tender and juicy texture, and would have been quite perfect in my eyes, had they not been slightly overseasoned with salt by the chef. The star dish of the night was undoubtedly the Goya with pork and soya bean curd - a signature Okinawa dish and must-order item for those who love goya, this is definitely another great dish to go with rice !! We just love this dish ... ...
Overall speaking, this is quite a nice place to try Okinawa cusisine in HK. Food portions tend to be on the small side, but I find them better cooked than the one I tried at TST. Price is not cheap but it is acceptable in my opinion (at least we managed to stuff ourselves full with the items above). The snoking issue is a thorny one, though, and may well act as a deterrent for many prospective patrons Will probably come back once in a while to try the other "interesting" items we found on the menu.
Recommended Dish(es): Peanut tofu, snapper carpaccio, miso tender beef stew, beef tongue skwers, goya with pork
Spending per head: Approximately HKD275(Dinner)
Value for Money4