Quiet place in a busy neighborhood Apr 14, 2011
Went there twice for lunch recently. For the neighborhood, I think it is a nice place for a quiet and casual meal. Not sure why it gets so many negative reviews here.
Curry pork cutlet wtith rice
Japanese style beef & onions with rice
Grilled eel set lunch
Everything was good, including the unusual mashed potato/bacon/corn/carrot mixture that they serve as an appetizer with everything. Strange, but tasty.
The Italian coffee was nice and strong - as it should be.
The place is not cheap, but it is not a bad value either considering the spaciosness and relatively calm atmosphere for TST.
Table Wait Time: 0 minute(s)
Date of Visit: Apr 14, 2011
Spending per head: Approximately HKD80(Lunch)
Value for Money3
Not bad and $$$ Mar 04, 2010
This Kumamoto (熊本), Kyushu (九州), Japan based café located in Woodhouse section of Chungking Mansion. It roasts almost all of its coffee locally via the hot air roaster, installed in front of the café. It’s quite entertaining to watch the roaster in action, ie the swirling bean via hot air, through a see-thru glass/plastic container.
As expected from hot air roaster, the body was quite thin and overall taste was quite subdued, nowhere near the coffee beans that were drum roasted at almost all local coffee roaster.
In addition, the bean was roasted on a dark side. The roasted coffee was supposed to be fresh and the waiter told me the bean was roasted within one week. However, you can easily see the oil on the bean surface in the jar near the roaster in front of the shop. As such, the acidity was hard to come by so it may fit HK people's taste profile well. However, the waiter told me to get its house blend and Blue Mountain for acidity. These are two coffee I would want to miss, a staled import house blend and the locally roasted (according to waiter!!!) but persistently overpriced Blue Mountain.
The coffee is very expensive at $60 for paper drip brewed Guatemala (Guat) and Colombia. Apart from the general cup character above, the overall cup profile was quite smooth so much so I thought I had a "good" instant coffee on my first sip of all three cups. As an aside, to a serious coffeegeek, a “good” instant coffee is a real oxymoron!!! In addition, the smoothness could be a result of darker roast and lower brew temperature. I can only get some body after many sips later. Somehow, it's not too bad and I really enjoyed it though I kinda missed something that is common in a typical cup of coffee.
Apart from the general cup character described above, Guat still boasted its famous ‘smoky’ flavor while Colombia a balanced between sweetness and peanut. The Brazil Santos was less expensive in the $40ish but I personally never liked its thin body. I almost bought the coffee bean back home to try but the oily surface was a no deal for me so I skipped.
The cups reminded me of coffee from Kitamura san at Kitamura coffee in Happy Valley, elsewhere on openrice.com. Nevertheless, you can get the coffee bean from Kitamura san at a much lower price and better body provided that you have to brew them yourself. Also, one can also do much better with coffee beans from hkcoffee.com and other local roasters with not much investment on the paper drip brew and hand grinder.
I am typically not a cake fan but I like cakes here a lot. It tasted really fresh, particularly its cream on top of the cake.
Okada coffee also reminded me of Xen Coffee too. Both of them are good café but if I have to rank, Okada will be ahead of Xen. Okada got my vote from various reasons ie, ambience, location, decoration, much better cake offering and nice China. Only if Xen roasted its bean lighter. In all, I would only drop by Okada if I'm in the area, not the one worth crossing the harbor for though.
Recommended Dish(es): Cake
Date of Visit: Feb 07, 2010
Spending per head: Approximately HKD125(Tea)
Value for Money1
Japanese Coffee from Kumamoto! Sep 17, 2009
Went to dinner at 板長 yesterday, I noticed that Ricky's group had JV'ed with 岡田珈琲 from Kyushu and opened the first overseas new shop here. They sell a variety of cakes, jams, food, coffee beans to drink-in coffees, cold drinks, etc. They specialise in Drip Coffee - at the moment, some kitchen staff and coffee maker are straight from Japan's shop outlets!
岡田 HOUSE BLEND COFFEE - This is the 1st house blend coffee and comprises of 7 different types of beans, with a Brazilian Santos as a base. The beans are roasted professionally, with some of the beans roasted at multiple stages and temperatures, each individla bean in the blend also roasted to their desired degree-ness. They're then combined to make the final blending. Note that this house coffee is the ONLY one that's pre-made on their machine every hour - all the other Blends and Single Origin coffees are dripped by hand only when ordered! Due to the fact this blend sells in large volumes, its also roasted in Japan on larger scale roasters, unlike the other beans/blends which are roasted locally in HK on site!
I really liked this coffee. It had a very sophisticated aroma on the nose - supported by a great complexity of layers, with slight nutty and earthy notes in the background, a fresh red fruit and almost floral mid-palate, a certain amount of chocolatey yet savouriness is also tasted. Everything you desire in a coffee is here - even if its engineered, it was done perfectly! I actually found this slightly and naturally sweet too somehow... Comes with fresh whipped cream for putting into the coffee.
MALAWI GEISHA VIPHYA ($60) - I was happy to see this on the menu. Its from a highly rated type of coffee bean called Geisha, sourced from the Viphya mountains somewhere in South Africa - they're AA graded size, wet processed. When ordered, its 'freshly grinded' and then 'dripped' by the Japanese coffee maker, taking 10-15 minutes.... I guess I was paying for both the beans and labour! This resembles a dark tea in a way, slightly pruney sweet yet the aroma was more suppressed that I'd imagined. For a single origin, this was very refined and pleasant, and quite earthy for a non dry-processed bean - I did not need to use the Grinded Japanese Sugar given nor the whipped Cream. Both these coffees were high in caffeine somewhat, you can really feel them!
CHEESE CAKE - This is made by a Japanese chef locally using imported ingredients. Its actually a Rare Cheese Cake which is not baked and retains the fresh cream cheese taste. Its topped with blueberries and a thyme sprif, the bottom supported by a sponge cake. Really liked this - but its expensive!
OMELETTE RICE SET ($75) - I heard the main chef is 'still' Japanese for now, so decided to give this a try. They make this version of Omelette rice by putting the rice on top of the cooked omelette, before folding it from bottom down - this makes it look pretty, but it also means the eggs in the final omu-rice is thinnish at the top, but thicker at the folded eggs bottom! The chicken inside tasted great indeed, the rice was cooked nicely. The Tomato Sauce was slightly like the Kagome type however and the eggs still a bit too over-cooked and thin. Hard to choose between this version and NIJI BISTRO'S one - they're more of the same, except its bigger here. RECOMMEND TO BE SHARED BETWEEN 2! Came with a creamy mushroom soup and Potato salad, both were ok-good without impressive.
REALLY LOVED THE COFFEE AND SERVICE HERE! YOU EVEN GET TO SELECT YOUR OWN HIGH GRADE, JAPANESE HAND MADE CUP AND SAUCERS IF YOU ORDER THE SPECIALTY COFFEES!
HIGH '5' for Coffee.
CAKE WAS ALSO GREAT. '4' to '5'.
OMELETTE RICE, AROUND HIGH '3' - MID '4' but unfortunately, already best in Hong Kong by my reckoning.
Spending per head: Approximately HKD250
Value for Money3