|Taste ||Environment ||Service ||Hygiene |
Value for Money
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星期一檔案：魚生 The Monday files May 19, 2012
Urban legend has it that Chinese food is usually quite bad on horse-racing days - which I find quite true, and applies to any restaurant which had serious gamblers as their kitchen staff.有說賽馬日的食物較難吃。亦有人說星期一的魚生不甚新鮮。好像有點根據。因很多用飛機貨的餐廳是逢二、四，六入貨的。
Another urban legend was that Japanese seafood, particularly sashimi, is not so fresh on Sundays and even worse on Mondays (as some restaurants - not all, I stress - only import their raw fish from abroad every Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. After trying Ihashi on Monday, that theory appears to be confirmed. Σ(￣。￣ﾉ)ﾉ
We've tried most Japanese restaurants on this street. We tried this one because it was new to us and it had 4Good and 0Bad (until mine spoiled the party).
The restaurant was surprisingly busy and the customer turnover was pretty high, perhaps due to the good feng shui assisted by the eagle facing the entrance (which also managed to drag us in ):
I was again trying to search for the signature dishes by looking at the newspaper cuttings pasted on the wall. It appears that the prawns was recommended (someone who looked like the boss was holding on to a big prawn in the photo). Also sushi served on a spoon appears to be their creative try as well.
Before that, drinks:
Notwithstanding the large amount of sake bottles used as decorations at the entrance, the drinks menu was pretty limited.
They did not have Sochu or draft beer. They had a few types of sake provided but we weren't too sure about those so we ordered a lemon soda and a canned sapporo:
They had quite a lot cooked food to chose from, as well as quite a large selection of sashimi. We were becoming a bit more cautious at this point and didn't order too much. Since the spoon sushi set was a featured item, that's what we ordered. Also since the prawns was another featured item, we also ordered that, plus a few more.
First came the "Ankimo" and "Scallop Sashimi":
The ankimo (fish liver) was bad. This is a dish that could go wrong easily. Just as bad as the one I've tried at "Ishiyama" in that the liver was partly dried up and partly soggy. It tasted a bit "off". The large amount of seaweed and vinegar could not cover the "off" taste. Those provided at the nearby "New Kotobuki" and those provided at "Ginza Okura" were much much better.
The spoon sushi then arrived. Those looked quite interesting. The vinegar rice was a bit small - the whole dish wasn't small but again was not overpriced. Essentially, the idea is to dispense with the seaweed and to serve it on a spoon, which may make it a little bit easier to eat? The rice was packed a bit harder than normal and was marinated with vinegar.
The rice in each of those were nothing special but nothing to complaint about either. Standard stuff. Just a little bit small.
The quality of the toppings varied quite significantly:
-Scallop was again quite nice;
-Tako (octopus) with some wasabi: was normal. Tasted a bit like a spoonful of "takowasa" on top of a spoonful of rice - contained on a spoon;
- Crab meat with cucuber: a spoonful of Crab meat salad on top of a spoonful of rice - also served on a spoon;
-Salmon: was acceptable but just similar to what you get at supermarkets (the fresher ones).
-Tuna (magiro): was bad Again, it tasted a bit off. This was even less fresh than the ankimo. Not recommended.
Interesting but definitely nothing to rave about.
At this point, we'd like some sake to neutralize the shock in some of the food and to clean our palates.
Apparently, many Japanese people will go for the hot sake if they're not too sure about the sake. If you're not too sure about the quality of the sake provided, especially the house sake, I suggest you do the same. It's usually very hard to mess up a hot sake. Even if the quality of the sake was less than perfect, the warmth will still bring out the rice aroma and render it more drinkable. That's what we did:
Then the asparagus wrapped in pork came:
The asparagus was fresh and crisp. The pork with some yakitori sauce was quite thin but quite tender in the middle and a bit crisp on the outside, a bit like a nicely done bacon.
This was the prawn dish we ordered, the three "Prawn Musketeers":
-One was a normal ebi fry. Like the normal one you have inside a bento. But it's warm and crispy. The prawn was quite sweet.
-The other one was coated with almond: Quite interesting. A bit similar to the fish balls wrapped in almond I've tried at the "Shunde Restaurant" (surprisingly, at the time of writing, my review was still the one and only one! That was quite a while ago. ) .
- The last prawn was coated in some crispy rice crackers. That was quite interesting too. Felt a bit like a prawn toast. Quite interesting.
At this point, there were some hits and misses. It's still barely OK on my scale since the service was good and the price wasn't crazy. The last item really dragged it down to "Not recommended" on my scale. We asked the manager to recommend the freshest sashimi they had on offer. I was somewhat expecting him to recommend the geoduck (which was, according to a board hanging on the wall, the first item on the list and claimed to be freshly delivered to Hong Kong).
Instead of recommending me anything in particular, he gave me a complete run down of about 10-15 different types of seafood. None of them being the geoduck. The first item he mentioned was Hamachi, as well as the Tuna (which was not fresh), lobster, scallop, oyster...etc. So we ordered the hamachi as per his suggestion:
Filled with tendons. Not crisp enough and a bit soggy. This is the typical sign of a fish which which had been defrosted for too long but not kept cold enough. Definitely not fresh. My wife was quite angered by this recommendation.
If this was one of the top recommendations by the restaurant, then I had no choice but to give this a "Not recommended".
To be fair, the cooked food seemed OK.
The service was good. The manager and the staff were all very polite.
The price was not too expensive as well.
These couldn't save the day as the quality of the sashimi were quite bad.
If you are willing to pay at least double the price but want to have good quality sashimi, I recommend "New Kotobuki" along the same street. The cooked food there is also nice but pricier than here.
Another good option for high quality sashimi is "Ginza Okura". Again, it's at least double the price here.
Would you rather have 2-3 standard meals or 1 high quality meal? The choice, as always, is yours.
Supplementary Information:You might wonder why I'm even writing this review.
I've reached my 100th review and received a "level-up" because of editor's recommendations, which most of them are on Japanese food which I'm fortunate enough to be able to afford. During that period of time, I've read a lot of interesting reviews and have also received a lot of inspiring comments from others regarding my reviews.
Because of my fortunate position, and the slowly increasing ability to comment on some types of Japanese cuisine, I have decided to put more effort to discover and comment on affordable yet good quality Japanese food. The other side of the coin is to comment on Japanese restaurants that are overpriced, or providing low quality of food at a high price.
If you want to enjoy Japanese cuisines, whether alone or with your loved ones, make sure your hard earned money is well spent on good quality Japanese food and not wasted on restaurants which are not worth it!
Table Wait Time: 5 minute(s)
Date of Visit: Apr 30, 2012
Spending per head: Approximately HKD240(Dinner)
Value for Money3