日本有名的居酒屋过江龙环境宽敞，服务好,有礼有笑容, 比【和民】更抵食,推介竹筒手造辣鸡肉饼 锅物都不错。如在附近，可以一试。Authentic Izakaya from JapanSpacious, Good ServiceFood quality not exceptional but decent at very reasonable pricesWorth a try for casual dining.Why so serious?After a tiring trek in MongKok, we're quite hungry and wanted some decent food at a comfortable setting! Wara Wara sprang to mind.Wara Wara and Shirokiya are both chain Izakayas from Japan. I've been to both various times in Japan. It's a relatively "young" version of Izakaya
Authentic Izakaya from Japan Spacious, Good Service Food quality not exceptional but decent at very reasonable prices Worth a try for casual dining.
Why so serious?
After a tiring trek in MongKok, we're quite hungry and wanted some decent food at a comfortable setting! Wara Wara sprang to mind.
Wara Wara and Shirokiya are both chain Izakayas from Japan. I've been to both various times in Japan. It's a relatively "young" version of Izakaya where the suits and OL's below 40 mingle; usually with a cigarette in one hand and a pint of Asahi in another (including the girls). The snacks are just there to accompany the drinks. It's generally not a place for a big dinner.
My point is this: Don't take the food too seriously in these sort of Izakayas. Expect a comfortable environment where you could have a casual drink and decent snacks at reasonable prices.
The whole place was decorated with dark-coloured wood with dim lighting, which I find very relaxing. It's surprisingly big inside! Tables of various sizes were available and mostly separated by partitions (with the exception of the window seats, which may be a bit cramped *If you're on a dating mission - I suggest asking for the "L"- shaped seats - the table was a bit small but it promotes intimacy and reliefs the stress in conversation when you're sitting directly across each other. )
You could tell that when allocating seats, the restaurant's first priority is to give maximum space to customers (see photo below) instead of packing everyone together.
We were allocated an L-shaped table instead of the window seats, sandwiched between two couples. The staff were all very friendly and served with a smile.
Very comprehensive menu in Chinese, English and Japanese.
Mostly standard Izakaya fares, which included many fried stuff like chicken cartilage, friend tofu dishes, takowasa, different types of pancakes, pizzas , sushi and sashimi and hot pots. The price range is about HK$28 - $58.
The main difference between Wara Wara and Watami seems to be that Wara Wara provides more big dishes like various nabe (hotpots), sukiyaki (beef hotpot), and a serious attempt at sashimi. Some of those are flow in daily from Japan - but not all. Definitely check with the staff. It's about HK$248 per shimi (white bodies fish - which is generally easier to preserve and thus safer than red coloured fish like tuna).
Drinks-wise, a lot of cocktails, mock-tails, three types of beer (they only had draft San Mig. though ), a decent selection of Sochu and sake.
One interesting point about the menu i that it shows Japanese customers' favorites and Hong Kongers' favorites.
According to the menu, chicken cartilage is No.1 amongst Japanese while scallops in garlic butter is no.1 amongst Hong Kongers!
[Chicken cartilage is HK No. 2 on one page but No.4 on another?? Σ(￣。￣ﾉ)ﾉ]
There is an interesting legend showing the various warning signs next to the food, e.g., time warning, spicy warning, "Natto" warning, "Japanese acquired taste warning (i.e. the really strong flavoured stuff like "ika shiokara" - pickled squid with salt ...etc.
These were a bit bigger than those provided at Watami. Each cartilage was evenly coated with batter, which I believe had some peppercorn, salt and pepper. It's a bit salty compared with those at Watami. The portion is also bigger. HK$32. Not bad to go with your beer.
It's supposed to be some sort of tofu crab meat mix fried in tempura batter. Seemed pretty interesting.
When it arrived, it came with some green tea salt. It looked a bit like "fried milk" (a Shunde cuisine). However, it had neither milk taste nor was there much crab taste. Just a piece of fried tofu in a pretty hard batter. Not recommended.
The batter was a bit thick and the oysters weren't that flavourful. The size was big and it was quite filling. I suppose it's main purpose was to provide some carbs to fill you up at the end of a drinking session.
Although the chicken taste was not as pronounced as those provided at "Jinya" 【阵屋】, it's still pretty close!
The meat was tender and well marinated with mirin and kochichan. Beware, the "kochichan" meant Korean chilli powder. It's relatively mild but enough to feel its presence (about 1 drop of Tabsco!?)
The quality of the egg provided was again better at Jinya but this was not bad too.
At the end of the day, it's HK$38 dollars! Great value.
Highly Recommended !
Special promotion - Puts a smile on your face:
There was a special promotion when we went, but I'm not sure whether it's still available now. It's something like if you've spent about HK$150 per head, you can order a portion of salmon sashimi for HK$1 dollar!
Another friendly waitress reminded us of this promotion as we were about to get the bill. She offered to check for us.
Like what you could see from the photo, the quality was decent. Pretty thick and a good balance between fat and meat. Decent salmon taste with real wasabi provided!
I've also tried the chicken patties with vegetable hot pot on my last visit awhile ago. I think it was about HK$68 for a decent sized hotpot. The chicken wasn't marinated with kochichan and the chicken taste was more pronounced. That's also recommended. Ippou 【一芳】 provide something similar but for about twice the price and half the portion.
I also notice from their menu a "seafood chango nabe" at HK$268. It stated that the portion was for 3-4 persons !? (even more reasonable than those provided at "Shabu Shabu".
vs. "Watami" 【和民】 ?
The quality of the food at Watami is usually consistent (they also serve a very interesting type of Russian/Japanese omelette called Tonpeiyaki, I've mentioned that in the TST Watami review).
However, it's more value for money here with bigger portions and lower prices.
The service is also more sincere and the whole place felt more hygienic.
Shirokiya and Wara Wara are both owned by the same Japanese group. The menu is practically the same in both places. (I haven't tried Shirokiya in Hong Kong yet.)
The bill came down to HK$180 per head for all the food plus two bottles of Kirin and a big glass of Pomelo Chu-hi, which I find very reasonable.
- Comfy decor with a lot of private space; - Very friendly service with lots of smiles; - Decent food at very reasonable prices; - Chicken patties and nabes recommended.
While the food was average Izakaya quality, the service, setting and price certainly brought a smile to our faces!
Worth a try if you're around the area!
*P.S. there are a few shops selling legal DVDs at super cheap price in the basement of Sino Centre. For example, you could by Alien or Charlie and the Chocolate Factory at $10~$20 dollars. Those are digitally remastered in Japan with Japanese subtitles. Those are reimported from Japan to Hong Kong after those movies are "out".
You can sometimes find great films like Batman or other classics. Perfect if you're learning Japanese as they have Japanese audio or subtitles!
Why so serious? Now let's put a smile on that face.
P.S: 在信和低层有数间买日版西片DVD。有日文配音，或字幕。$10-20只 "Alien" "Batman" 等等。亦适合学习日语。
Judging from the title you might have expected me to put a clip about the Joker, however, it's a bit scary for a review so I changed my mind. Weird animated version I initially wanted to upload:
You might be interested in seeing this clip, it's about a TV talk show host laughing very inappropriately at his guests who were victims of medical accidents. The host tried to control himself but he can't.
That certainly put a smile on my face.
(Apparently, it was a sketch.)