Causeway Bay is truly a mecca for all things Japanese. There are numerous places, everything from little eateries to high end fine dining establishments specializing in various types of Japanese sub-cuisines. Ramen, yakiniku, yakitori, sushi, curry, soba, izakayaka, teppanyaki, it's all there. On top of that, you've got kakigori (shaved ice), matcha dessert places, and a huge SOGO right in the center of the neighborhood.
We took advantage of our proximity to Causeway Bay a few months ago when researching places to get really good teppanyaki. We discovered Kyoku, a high-end teppanyaki place that has a Michelin Plate and is a favorite among Japanese food lovers who really care about quality ingredients from Japan.
Kyoku specializes in sushi and teppanyaki and has a separate bar for each type of food. We were there for the teppanyaki so we sat down at the counter in anticipation of a fun night watching the chef make our food right in front of us. Although you can order a la carte, we thought it would be easier to order one of the sets. If you don't know the menu, it's much easier to sample their offerings via one of the many set menus.
We started with a simple but lovely salad made with really fresh vegetables. The yellow tomatoes from Japan stood out for their sweetness.
Kyoku does incorporate some fusion influences, and this next course of grilled foie gras with bread with strawberry was a perfect example of that. The grilled foie gras was quite good, even if a tad rich for me (Bryan thought it was perfect). The strawberries offset the richness nicely.
I was really surprised to see whelk on the menu. I think the last time I had whelk was likely either in Boston or Portland (at Eventide!).
The whelk was fresh and simply cooked on the flat teppan grill and seasoned with some salt and pepper. I enjoyed the slightly crunchy texture. It was very fresh.
The shrimp was excellent too. I was very, very impressed with the chef's careful skill in de-shelling each shrimp on the grill.
Isn't that just beautiful! The shrimp was so succulent and juicy.
We enjoyed the shrimp with Japanese tomatoes and snap peas.
I absolutely loved this next course. The chef briefly cooked a very thinly sliced piece of Wagyu beef and then rolled it around scallions and deep fried slices of garlic. The resultant bite was fantastic, especially with all that crunchy garlic inside!
Our Wagyu steak!
The Wagyu roll was just to whet our appetite. Next we enjoyed another piece of seared Wagyu, this time served with wasabi and garlic chips.
Because it was a slightly slower night, the chef had time and manually fried up garlic for us on the teppan grill. He told us that if all the tables were full, he wouldn't have time and would have to serve the premade ones. We felt so fortunate that we got to enjoy the fresh garlic "chips." This garlic is much bigger than the typical ones you see in the market.
We ate these chips with the Wagyu, which was delicious.
Usually in a traditional Japanese teppanyaki restaurant, the rice and the soup are the final few courses. The chef painstakingly make the fried rice on the teppan grill, manually flipping it over and over with his flat tools.
The resultant Wagyu beef fried rice (cooked in the Wagyu fat that's still on the grill) was really good.
We ended with some flavorful clam miso soup.
For dessert, we had a delicate matcha red bean panna cotta, yet another fusion Japanese/European dish. It was really nice.
Finally, we ended with a slice of fancy Japanese cantaloupe, already pre-cut for us.
Kyoku Hong Kong 旭 - General Thoughts
We had a fantastic time at Kyoku. Perhaps because it was a slower night, we felt like we got a lot of attention from the teppanyaki chef. The quality of the ingredients is excellent here, and the teppanyaki chef is definitely skilled at what he does. My favorites included the Wagyu beef roll, shrimp, and the Wagyu beef with the fried garlic chips (yum!). I think the set menu we got was around HKD1400, but I can't really remember.
We ate here and IM Teppanyaki on back to back weekends. I will say that both places were very good and we enjoyed eating at both. We found Kyoku to be a bit simpler and a bit less refined, less over-the-top luxurious than IM Teppanyaki. We can understand why IM Teppanyaki has a Michelin Star while Kyoku has a Michelin Plate.
Kyoku is a great place to enjoy teppanyaki. I wouldn't hesitate to come back here if I were looking for a nice teppanyaki place to take friends, colleagues, or visitors.
G/F, 38 Haven Street, Causeway Bay
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