Yakiniku literally translates to grilled "yaki" 焼き and meat "niku" 肉. The style of cuisine arose at World War II and began in Korean restaurants in Tokyo and Osaka. Some say that yakiniku is Korean barbecue modified for the Japanese palate.
Even though we live right next to Causeway Bay, arguably one of the most concentrated Japanese food areas in Hong Kong, we haven't come anywhere close to experiencing the variety of Japanese food that you can get in Hong Kong.
This year, being "stuck" in Hong Kong all year, we've come a bit closer exploring many other types of Japanese cuisine in Hong Kong aside from sushi. One of these is yakiniku, which we've enjoyed several times this year.
Nice Yakiniku and Fine Wine 佳牛美酒 - The Wine
As wine lovers, we were excited to learn about Nice Yakiniku and Fine Wine in Hong Kong. Their business model is simple: two friends - a wine person and a beef person, decided to partner up and offer a unique type of restaurant. Diners can purchase top rated wines (lots of really famous French Bordeaux) at seriously competitive retail prices through the wine shop, and then enjoy those wines with Wagyu in the form of Japanese yakiniku.
Nice Yakiniku and Fine Wine 佳牛美酒 - The Food
Although the wine is great, the food is also quite good, and we've gone multiple times this past year. The first time we tried their promotional tasting menu, the next couple times we enjoyed their Platinum Set, which includes their signature Australian M9 wagyu beef. Below, I've shown the two tasting menus separately, even though there is some overlap in some of the courses.
Promotional Tasting Omakase
We came after "emerging" from the first lockdown. At that time, we were still quite anxious, and were thankful that they happened to have a private dining room open (it was the last available open reservation!), which we happily took, even if it meant we would miss out on sitting around the square "bar" and watching the chefs cook.
At the time, it was a novelty that restaurants would give us mask envelopes and include reminders about hygiene. Life has changed a lot since those early days of the pandemic.
The restaurant has been offering various promotions this past year, through different platforms. The promotions keep changing, but typically the introductory menu does not include their top notch signature Wagyu beef, although it still gives you an opportunity to try their general style of food.
Below is the promotional menu we tried, which cost a lot less than the normal tasting (around 30% less, from what I recall).
A trio of starters: pickled radish and garlic; marinated seafood; and whelk
The second to last course was make-your-own lettuce wraps with deep fried Wagyu tendon pieces.
The final savory course included a Japanese style wagyu beef curry with either rice or noodles (the server highly recommended the rice, which soaks up the curry better).
Nice Yakiniku & Fine Wine "Platinum Set" Omakase
The signature tasting menu costs HKD1280 per person, and there is a minimum of 2 persons that must order this tasting. The Platinum Set includes an extra salad, an extra seafood course, and most importantly, the higher-end Australian M9 Wagyu beef.
Nice Yakiniku and Fine Wine - General Thoughts
The restaurant has an impressive selection of top notch Bordeaux, and only the best vintages. In fact, the ability to access such good wines at such "reasonable" prices (as far as fine wine is concerned) is a big reason why we like to come here so much. We almost always try to order a special wine when we go.
If you do purchase wine through the wine shop, the shop charges a corkage fee of HKD500, but also gives you 10% off your dining bill. If you get the typical HKD1280 tasting for two, essentially you save around HKD250, bringing the corkage down to around HKD250 or so, which is pretty standard in Hong Kong. Essentially, going this route makes the most sense if you order a more expensive, nicer bottle of wine.
We return because the quality of the food is good and we certainly enjoy their selection of really, really good wines at ridiculously competitive prices (arguably some of the best retail prices in Hong Kong for high-end Bordeaux).
Nice Yakiniku and Fine Wine Hong Kong 佳牛美酒
7/F, Aura on Pennington
66 Jardine's Bazaar, Causeway Bay