Hot pot seems to be huge in Hong Kong, and I love how there are so many different varieties. Back in the US, I find hot pot places try to cater to multiple types of hot pot lovers, melding together Japanese shabu and Chinese hot pot into the same restaurant. Here in Asia, I've reveled in the countless types of unique hot pots available, even types I'd never heard of in the US (have you ever heard of coconut water hot pot or soy milk hot pot??!).
On-Yasai Hong Kong was one of my first Japanese hot pot experiences, and I really, really enjoyed it.
Any restaurant with the word "yasai" (literally "vegetable" in Japanese) will undoubtedly peak this vegetable-lover's interest. (I eat A LOT of vegetables during hot pots.)
On-Yasai, one of Japan's most popular premium shabu chains, is run by the same folks who own the popular Japanese grill restaurant chain Gyu-Kaku and the popular Korean galbi chain Yoogane.
The ingredients at On-Yasai are definitely premium (check out the photo above!!). They offer various cuts of A5 Wagyu beef as well as kagoshima beef (left). The vegetables are high quality and black truffle appears on the menu in various forms.
You order via a tablet which includes both the various hot pot sets as well as the a la carte options. The table even includes a touch screen button that allows you to ask for more tea, water, or the bill. We found it worked to varying success. Sometimes, if the staff was too busy, we would need to press the button multiple times. Occasionally, old school waving at the server worked faster.
Lunch is an excellent value. Sets start at $98 HKD (for the vegetable-only set), and go up to $88 to $128 HKD for sets with chicken and pork. The sets with beef and seafood range from $128 to $228 HKD (with an optional $60 HKD extra if you want to upgrade the Australian wagyu to Japanese A5 wagyu).
Dinner sets start at $298 HKD for the vegetable set and go up to $568 HKD for the premium meat sets.
We went at lunch and decided to order two G Sets. The G Set includes three meat choices: a beef, a pork, and a seafood. The default beef option is Australian M9 chuck roll beef, but you can upgrade to Kagoshima Japanese wagyu chuck roll for $20 HKD or A5 Saga Japanese wagyu sirloin for $60 HKD).
For pork, we could choose between pork collar, pork belly, or pork loin. For seafood, choose between scallop or crab leg.
Additionally, everyone gets a small potato appetizer, the standard set of vegetables (watermelon radish, shimeji mushrooms, napa cabbahe, bok choy), noodles, and choice of broth.
My dining companion and I both chose to upgrade to the Japanese wagyu sirloin. One of us ordered the scallop while the other ordered the crab leg so we could try both. I went with the soy milk broth (I thought it sounded interesting and I'd never tried it before). My dining companion went with the simple and clean seaweed broth.
The appetizer was fine but nothing special. I ended up not even finishing it because I wanted to save my stomach space for the rest of the food!
They call this Tsumire with black truffle. Tsumire is a Japanese meatball, and these are made with ground chicken and black truffles.
Make your own meat balls according to whatever size you want! You can see my soy milk broth bubbling along in the photo.
The Saga A5 wagyu beef was fantastic and definitely worth the $60 HKD upgrade fee. It was tender, nicely marbled, and very flavorful.
The sizes of the slices varied, probably depending on what part of the sirloin was being cut. My dining companion said he preferred the larger slices (so you can get a bigger piece in your mouth!), while I personally preferred the smaller slices.
The large scallops was very good, and I'm glad each order came with two so we could each have one! The crab leg (not pictured) was also good, and they even gave us tools and a wet nap to clean our hands afterwards!
The set comes with a choice between rice or udon.
At the end of the meal, if you're still hungry, you can have them make a "risotto" or "congee" for you with the remaining soup. They bring rice, and cook it in your broth together with an egg and, for certain broths, cheese.
This option is only available for certain broths, like the seaweed, tomato, and soy milk.
We ended with a creamy, eggy congee made from the seaweed broth and a beaten egg. It was fine, but it didn't have a ton of flavor. Perhaps the versions with cheese are more flavorful.
All in all, I really enjoyed the shabu, especially at the prices available during lunch. It was way more than enough food for me, and I thoroughly enjoyed the high quality meat. I was surprised that I actually enjoyed the soy milk broth, even though it's very different from anything I've ever had. You do have to keep the soy milk broth at a slightly lower temperature to prevent it from curdling, but it was quite nice. I don't think it's for everyone (I tend to love soy milk), but for me it worked surprisingly well.
I highly recommend coming here, especially if you are not with a large crowd. The nice thing about this style of hot pot is that a solo diner could still come and get a nice variety of ingredients without having to order way too much food.
On-Yasai Hong Kong
Harbour City: Ocean Terminal, LCX 3/F No. 37A, 17 Canton Rd, Tsim Sha Tsui
Causeway Bay: 4/F Plaza 2000, 8 Canal Rd E, Causeway Bay
Festival Walk Shop LG1-29. 80 Tat Chee Ave, Kowloon Tong