Sushi is very, very popular in Hong Kong, and it comes in all different forms and at all different price points.
Since moving here, I've been on the lookout for really authentic, traditional sushi places that remind me of Japan. We started at the top, visiting 3-Michelin starred Sushi Shikon a few times already. That place is phenomenal, and easily one of my favorite restaurants in all of Hong Kong. However, at $3500 HKD a pop, it's reserved for very, very special occasions. I've only begun exploring, but a friend recommended Sushi Ta-ke as a good choice for authentic Japanese sushi.
Sushi Ta-ke, which is part of the 1957 & Co hospitality group, appointed Chef Kaoru Mitsuhashi as its new executive chef at the end of 2017. Chef Mitsuhashi, who has over 2o years' experience, focuses on Edomae sushi, the traditional Tokyo-style sushi that emerged in the late 1800‘s in Japan. Edomae literally means “in front of Edo”, which refers to fish that come from Tokyo Bay. In the olden days, Tokyo was called “Edo,” and raw fish over vinegared rice became a popular item sold on the streets near the fish market in Tokyo. Because of the lack of refrigeration back then, raw fish was sometimes cured with soy sauce or vinegar in order for it to keep longer. Today, you'll inevitably find some cured fish as part of any edomae sushi omakase.
Fish is flown directly from Japan, and a lot of the produce and other ingredients also come from Japan.
The restaurant is located in the Cubus building right on the edge of Causeway Bay. The space is pretty big, with a sizable sushi bar, plenty of tables, and even a private room. One of the owners is an interior designer, so the interior is really pretty, with a bamboo theme and thoughtfully-placed lighting.
Dinner is a pretty extensive affair, with omakase menus ranging from the "Ume" omakase at $1200 HKD all the way up to consulting Chef Mamoru Sugiyama's omakase at $1680 HKD. You can also order dishes a la carte, whether it be appetizers showcasing seasonal ingredients, sushi, sashimi, or various premium grilled items (A5 wagyu, swordfish belly, lobster, and the like).
If you want to just try to sushi, consider coming at lunch, where there are lower priced set menus that include only sushi and sashimi. That's what I did. My friend and I went at lunch and ordered the Deluxe Sushi Platter, a lunch omakase with 9 pieces of sushi plus appetizers for $348 HKD.
We started out with a simple block of raw tofu perched on a shiso leaf and topped with chopped toro.
Our next course, the chawanmushi (steamed egg custard), was warm and inviting, with a light and delicate seafood flavor (as well as a single shrimp inside).
And then the sushi pieces began to come out, one at a time since we were sitting at the sushi bar. Flounder, sweet shrimp topped with caviar, striped jack, and yellow tail amber jack. Certain pieces had just a little bit of "decoration", like a dab of fish roe or yuzu kosho. Others were simply brushed with a bit of soy sauce. The technique was definitely authentic, and the sushi was solid. It wasn't amazing, but it was good.
Golden-eye red snapper or kinmedai
We had aged tuna (akami) and medium fatty tuna (chutoro), both of which were solid.
My two favorite bites by far came at the end. The uni was fresh and creamy without a hint of stinkiness. And my favorite (by far!!) was the slightly torched rosy sea bass. This piece was phenomenal. It elevated the whole tasting up at least a notch. Up until this point, I had thought that the sushi was fine but nothing to write home about. After trying this bite, I was sold. If I could, I would come back here and just order this piece a la carte, ha ha. The fish itself was quite fatty and thus had a really rich flavor. The slight searing added a nice char that also cut a bit of the richness. It was fantastic.
Alas that was it! Nine pieces goes by quite fast. We ended with a refreshing ginger ice cream. I thought it was the perfect amount of food, and what a way to end! There was still a smile on my face from the rosy sea bass as I walked out of the restaurant.
General Thoughts - Sushi Ta-ke Causeway Bay
This is a nice place to enjoy authentic Japanese Edomae sushi. The restaurant is very authentic, everything from the types of fish served to the techniques and presentation. The sushi at lunch was solid, but nothing really blew me away until the last course of torched rosy sea bass (which was fantastic). The lunch is still a bit pricy, considering you only get 9 pieces. In fact, my friend (who's a guy in his twenties), was still hungry after the meal and went to get his "second lunch" or "afternoon snack" right after we finished our lunch.
I'm sure dinner is a much more elaborate affair, and I feel as if I have just touched the surface of this restaurant. It would be interesting to come back and try some of their signature cooked dishes at dinner, whether it be the grilled Kagoashima A5 Wagyu beef, the boiled golden eye snapper, or the Matsuba crab with egg yolk vinegar (that sounds interesting!).
Definitely willing to come back!
Sushi Ta-ke Causeway Bay
12/F, Cubus, 1 Hoi Ping Road
Causeway Bay, Hong Kong
+852 2577 0611