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Tseung Kwan O is normally dedicated to a local restaurant scene, catering to large apartment blocks consisting of multiple towers. There are some hidden gems in the neighborhood, but not a lot of good modern Japanese options. However, Izakaya by K makes it worth the travel if you’re not a TKO resident.
Opened by Michelin-trained chef Yusuke Kitade and Chef Yuki Kai, who handles the sushi, this cute and casual izakaya is very cosy, featuring private wooden booths with curtains. It really feels like diners have been transported to Japan here.
Upon our arrival, we were greeted by a bunch of playful and eye-catching fox statues (there’s a total of 150 foxes in the entire restaurant), paying homage to the Inari shrines of Japan. The kitsune (fox) is a symbol of prosperity and success and the messenger of the mythical god Inari.
The jet-fresh omakase sushi platter ($168 for 6 pieces) was a great way to start off our meal.
Izakaya by K has a sake sommelier who works with the chefs on dish pairings. The sake, shochu, whisky and liqueurs are all imported from Japan. We ordered a small bottle of Tomio Junmai Daiginjo ($218), which is on the dry side but filled with fresh, floral notes.
The yakitori is grilled over charcoal. The chicken tsukune ($45/skewer) was tender, with the yolk adding a sweet creaminess, while the ox tongue ($45/skewer) was also surprisingly tender.
We enjoyed the fried chicken karaage ($48) and luxurious fatty tuna tartare ($210), which is topped with a mound of caviar and decorated with gold flakes (delicious, but I felt it could be larger for the price).
We ended the meal with two desserts. The teardrop cake ($48) is made with agar powder and Japanese mineral water from Yamanashi and is accompanied by soy powder and a light, sweet sauce. The hojicha crème brûlée ($55) was our favourite for its perfectly crunchy, caramelised crust. The hojicha tea is sourced from a famous Kyoto tea shop.
Izakaya by K caters mainly to the residential area of TKO, and the delicious Japanese food comes without the painful price tags often associated with Japanese eateries located closer to Central. Laid-back and cool, this izakaya makes for a good dinner spot after work and at the weekend, with a large variety of dishes ranging from sushi and sashimi, to udon, to tempura and more. While our tasting meal consisted solely of appetisers, I would have liked to try some of the other bigger signatures such as the Japanese Wagyu claypot rice or the udon. If you’re in the area (or even if you’re travelling from elsewhere), I recommend adding Izakaya by K to your must-try list of Japanese restaurants.
Shop G07, G/F, The Parkside, 18 Tong Chun Street, TKO, 3618 8211, firstname.lastname@example.org
This write-up is based on a complimentary media tasting provided in exchange for an honest review and no monetary compensation. The opinions expressed here represent the author’s.
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