Chi Yawaragu is a new boutique kushiyaki destination hidden in the alleys of Upper Lascar Row, where artsy antique stores abound. Specializing in kushiyaki with seasonal and locally-sourced ingredients, the chef showcased flawless grilling techniques by preserving the fresh, unadulterated flavours of ingredients with minimal and simple seasonings. We opted for their omakase menu which has a wide array of meats, seafood and vegetables, although diners may also indulge in a beak-to-tail yakitori experience with Chi Yawaragu’s vast selection of chicken parts. Either way, your meal will delve deeply into smoky fragrance and artisanal culinary techniques. We tried the 13-course menu ($680), which was a medley of flavours dancing on our palate, and included the following items:
Grilled Dried Cod Fish
Garnished with chives, this simple, clear soup was perked up with the brininess of plump, succulent clams.
Yellow Chicken Thigh
Lightly-seasoned with salt, the yellow chicken yakitori were incredibly juicy and dripping with flavourful chicken essences, with crisped, golden brown skin that crackled upon each bite.
A staple in any kushiyaki eatery, tsukune can really test the mettle of the chef and set a restaurant apart. Slathered in an amber, creamy egg yolk sweet soy sauce, the tender meat imparted caramelized and smoky aromas, and was infused with delightful, crunchy bits of cartilage that offered textural contrast.
The muscle fibre was tender without losing its chewiness, and exuded roasted, peppery flavours.
Encased within the beautifully-seared skin was flesh that was equal parts firm, flaky and tender. The simple, spot-on grilling techniques accentuated the sweetness of the fish.
Coated in bonito flakes, the black mushrooms retained ample juices within that burst out upon each bite.
Chicken Soup Udon
The broth was a true wonder of alchemy. Simmered for at least 8 hours, the hearty chicken broth coated the udon with a thick, velvety layer of collagen.
Warabimochi and Ice-cream Mochi
The soft, chewy, matcha-flavored warabimochi and the confectionary hybrid were perfect treats to round off the gut-busting meal.
With so many new yakitori eateries entering the F&B scene in Hong Kong, Chi Yawaragu provides a twist in their menu by offering alternative kushiyakis, like seafood and beef. Try it for yourself – you may enjoy the casual and light-hearted night out as much as I did.
G/F, 28 Upper Lascar Row, Sheung Wan, Hong Kong , 9448 5988
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.