Chef Shun Sato’s first solo venture, CENSU, which opened a year ago, is a Japanese restaurant unlike any other we’ve come across in Hong Kong. The izakaya tells the food stories of the chef in relation to the many different cultural influences he’s absorbed throughout his culinary career – spanning from Tokyo (where his father ran his own izakaya) to Sydney, London and Hong Kong. Here in the 852 before opening CENSU, Chef Sato launched Armani/Aqua and helmed the kitchen of another contemporary izakaya, Fukuro.
Chef Shun Sato
At CENSU, Chef Sato aspires to the Japanese philosophy of “wabi-sabi”, which translates to finding beauty in imperfection. He is constantly refining his dishes in order to make them better and better and extract the ultimate umami flavours. With this idea in mind – and in honour of the restaurant’s first anniversary – the chef has unveiled two YUM BAO SIK JIU tasting menus (HK$1,288/person for 2 or 4), showcasing CENSU’s most popular dishes via a creative mix of modern global techniques. In addition to multiple umami-filled courses, the menus include three drink pairings – two punchy cocktails and a gin-laced hot jasmine tea.
Wagyu beef tartare with arima sansho dressing
Shirakonigiri in abalone dashi
Chef Sato views CENSU not just as a Japanese restaurant but also a lifestyle destination, where he curates a mix of art, fashion and lifestyle items. The chef’s anniversary initiatives include the creation of a miso-flavoured ice-cream cup with Hokkaido-based dairy brand Milk Top, a partnership with Artive Asia to display pieces by Japanese artists Yayoi Kusama and Izumi Kato in the restaurant space and a collab with home-grown pop-up Noods to present a special ramen offering – a paitan (chicken) soup base levelled up with spring onion, bean sprouts, soft-boiled egg and homemade Japanese soy sauce.
CENSU x Noods ramen collab
And that’s not all!
Chef Sato is set to launch CENSU Japan this March with his original team from Australia, and in Hong Kong, we can soon look forward to the debut of Enishi, a 10-seat teppanyaki concept in the Sheung Wan neighbourhood.
Where: 28–30 Gough Street, Central
For reservations: phone 2997 7009 or book online