With more and more high-end Japanese restaurants popping up across Hong Kong, Kappou Mu by Dining Art Group stands out from the pack. The eatery is part of a dual-concept Japanese F&B experience in Tsim Sha Tsui that includes neighbouring gastrobar room 3.

The elegantly minimalist 14-seat counter, made from Japanese cypress wood, is where the kappo action happens. More relaxed than kaiseki dining, kappo cuisine features multiple courses of seasonal dishes, both raw and cooked – the fresher, the better. At Kappou Mu, all the seafood is flown in fresh daily from the famed fish markets of Japan.

We tried the lunch omakase menu (HK$780/person for 9 courses or HK$1,080/person for 12 courses), but there’s also an even more indulgent 15-course dinner omakase menu (HK$2,180/person). Sashimi is always included, and with the cooked dishes, an array of Japanese cooking techniques are showcased, from simmering and steaming to grilling and deep-frying.

We were teetotal during our lunchtime tasting, but Kappou Mu is noteworthy for its extensive collection of hand-picked sake from top Japanese breweries.

Here are some highlights from the seasonal lunch menu this month:

The selection of assorted seasonal sashimi includes these beauties – sawara (Spanish mackerel) marinated in miso and soy that has a full umami richness and two types of luscious, melt-in-the-mouth toro (tuna).

This the first time we’ve had anago (saltwater eel) tempura, and we’re quick fans. The tempura batter is crisp yet light as air, and the eel itself is naturally sweet, with a firm texture. The accompanying shisito pepper tempura offers a kick of smoky freshness.

The grilled madai (red snapper) comes with delightfully crispy skin, topped with a fresh grating of fragrant fish roe. We loved its accompaniment of Japanese rapeseed plant, which is basted with dashi before grilling, upping the umami factor.

We’re not normally partial to ox tongue, but the grilled Wagyu ox tongue at Kappou Mu is a hit, offering a pleasantly firm (not chewy) texture. The sweet, fruity sauce made with apple, carrot, onion and soy is a great foil to the meat’s savoury richness.

The Omi A4 Wagyu beef rice is served with miso soup and crunchy, pungent Japanese pickles. Omi beef is a signature of Kappou Mu for good reason; it’s revered as one of Japan’s top three Wagyu breeds, with Omi exports rationed to 6,000 heads of cattle per year in order to maintain a sustainable supply as well as its exclusivity. The Omi Wagyu is served here in katsudon style with silky egg – a divine combination when mixed with the plump kernels of Japanese rice.

Verdict

Kappou Mu has made an impressive entrance into Hong Kong’s upscale Japanese dining scene. The kappo chefs serve up well-executed seasonal dishes in an intimate, soothing setting. We really enjoyed the array of Japanese cooking techniques on display, which makes for an interesting and varied flow of dishes, and we feel the prices of the omakase menus are reasonable considering the high quality of the premium meat and seafood showcased.

Where: Shop UG01–03, UG/F, H Zentre, 15 Middle Road, TST

For reservations: phone/WhatsApp 6617 6602 or book online

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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