Yashima is a unique omakase experience that exhibits both Japanese tradition and innovation at the highest level
Hidden away on Kau U Fong in Central is Yashima, an intimate, 10-seat omakase restaurant helmed by Chef Takahashi Kouya, who brings over 30 years of experience honing his craft at renowned omakase restaurants in Tokyo.
At Yashima, which opened about a year ago, Chef Kouya expertly balances traditional Japanese techniques with innovative flavour combinations to create a stellar dining experience. For HK$2,680 per person, guests can enjoy a multi-course omakase meal featuring appetisers, sashimi, grilled dishes, fried items, sushi and dessert.
Highlights include the matsuba gani (snow crab) topped with glistening orange globes of uni (sea urchin), caviar, shiso flower and a dash of vinegar, showcasing the sweetness of the crab against the briny uni and herbaceous shiso.
Another standout is the soy-marinated kegani (hairy crab), served raw to highlight its fresh, oceanic sweetness, which peaks during crab season in late summer when the roe is abundant.
The cutlassfish, which has a flavour somewhere between flounder and sea trout, is served with tongue-tingling house-made spicy radish to balance the rich fattiness of the fish.
Sweet hokkigai (surf clam) shines with floral shiso and bright yuzu zest.
Japanese abalone is steamed tender for six hours, then paired beautifully with an umami liver sauce. Miso-glazed spaghetti and pumpkin purée are worthy accompaniments.
Tempura reaches refined heights with slivers of fish, corn kernels and yam dipped in a kombu-infused soy sauce.
A clear kombu-bonito broth with akamutsu (blackthroat sea perch) and kuruma (tiger prawn) exemplifies the clean, delicate flavours of Japanese cuisine.
The sushi courses showcase Chef Kouya’s knifework, presentation and ability to balance texture and flavour. Sushi highlights include the ika (squid) with its perfect chew, medium-fatty jikinmedai (golden-eye snapper), super-sweet mirugai (geoduck), crunchy botan ebi (spot prawn), shime saba (cured mackerel), bonito and chutoro (medium-fatty tuna belly).
The sushi courses conclude with the briny sweetness of shirami uni (sea urchin).
Crème brûlée, Japanese honeydew melon and milk-and-cheese pudding finish the menu on a high.
Yashima provides a refined, contemporary take on traditional omakase. Chef Kouya’s decades of culinary experience shine through in the finesse and delicate flavours showcased, making this an unforgettable dining experience for any Japanese cuisine lover.
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.