F&B group PONG has a stronghold on the Cubus building in Causeway Bay, successfully launching Japanese concepts Teppankaki Mihara GOTEN and Takumi Mixology Salon side by side on the third floor. PONG’s Sukiyaki Nakagawa has now joined its third-floor siblings, this time with a focus on the Japanese culinary art of sukiyaki.

The new restaurant is veteran chef Kazuyuki Itagaki’s first time fronting an eatery in Hong Kong, having spent his 25-year-long career honing his skills at Okura Hotels in both Tokyo and Amsterdam. Chef Kazuyuki is friendly with his patrons, making a valiant attempt to converse in both English and Cantonese.

Sukiyaki Nakagawa chef
Chef Kazuyuki displaying the prized cuts of Wagyu

The chef has sourced three types of prized Japanese Wagyu to star in his tasting menus – Matsusaka Wagyu from Mie Prefecture (the most coveted, with an exceptional fat-to-meat ratio), richly flavoured Oita Wagyu from its namesake prefecture, and leaner Jinnai Wagyu Aka from Hokkaido. We appreciate that all three types are not as cloyingly rich as some Wagyu varieties, allowing us to enjoy multiple mouthfuls.

Sukiyaki Nakagawa appetisers
Appetiser selection

For dinner, there are three tasting menus on offer. We were treated to the most sumptuous of the trio, the nine-course Itaru menu (HKD1,380 pp), but for a more affordable option, the five-course Kou tasting menu comes with a HKD780 price tag.

Arriving as an intermediary course, the sukiyaki experience here is a tribute to tradition, akin to a theatrical spectacle. As a prelude to the action, the sukiyaki pan is greased with Wagyu fat and sugar from Fukuoka, which helps to caramelise the meat. The attention to detail continues with the complex, umami-rich sukiyaki sauce, made with soy sauce from Yuasa in Wakayama Prefecture (the birthplace of soy), miso, and chef Kazuyuki’s secret blend of seasonings.

It’s not just the beef that wows at Sukiyaki Nakagawa. We were just as enamoured with the seasonal Japanese vegetables, especially the shungiku (chrysanthemum greens) with its distinctly bitter flavour.

Sukiyaki Nakagawa sashimi
Seasonal sashimi

Sukiyaki isn’t complete without dipping sauce, and chef Kazuyuki presents two varieties, both featuring Kodawari eggs from Hyogo Prefecture. The first dip is the classic steamed number, whilst the second spotlights the egg white with a fluffy, meringue-like texture.

Sukiyaki Nakagawa goose liver
Goose-liver sukiyaki on soy milk and egg toast

The tasting menus also feature an assortment of seasonal Japanese dishes pre- and post-sukiyaki, from raw sashimi to cooked rice and noodle plates, each prepared with creative precision. One non-sukiyaki standout is the goose-liver sukiyaki on soy milk and egg toast, decadent bites of eggy French toast topped with a wobbly slab of buttery, fatty seared goose liver dressed with the same sukiyaki sauce.

Sukiyaki Nakagawa udon
Akita cold Inaniwa udon in refreshing lime dashi

The Akita cold Inaniwa udon in refreshing lime dashi falls at the other end of the flavour-profile spectrum. The broth is ice-cold and fragrant with calamansi and shiso flowers, making for an invigorating change of pace.

Back on the luxe train, the Hokkaido brown Wagyu beef and sea urchin with egg sauce on Japanese claypot rice is indulgence personified, served alongside a miso soup heavy on the greens and homemade pickles to cut the richness.

Though we didn’t indulge, sake fans will be pleased to hear that sake sommelier (and chef) Ho Wai-leung has curated seasonal sake selections from the Noguchi Naohiko Sake Institute, courtesy of the 90-year-old sake legend himself. 

Our verdict of Sukiyaki Nakagawa

It’s clear that impeccable sourcing is paramount to chef Kazuyuki, who utilises the best ingredients he can find from across Japan to execute a memorable sukiyaki-focused menu. PONG has found the ideal sibling for its third-floor Cubus space, emphasising the luxurious Japanese theme.

Sukiyaki Nakagawa, Shop B, 3/F, Cubus, 1 Hoi Ping Road, Causeway Bay, 5394 3688, book here

Order this: go for dinner and order one of the three tasting menus to experience the pinnacle of sukiyaki
Menu: Sukiyaki Nakagawa menus
Price for two: from around HKD1,600
Atmosphere: exclusive, seating just 15 guests around a sleek cypress-wood counter, with all eyes turned towards chef Kazuyuki and his team
Perfect for: niche Japanese dining that offers some of the best sukiyaki to be found in Hong Kong

This review is intended to offer an individual perspective on the dining experience and should not be considered as a definitive judgement of the restaurant’s overall quality or reputation. The views expressed in this review are solely the author’s and do not reflect the opinions of Foodie.

Stephanie Pliakas is the Digital Editor of Foodie. From Michelin-starred fine-dining to the local comfort-food eats dished out at cha chaan tengs, she has immersed herself in the 852’s ever-changing food scene since making Hong Kong her home more than a decade ago. When Stephanie is not devouring something delicious, she’s cooking and baking up a storm at home (whilst listening to true crime podcasts).

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