One of the more pervasive cuisines in the city of Hong Kong is Japanese, and even before it was cool to Kaiseki, the Japanese Joes of LKF Group established a precedent in affordable Japanese fare. Breathing life into pan-Japanese cooking, we look at each restaurant and lay out their differences.
No one actually knows why the love of Joe seems quite so pervasive, but given the decades of Hong Kong habitation by the two restaurants, they can be called whatever they like really; everyone loves them.
Tokio Joe offers a modern Japanese dining experience in a snug, stimulating atmosphere in a wallet friendly manner and some lunch sets that are on point. Tokio Joe focuses on omakase, sashimi & sushi and has been open for 20 years.
If you are around for lunch:
If you are in the area of LKF during lunch, it’s hard to beat the lunch set. Our votes goes to the sashimi and gindara-don/unaji lunch set. For less than $200 the likes of tuna, salmon and yellowtail sashimi, California roll and grilled tender cod and unaji with sticky sauce arrive piping hot on rice. All comes with green tea, miso soup and fresh fruit. It’s a cracking deal.
Something a little bigger:
Dinner presents dishes that are simply tasty, with yakimono, speciality rolls, agemono and noodles taking full advantage of Hong Kong’s taste for Japanese. Even their salads are outstanding, with deep fried rock shrimp showing up in a garlic-ponzu tossed garden salad, or tuna, salmon and crabmeat with jalapeno peppers tossed in a carrot miso dressing.
16 Lan Kwai Fong; 2525 1889
Kyoto Joe boasts a Robatayaki grill and kitchen that pops up everything from bowls of piping hot udon to traditional platters of the freshest sashimi. While robust meat meals are a highlight, the vegetables aren’t in any way neglected, and in contrast we feel have been repackaged in one of the best vegetarian meals in the city. Kyoto Joe's focus is more on sushi, robayaki and vegetarian. They actually have more than 40 rolls of sushi available too.
Robatayaki and tempura:
They have Kurobuta pork is immensely succulent with a clean pork flavour, that when cooked over the robata grill, whip the meat into the the most appealing of forms. The sticky glaze and heady woodiness from the coal are intoxicating. Tempura is a strong point of Kyoto Joe, with loads of vegetables (our favourite the Japanese pumpkin) and seafood coated and deep fried to crispy perfection.
For the vegetarians:
Another innovative move of Kyoto Joe is their partnership with Green Monday, which means If you have veggie friends who lament their lack of options when eating out, this would be the place to take them. Not too much mock meat, clever and gastronomic substitutes are made with the likes of the Horenso Dengaku which is a deep fried bean curd in spinach tempura crusted in a black miso sauce, the edamame roll, a sushi that consists of tempura green beans, lotus root and chilli bean mayonnaise topped with cheese, or the traditional favourite Horeno Goma-Ae; boiled spinach in a sesame dressing. With most hovering around the $120 mark this a reasonably priced, unique experience to offer those who want more vegetables in their life.
Kyoto Joe 2/F, 1 Lan Kwai Fong, Central; 2804 6800