Regardless of whether you are looking for some charred yakitori, a fix of fatty toro or a refined sashimi experience, you are bound to find something in Hong Kong's heartbeat region, Lan Kwai Fong.
Hong Kong's first robatayaki restaurant, opened in 1989, still stands tall as one of the best in Hong Kong. This well established venue is not to be missed; honestly. The black cod with Japanese mayo is worthy of worldwide repute, and the cooking over coal means each grilled item is soaked in a flavour and buttery consistency that is unparalleled.
M88, 2-8 Wellington Street
Tempura is an important one here, as is the affordable price point. Sushi Kuu has been a go to for locals for years and has actually just undergone a renovation. The new Sushi Kuu holds all the same lustre of the old but with a new look.
1/F, M88 Wellington Place, 2-8 Wellington Street, Lan Kwai Fong
Likely to be the least 'traditional' experience but most fun, Amazake is open all the time, which means perfect 2am Japanese eating times. Located at the bottom of the On Hing Building, with Levels just above and Play just beside, Amazake's menu is full of innovative interpretations of classic Japanese dishes. Our favourites are the A4 Kagoshima Wagyu topped with a slow cooked egg and kinoko mushrooms, and the to die for sweet potato fries with wasabi aioli.
On Hing Building, 1 On Hing Terrace, Central
Tokio Joe offers a modern Japanese dining experience offering a snug, stimulating atmosphere in a wallet friendly manner with some lunch sets that are on point. Tokio Joe focuses on omakase, sashimi & sushi and has been open for 20 years. Come here for the sashimi and gindara-don/unagi lunch set. For less than $200 the likes of tuna, salmon and yellowtail sashimi, California roll and grilled tender cod and unagi with sticky sauce arrive piping hot on rice.
16 Lan Kwai Fong St, Lan Kwai Fong
Following on the Yakitori restaurants trend, that has become a hit throughout Hong Kong's dining scene within the last year or so, Keyaki, a relatively newer Japanese kushiyaki restaurant, provides all varieties of high quality skewers. We suggest the home-made minced chicken skewers served with a raw egg and tare sauce made in-house from scratch ($42), JP A4 Wagyu ribeye ($108), chicken liver ($34) and miso pork ribs ($45). Get ready for robata that are seasoned, marinated, and grilled to perfection.
14 Wo On Lane, Central
Takashi Sakamoto, founder of this Japanese import now located in California Tower, was a self-made millionaire whose income streamed through his chain of bookstores. He thereafter set his time, efforts and funds on restaurants that sought to bring Michelin-quality food at a cost that made it available to all. The first was birthed in Tokyo and now has landed in HK, with 90% of the ingredients being brought in from the home city (Tokyo) on a daily basis.
6/F, California Tower, Lan Kwai Fong, 32 D'Aguilar St, Central
Back to another Joe. 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, robatayaki and vegetarian. They have more than 40 rolls of sushi available too. With most dishes hovering around the $120 mark, this a reasonably priced, unique experience to offer those who want more vegetables in their life. For the more oceanic inclined, we recommend the soft shell crab roll and the spicy tuna toro served on fresh lettuce leaves.
2F, 1 Lan Kwai Fong St, Lan Kwai Fong
Spicy toro tuna at Kyoto Joe