Opening a new restaurant takes some balls at the best of times, and during the pandemic, you could be considered crazy for doing so. So some might say that Christopher Przemyski, owner of Bistro Concept Group, is mad, however, the response to Katsumuto, Sai Ying Pun's new izakaya hotspot, suggests otherwise.
Katsumuto, named after the fictional character from film The Last Samurai, has taken over a tired space on High Street, transforming it into a hip, eye-catching eatery with striking hand-painted Japanese wall designs and a samurai figure to welcome diners.
Leading the charge is Executive Chef Sean Mell, known for helming the kitchens of NOBU Hong Kong and another modern izakaya, Silencio. With 19 years of experience under his belt, Chef Mell delivers a knockout Japanese menu, and the repeat customers can vouch for this.
The premium ingredients are matched by the portion sizes, so you might leave having to undo that trouser button to make some room.
One of my particular favourites is the miso ramen ($98), topped with pork shoulder, green onion and Japanese egg. My bowl is always empty within minutes.
If you prefer something lighter, try the vegetarian-friendly corn tempura ($138), garnished with yuzo kosho (citrus chilli paste), cotija cheese and sour cream. With the yuzu kosho’s punchy, fiery tang along with the cooling cheese and sour cream, this dish is simply delightful.
Now for the main attraction: the Wagyu M5 katsu sando ($288). As a bona-fide meat lover, I did not want this eating experience to end. Sandwiched between toasted, fluffy milk bread, slathered with tonkatsu sauce and Kewpie mayo, is the buttery Wagyu beef. Savour every bite (and order seconds).
The last word
Katsumoto has been busy even with dining restrictions in place, so I can only imagine with a return to dine-in of four people per table that it will continue to wow customers even more. Open for lunch (12–4pm) and dinner (6–10pm), get yourself to Sai Ying Pun to enjoy the great vibes and food that this izakaya has to offer.
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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