Hong Kong doesn’t lack Japanese restaurants, but I’ve often found it difficult to satisfy my cravings for North American-style fusion sushi. Growing up in Canada means I’ve built up a love for funky maki that are more tasty than traditional. Think “dragon”rolls stuffed with shrimp tempura and eel, topped with slices of avocado. In Hong Kong, it’s not that common to see places serving this type of food or doing it well – but there’s a new spot in town.
TMK is Pirata Group’s temakeria. Food-wise, it focuses on funky Japanese, but we’ll get to that in a second. First, let’s talk about the vibe, because it’s half the fun of visiting the restaurant. The decor and music were inspired by punk rock, and it’s apparent in every corner of the eatery. You can’t miss the bedazzled 1980s motorcycle in the middle of the space or the tongue-in-cheek (think tattooed Ariel) stickers everywhere you look. Hits like Heart’s “Barracuda” and the Red Hot Chili Peppers’ “Californication” blast all night long, and the noise is enhanced by the buzz of the crowd as well as a gong that sounds every time someone says, “Drinks on me” and buys sake shots for the whole restaurant ($290).
Now, back to the food. TMK focuses on temaki (Japanese hand rolls), but there are plenty of other delicious things on the menu.
After nibbling on some edamame ($38), we dug into the karaage ($78). I think Pirata Group offer a version of fried chicken in each of their restaurants (shout-outs to the ones at Chaiwala and Madame Ching!), and this one is similarly delicious. The thigh-meat bites have a five-spice-like seasoning that goes well with the accompanying spicy yoghurt dip.
The Wagyu tataki ($118) was a smidge chewy, but it had a nice calamansi soy dressing and refreshing pickled rakkyo (spring onion) topping.
Pork is my favourite meat, and I was very impressed by the Ibérico kushikatsu ($108). The slow-cooked Secreto pork melted in the mouth and had a mild flavour. Even though it was deep-fried, it didn’t feel that heavy, especially when paired with the sweet and spicy pineapple sauce.
Sushi and sashimi
This might look like a standard sushi plate, but I assure you, it’s not. I popped the salmon nigiri ($68 for 4) into my mouth and happily savoured the charred, fatty flavour before realising that – wait – there was some popping candy in there too! This is a fun, unexpected combination that works well. I’d definitely order this one this again! The slices of hamachi ($88 for 4) were also great and had a very buttery texture.
The menu is divided into traditional and TMK (fusion) temaki. From the traditional section, we tried the hamachi tomato ($58) and the soft-shell crab ($68). Both were solid and satisfying, though flavour-wise they were more standard than I had expected.
This tuna “hot dog” ($98) is from the TMK section. A deep-fried rice roll is stuffed with a spicy tuna mixture. It was a bit heavy but also addictive – something I might order the next time I have one of my fusion sushi cravings.
We ended our meal with a bowl of red bean and matcha ice cream ($48). Our server came round with a treasure chest full of sweets, and we happily loaded on Maltesers, M&M’s and other assorted treats.
TMK is a loud, high-energy spot that serves up fun-loving comfort food at great prices. It might be a temakeria, but definitely check out items from across the menu, especially the kushikatsu and the salmon nigiri with popping candy. TMK doesn’t take reservations and most seats are on bar stools, so this is definitely one for young or young-at-heart adults.
G/F and M/F, 77–91 Queen’s Road West, Sheung Wan, 2662 2269
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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