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Since we can’t travel to Japan for sakura season, a number of restaurants in town have found creative ways to bring sakura season to us! Recently, we had the chance to visit Aqua to try their new Sake & Sakura brunch ($688/adult; $298/child aged 5–12, to include soft drinks).
I’ve always loved Aqua’s vibe. The view and setting never seem to date. Even better? The food. This is perhaps my sixth visit to Aqua, and I think this was the best meal yet.
So what can guests expect? Comfort food with a luxe twist!
Brunch starts with a gorgeous sushi and sashimi platter. We can be spoiled by the number of high-quality Japanese restaurants in Hong Kong (though Aqua is, of course, more fusion), and I feel Aqua has really stepped up its game. These are fairly classic rolls, but with interesting twists that are delicious. Special shout-out to the fried sakura with minced fatty tuna oshi roll. We also added on some Mediterranean oysters (+$28 each), which were very fresh, plump and creamy.
An indulgent brunch involves some fried dishes, and we enjoyed the sakura prawn kakiage and the unique zuwai crab leg tempura.
We loved how plump the pork gyoza were as well as the sansho pepper and ponzu sauce that came on the side. These were eaten up quickly!
One slight miss for me was the risotto Parmesan with Amarena cherries. It was nice, but it seemed a bit out of place with the rest of the Japanese-focused savouries. It might have worked better as a rice pudding as part of the varied dessert platter.
When the sakura platter came out, we were quite amazed at its size. The restaurant certainly doesn’t skimp on quantity! The Hokkaido scallops were huge and very fresh, covered in a tasty mentaiko sauce with salmon roe. The beef tonkatsu was extremely tender and flavourful, and the chicken wings were simple but done just right. We also couldn’t resist adding on the charcoal-grilled black cod with Saikyo miso glaze (+$128) – always a classic at Aqua.
To end the meal, our dessert platter served up both refreshing and indulgent bites. The cherry blossom cake and sakura ice cream added festive flavour. And while I’m not usually a chocolate fan, I gobbled up the tiramisu chocolate shell and crumbly chocolate mango cream fruit tart. Delicious!
Considering the atmosphere, service and quality of food, this brunch is a great deal (as soon as I left, I wanted to book in again!). Guests can also enjoy two hours of free-flow champagne and cocktails (from $788). There’s no end date in sight for this one, but we expect it to be on the menu till sometime in June.
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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