'Tis the summer of sushi! And sashimi. And ramen and miso soup too. These past few months have seen a handful of new Japanese restaurants pop up on the island, all of them serving up different types of gastronomic experiences for which the Land of the Rising Sun is best known. From casual, delicious donburi to Michelin-starred ramen and splurge-worthy robatayaki, there's a little something for everyone wanting to indulge in new Japanese flavours this summer.
All right, Okra's not technically a new restaurant, nor is it 100% Japanese, but Chef Max Levy has designed a new lunch menu and that's arguably the same thing. With expanded vegetarian options, including seaweed salads and handmade tofu, this is the perfect opportunity to sample some of Okra's lauded cuisine without the ordinarily hefty price tag. All lunch dishes come with house-made pickled veggies, including okra (duh) and bamboo shoots, and miso soup as sides. We recommend the El Pollo Loco ($138), their signature heavenly, crispy fried chicken sandwich on an Okinawan purple sweet potato bun, and the Yazu Yellowtail ($154), served on garlicky house-made 'noodles' made from yuba (tofu skin).
110 Queen's Road West, Sai Ying Pun, 2806 1038
Barely open for a month and we predict that the queues will be snaking out the door and into Tang Lung Street for a long while. Tsuta's stellar reputation precedes it; as the only ramen restaurant in the world to receive a coveted Michelin star, it's hardly any wonder. High-quality, fresh ingredients, MSG-free broth and handmade noodles are the stars of the show. Tsuta's shoyu soba ($98) and shio soba ($98) are available only in limited amounts to ensure quality control (read: 400 bowls a day on a first come, first served basis). Where does the queue start and where does it end?!
G/F, V Point, 18 Tang Lung Street, Causeway Bay, 3188 2639
Read more: Michelin-starred Ramen at Tsuta
Causeway Bay has no shortage of Japanese restaurants, and this new opening on Lockhart Road has cleverly filled the donburi void. The seafood at Superdon is fresh AF, with a menu varied enough to please sashimi as well as meat lovers. The seared Kumamoto A5 Wagyu beef rice bowl ($388) looks especially enticing, though the price tag seems heart attack inducing. The sashimi donburi staples are solid hits – we love the classic combination and richness of the salmon sashimi rice bowl ($148) and the indulgent uni, fatty tuna and salmon roe rice bowl ($268). Not the cheapest donburi option on the market, but the unparalleled quality of the seafood made us willingly cough it up. Tip: Superdon does generous lunch sets at a discounted price – the best of both worlds!
501 Lockhart Road, Causeway Bay, 2668 1663
Read more: New Restaurant Review: Superdon
One of the newest omakase joints on the market, Sushi Ono is also, happily, one of the more affordable ones for those keen on exploring what is considered the epitome of Japanese cuisine. The brainchild of the restaurateurs behind Gyotaku and BOND Restaurant & Bar, Sushi Ono offers 13- to 15-course omakase dinners made from the freshest possible produce flown in daily from Tokyo, at a price tag starting at $900. If that's still too steep, there are lunch sets available at $240–370, which will get you a main course, vegetable salad, miso soup, egg custard and dessert. Not a bad deal.
9/F, 11 Stanley Street, Central, 5989 5429
Another contender in Causeway Bay, Akikan Robatayaki is the newest dining hotspot located on the top two floors of CUBUS. Helmed by Hiroshima-born Kenji Sugihara, this moody indoor Japanese grill house is divided into a top-floor fireside bar seating area for ogling the slow grilling in action and separated booths for intimate affairs and a downstairs sushi bar and fresh fish display. From Hokkaido scallop, breaded eel and seared Wagyu to sashimi, tempura, house-made sauces, plum wine jelly and sake pairings, Akikan promises a decadent robata experience, with a price tag not for the faint-hearted. It would be hard to escape from the full experience without spending over $1,000 per head.
27–28/F, CUBUS,1 Hoi Ping Road, Causeway Bay, 2562 3121
Read more: New Restaurant Review: Akikan Robatayaki
What did we miss?
Did we miss any Japanese eateries that have opened up in the past few months? Let us know!