Gonpachi, which opened in Lee Gardens One in September 2013, has become an institution for Japanese food in Causeway Bay. With seasonal locally-focused menus, they’ve maintained a high level of quality with their focus on kushiyaki, handmade soba noodles and sushi. Managed by the 1957 & Co group, Gonpachi maintains its edge as a result of the dedication by its CEO, Paul Kwok and his culinary team, who visit Japan on a regular basis to immerse themselves in specific local and regional cuisines. This season, they've chosen Mie Prefecture, which boasts both amazing biodiversity in seafood, as well as the prestigious Matsuzaka Wagyu beef.
Photo credit: In Design Live Hong Kong
Enough talking… let’s get to the food.
No meal that starts with fresh lobster sashimi can go wrong. The Ise lobster sashimi with mikan jelly ($588) was a delight to begin with. The lobster meat was fresh, sweet, and subtle. Accompanying the shellfish was a crabmeat and satsuma mikan jelly that offered a hint of yuzu, and a nice salty note from the capers.
As a contrast to the lobster sashimi, up next was the Matsuzaka beef jumbo sushi ($118). It was comprised of thin slices of marbled beef, simmered briefly in sukiyaki sauce. In short, this was a bite of pure beefy heaven.
The braised abalone ($168) arrived next and did not disappointment. This abalone is slow cooked over three days, to ensure the optimal proper less-chewy consistency. Although a bit salty for our taste, the homemade sauce was a soy base, with the addition of sugar and yuzu for balance.
The lobster meat was fresh, sweet, and subtle
Thin slices of marbled beef, simmered briefly in sukiyaki sauce
The abalone is slow cooked over three days
Gonpachi’s pièce de résistance of the meal was the Matsuzaka beef sukiyaki ($268), which was prepared for us table-side. The clay pot was first seasoned with a small piece of beef fat which added the proper amount of oil to the cooking surface. The meat was then simmered gently in sukiyaki sauce, and was served to us piping hot with a few enoki mushrooms, ready to be dipped in a beaten egg mixture, and consumed. Wow. The beef had this beautiful texture, and the fantastic marbling created a great balance between fat and lean meat.
Oooh, the marbling...
A quick cook in sukiyaki sauce
Ready to eat!
We had heard fantastic things about Gonpachi’s seiro homemade soba ($88), and that’s how we decided to bring a close to our meal. The cold buckwheat soba arrived with three traditional components: the noodles, the dipping sauce, and the spring onion-wasabi garnish. The noodles were springy and fresh, and the dipping sauce gave the noodles an umami wash with a bit of heat from the wasabi. Absolutely fantastic.
No fine meal can end without something sweet to cleanse the palette. We were treated to a homemade honey mochi ($98) that was served with satsuma jelly and strawberry ice cream with an authentic flavour. It was topped with toasted almonds. This was exactly what we were looking for to bring a close to our meal.
The three traditional components of the soba: the noodles, the dipping sauce, and the spring onion-wasabi garnish
Homemade honey-mochi served with satsuma jelly and strawberry ice cream, and topped with toasted almonds
If you’re familiar with (and missing) the cuisine of Mie Prefecture or if you simply love high-quality Japanese cuisine, we’d highly recommend that you stop in for a visit. This promotion ends on March 31, so be sure to book a table before time runs out!
Website or Tel: 2787 3688
4/F, Lee Gardens One, 33 Hysan Avenue, Causeway Bay, Hong Kong
Hours: Sun to Thurs: 11:30am - 11:30/Fri & Sat: 11:30am - 12:00am