Wednesday, January 26, 2011
Food and travel guest blogger hkLifestyleGeek gives us her next scoop on fantastic restaurants around town and travel tips. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org
If you find yourself hankering for good Japanese in Mongkok, look no further than Tokoro at the Langham Place Hotel. While there are a few seating areas shielded with a kind of cocoon made of wood that the hotel describes as "intriguing designer pods", the best place it sit is right by the sushi bar or the "robotayaki-style theatre" made of granite. There's lots of drama in front of you as flames shoot in the air and a hand-held torch is used to grill meats and vegetables.
Behind that work station is the chef in charge of tempura. He quickly dips the prawns and vegetables in a batter he makes fresh each time and then with an artistic fling he throws them into a golden-coloured metal pot of sizzling oil. In less than a minute they're carefully scooped out and then laid out on the plate.
And while the cooking is theatrical, the food is pretty much a solid execution.
The drinks menu includes Japanese whiskeys, beers, sake and sparkling sake. We couldn't help but try the sparkling sake and took up the manager's suggestion of the Oozeki Hana Awaka.
It came in a small pink bottle, almost like a girlie drink, and it tasted like one too -- deceptively going down really easy with tiny bubbles. And when you're drinking in tiny sake cups, you don't really notice how much you're drinking! Needless to say I looked a bit flush by the end of the meal.
For starters we had a Tokoro sashimi platter that included slices of salmon, tuna, yellowtail and Japanese shrimp. Everything was as expected, fresh and delicious.
Then came a piece of cod fish fresh from the grill, topped with what looked like a piece of asparagus dyed hot pink. Quite a fashion statement we thought until we bit into it and realized it was fresh young ginger.
For mains we tried the homemade minced chicken, shaped into a lump that was cooked and very delicious on a skewer, as well as two very tender and juicy cubes of Australian wagyu beef.
The last dish was a slice of fat eggplant cooked on the grill with miso sauce and toasted sesame seeds on the side. A bit hard to share, but very delicious.
We had no more room left for noodles or rice, but just enough for a fresh fruit platter that included the largest raspberries I've seen in a long time. These super-sized babies were sweet too, and the platter came with watermelon, blueberries and strawberries.
3/F, Langham Place Hotel
555 Shanghai Street