Sunday, November 22, 2015

Late Night Teppanyaki

We were looking for a place for post-concert supper when we "stumbled" across this little Japanese restaurant called "Kozy Okonomi-yaki Teppan-yaki" in Causeway Bay on Google search. A quick glance at the online reviews did look promising, so we trekked over across the harbor from the concert hall after the show ended at 10pm, figured it would be interesting to try out a new place for a quick late-night treat.

The restaurant is located inside a commercial building right next to the MTR station and opened only at night until 3am. The dining space was compact yet spacious, with a handful of tables on one side, and an open kitchen with about 8 counter seats around on the other. We walked in just as a big group of customers were departing, so we got our seats by the kitchen counter with only a mere 5 minutes wait. Guess we were just lucky as we only knew afterwards from our friends that the place is extremely popular and usually required booking well in advance. I suppose coming at a rather odd hour helped too.

As the name suggests, the restaurant specialize in Okonomi-yaki and Teppan-yaki - the Japanese Kansai-style pancakes and other dishes prepared on the hot steel plate in the open kitchen manned by two chefs. There were also a few other items prepared inside the small kitchen behind. As it's already getting quite late when we arrived and settled, we quickly picked a few dishes from the menu to share and sat back with our glasses of cold sake, while watching our food being prepared in front of us.

First to arrive was the beef tendon stew, or doteyaki in Japanese, one of the special items written on the blackboard behind the kitchen. Beef tendons, with a bit of meat, were slow-cooked in a soy-based broth with miso and mirin, and served in a makeshift bowl using folded aluminium foil on the hot plate. The tendon was soft and full of flavors and the sauce was exceptional with a hint of sweetness from the mirin. So good that we even scooped up all the sauces and seriously debated whether we should ask for a repeat.

A few seafood items were available, both in the a la carte menu and as daily specials, and we asked for some oysters. The chef picked out 4 pieces of Hiroshima oysters from the refrigerator and began searing on the plate. It's done with an uniformly crisp service and dressed with a splash of soy sauce, green onions on top, and put on the aluminum-foil-lined "plate" with crunchy raw cabbages underneath. The hanger steak was served in a similar manner, with a few slices of marinated pieces pan-fried, with a egg cooked over-easy with slightly runny yolk. The beef has good flavors and was surprisingly tender - I wouldn't have guessed that's the hanger steak cut.

With Okonomi-yaki being one of the house specialties of course we wouldn't leave without trying one ourselves. There were 2 choices with optional toppings available and we picked Butatama, or one with pork. It's prepared by the chef and passed to us with all the sauces and condiments on top once it's ready. I don't have a reference point of how good that was in local standard, but I thought this one was more than legit. The batter were cooked fluffy and with slices of fatty pork and chopped sauteed cabbages sandwiched within, and the sauces weren't over sweet like some others tend to be. And the portion was just right for sharing among us two as our "main course".

It was meant to be a quick, light meal given the time on a weeknight, but I felt like I needed something more to finish up. So I ordered a few ingredients for a hearty bowl of Oden as our last savory course. I personally prefer the stock to be richer but the food items - the daikon, beef tendons and egg - were all very nice. And we finished with the dessert of a big slab of vanilla icecream paired with a round, pan-fried "cake" of mashed sweet potatoes, which I enjoyed much with a slightly crispy crust and a soft, sweet center.

They only have a small selection of food and drink on the menu, but overall the price was more than reasonable and the quality excellent. And I loved the casual yet subdued environment, felt comfortable without the rowdy noises from the drinking crowd typical of an izakaya-style establishment especially at this hour of the night. We were always on the lookout for a decent late-night dining spot, and I am glad now we found another one relatively near to our hood. This has our seal of approval for sure.

When? November 17 2015
Where? Kozy Okonomi-yaki Teppan-yaki, 9/F Circle Plaza, 499 Hennessy Road, Causeway Bay, Hong Kong
Menu Highlights? Butatama Okonomi-yaki - Japanese pancake with pork
Drinks? Tentaka Kokoro Junmai Daiginjo (天鷹心 純米大吟釀 - 栃木県 天鷹酒造)

1 comment :

Glasses Shop said...

Looks so delicious, I love hong kong


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