Sunday, January 1, 2017

Okinawa x Yardbird

For two evenings in mid-December, pork, instead of chicken, became the major theme of Yardbird as they were running a special menu inspired by Okinawa cuisine. I left office on the dot to be at the restaurant, trying to beat the crowd and joined the group for an early drink/dinner at this ever-popular izakaya/yakitori joint in Sheung Wan.


Having another dinner engagement later in that evening, I just meant to drop by for a quick bite and drink, but in the span of slightly less than two hours, I ended up almost sweeping the special menu leaving just a couple dishes out. Agu Pork, from the special breed of pigs from Okinawa, was in the forefront of most of the dishes. Among them my favorite was the bowl of Okinawa stew known as Refute, with pork belly braised with sweet shoyu, chunks of yellow carrots (firm and crunchy and tasted like parsnip) and soft eggs with runny yolks. I love the texture of the fatty pork belly - firm with a bit of crunch.



The Goya Bacon n' Eggs was another dish I liked, even for me not a fan of Goya, the Okinawan bitter melon. The dish was similar to Chanpuru, the local dish with goya, pork and scrambled eggs. At yardbird's version, the crunchy chicharron (the deep-fried pork rinds) was used in addition to the thick chunks of ayu pork giving some extra crispness.

Okinawa specialty drink was also on offer with a number of awamori bottles available by glass, Orion beers of course, and also a number of awamori-based cocktails. I loved the one called The Kurocano, a play on the old-fashioned Americano, using Awamori (Kumesen "40"), Aperol, Fernet (Fernet Hunter), Tonic and orange peel served in a highball glass. Good as usual - I expected nothing less from the drinks here.


I managed to grab a couple skewer pieces just before I left. The pork tsukune was done just like the traditional one using chicken with a good combination of fatty and lean grounded meat and a crispy surface from the roasting on the grill at the open kitchen right behind our table then served with a slice of grilled pineapples. It was well-seasoned and didn't even need any additional sauce.

Shame I need to run off in a rush, but with the event held for two evenings only, at least I got a chance for a quick tasting.

When? December 12 2016
Where? Yardbird, 33-35 Bridges Street, Sheung Wan, Hong Kong
Menu Highlights? "Island Yellow Carrot, Refute Pork Belly, Soft Egg"
Web: http://yardbirdrestaurant.com/


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