Tuesday, July 21, 2020

Bit of Everything

I was glad to have met up some friends over dinner at Shikigiku at IFC before the July 1 long weekend. I have visited the restaurant – both this branch and another one in tst - a few times before for their signature tempura menu, but this time we went for their wider tasting menu, which offered dishes in various styles from their kitchen. 

No surprise the restaurant was fairly crowded given it’s the day before the long weekend (and everyone’s stuck in town despite that), with most customers opted for the tables by the window for the gorgeous sunset view outside. Those tiny shira-ebi (white baby shrimps) tempura with the glass of prosecco made it a perfect start to go along with the view, before we moved onto the seasonal vegetable salad and the sashimi platter, both of which using ingredients imported from Japan.  Couldn’t go wrong with the thick slices of chutoro (fatty tuna), and I love the baigai (babylon shell) with the mild flavor and crunchy texture too. 

Next were a few sushi pieces. Nodoguro (blackthroat seaperch) has the nice fatty taste with the slightly torched skin for a hint of smoky flavor. The presentation of the whole package of Hokkaido Shiro-uni is always a crowd-pleaser, and they were soon turned into gunkan sushi with those rich and luxurious sea urchins piled on top. 

After the cold dishes, we then moved to the tempura kitchen, where Chef Sakuma-san put on a show preparing some of our courses in front of us. Didn’t expect less of the prawn and the seasonal ayu (sweetfish), and we got more of the sea urchins, this time served raw and on top of the piece of oba leaf deep-fried with a light coat of tempura batter. Love that contrast in flavor and texture. 

We finished with the Australian wagyu ribeye done on the teppan grill and gomoku kamameshi, the traditional rice with vegetables (usually 5 different kinds, with gomoku meaning “five types”) cooked in an earthenware casserole. I enjoyed the lighter flavor with this meatless course after all the meat and sumptuous seafood dishes. And Sakuma-san decided to give us yet one more tempura course with the ice-cream tempura topped with sweet red beans. That was brilliant too. 

Normally I prefer Japanese restaurant with certain specialty, but every now and then, it’s also good to go to some place that offers a bit of everything, and everything done decently well. And a meal like this certainly got us into the right mood for the long weekend that came right after.

(Meal was by invitation)

When? June 30 2020
Where? Shikigiku Japanese Restaurant, Level 4, ifc mall, 8 Finance Street, Central, Hong Kong
Menu Highlights? All tempura dishes

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