Hong Kong’s vast Japanese food scene means you’re never far from a bowl of soba or somen; Wagyu beef sandos or grilled triangles of yaki onigiri. If you’re craving the soothing, restorative flavours of Japanese cuisine, we’ve got you covered with the best new eats this week.
Le Bec Fin’s East-meets-West menu
Flying quietly under the radar since opening at the end of 2018, Le Bec Fin is one of many restaurants that’s embracing the culinary synthesis of French and Japanese influences in the kitchen. The innovative menu here marries both styles of haute cuisine in gorgeously plated dishes as part of a unique seasonal omakase. This season, the restaurant revamps its menu as head chef Nakao Kazuhisa (former chef to the Japanese ambassador in Hong Kong) is joined by chef Ishiba Masaka, whose lengthy resume includes multiple Michelin-starred restaurants in Japan.
Together, they’ve reconfigured the menu at the omakase counter to blend not just European and Japanese cuisines, but also the two chefs’ respective culinary philosophies (chef Hisa’s creations lean heavily on a western influence, while chef Ishiba embraces a more traditional approach). The result is a thought-provoking menu that draws on more multi-faceted inspirations, from foie gras French toast, to quail pie, turtle soup mochi, and mini baby sardine bread with pan-fried uni beef yaki onigiri. Like before, the new menu takes full advantage of the kitchen’s state-of-the-art binchotan grill and Josper oven in dishes such as smoky chicken wings with caviar and a sensational crab paella.
Le Bec Fin, Shop 8, G/F, China United Center, 28 Marble Road, North Point, Hong Kong, +852 2217 8889
Black Garlic’s healthy lunch boxes
Despite the city’s ever-growing health obsession, it’s not always easy to get a nutritious lunch desk when you’re time-strapped at work and the fastest Deliveroo option is the McD’s or cha chaan teng around the corner. Enter Bread & Beast’s new venture Black Garlic, which aims to get healthy, made-from-scratch Asian lunch boxes to the office crowd efficiently and affordably. The delivery-only spin off of Wan Chai’s popular sandwich joint recently launched its Signature Menu at Deliveroo’s Food Market in Sai Ying Pun and Editions in Wan Chai; and is available for on-demand delivery from Kennedy Town to Causeway Bay.
Hearty and heart-healthy offerings range from black garlic rib-eye roulade with brown rice (HK$108) to sambal romesco shrimp with scrambled egg and brown rice (HK$98); and a mapo yuba fettucini which riffs off the ubiquitous Sichuan dish with Beyond meat. Other vegetarian options include the Holy Shiitake Shrooms Bowl (HK$68) and sides of tart yuzu daikon (HK$38) and cherry tomatoes dressed with basil oil (HK$38). Just in time for the cold weather, Black Garlic is also offering two seasonal double-boiled soups, cooked with healing ingredients such as fish maw and ginseng.
Order now through blackgarlic.hk and Deliveroo Editions.
Saketen + Nojo’s izakaya bites
If you have yet to make your way to new dining and drinking destination H Code, you’re missing out on one of the best new places to enjoy a pre-dinner aperitif: Saketen, an Elliot Faber project (you’ll know him as the sake whiz behind Yardbird and Sake Central), and one of the few places in the world offering sake on draft. In-between trying the special bottles curated by the ‘Sake Samurai‘, customers can nibble between sips with a selection of two-bite plates ranging from smoked duck with miso to yaki onigiri and a homemade black pepper beef jerky that’s a verified umami bomb.
The bar bites come courtesy of Nojo next door, where you should most definitely head for dinner after to tuck into the range of 60-plus izakaya dishes, from assorted oden platters to spicy dandan chicken ramen and konbu-cured salmon. The imbibing continues here with a range of Japanese-inspired cocktails plus 13 handpicked affordable sakes, priced from HK$68 (tasting portion), HK$128 (120ml) and HK$598 per bottle. Visit between 3–7pm for the ‘Happy Hour All Day’ promotion, including an offer of four pints of beer and an agemono dish (maitake mushroom tempura, sakura shrimp tempura or sake lees fried chicken) for HK$350.
Saketen, G/F, Shop 4, Lower Block, H Code, 45 Pottinger Street, Central, Hong Kong, +852 6704 2570
Nojo Ramen x Izakaya, Shop 5 & Open Space, G/F, The Steps, H Code, 45 Pottinger Street, Central, Hong Kong, +852 2415 1333