Making its grand entrance into Hong Kong, self-proclaimed ‘top izakaya of Japan’, Enmaru, sets itself up among the restaurants in the Food Forum of Times Square. It’s a fiercely competitive space. This is where many establishments have blossomed and then fizzled into oblivion. But Enmaru brings with it pedigree.
As we enter the restaurant, the long ember grill is definitely an eye-catcher. Glowing like the Eye of Sauron in the middle of the room, the sushi bar pales in comparison. And though there’s ample space in the dining area, you can’t help but want to sit at the robatayaki bar and stare at the beautiful glow of the grill.
Given such a lead-up, we have to order the grilled fish – and the selection is vast, from a Hokkaido kinki ($888) to a much more modest tiger prawn ($98). We go mid-range and plump for a tiger garoupa ($385) and we’re not disappointed. Arriving piping hot, the skin seems a little dry at first but the fish juices burst out on contact with our chopsticks and fresh liquid dribbles out of the meat at every bite. The flash grilling piques our interest for a higher quality fish – but that’ll have to be another time.
Next up we also order the signature roasted rib eye sushi ($98), where the steak is thinly sliced before being torch-cooked on top of the sushi. The rich fatty cut of steak pairs well with the sweetness of the rice – and the slightly bitter charred flavours add depth to the dish. This sushi is worth every cent.
Sadly, though, the rest of the à la carte menu isn’t as exciting as these signature items. It just seems to be full of boring sushi and sashimi platters that could be found on the menu of any Japanese restaurant in the city. We do order the signature potato salad with salted squid ($42) and sweet potato in cream honey sauce ($45) as sides – but, although the ingredients are, fresh, the combinations are sadly, flat
The signature items are fantastic at Enmaru but let’s hope that’s not all this prize-winning izakaya is relying on. There’s no room for one trick ponies at the Food Forum in Times Square.
|Venue name:||Enmaru Izakaya||Contact:|
Shop 1001A, 10/F, Times Square, 1 Matheson St, Causeway Bay
|Opening hours:||Mon-Sun: 12.00pm-3.00pm; 6.00pm-11.00pm|