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sushi man uni bowls
Photograph: Facebook/Sushi Man

Food ticket: eat your way to Japan with dishes from Hong Kong restaurants

A food guide for those missing Japan as much as the rest of us

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Written by
Fontaine Cheng
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Of all the destinations you want to visit after travel restrictions lift, is Japan one of them? Well, you're not alone. We’re right there with you. Thankfully, Hong Kong is not doing too badly on the Japanese food front and offers some fantastic options to eat your way to Tokyo and back. Be it a sushi, ramen, tsukemen, or wagyu craving you need to fix, we’ve got the list of dishes, and where to get them, that will sort you right out. 

“Itadakimasu!”

RECOMMENDED: Still think you need a holiday? Try one of these Hong Kong staycations made for foodies on for size.

Food ticket: eat your way to Japan with dishes from Hong Kong restaurants

  • Restaurants
  • Japanese
  • Tsim Sha Tsui

What to order: Yuzu shio ramen ($98)

Named after a mountain in Kanagawa, Japan, Afuri (a ramen shop from Tokyo which opened in Hong Kong in January 2020) is the popular noodle bar that patrons happily queue up for a bowl of yuzu shio ramen. It’s the most popular item on the menu and if you’ve tried it, then you already know why. Supple and bouncy homemade wheat noodles are placed in an intensely flavoured chicken broth which is brightened up by the citrusy flavour and aroma of yuzu. The smell alone will transport you to the middle of Ebisu in Tokyo, where the first Afuri shop opened. Happy slurping!

  • Restaurants
  • Japanese
  • Causeway Bay

What to order: Omakase (kumo $1,480; shou $1,680; gin $1,980)

Frozen salmon sashimi and imitation crab rolls – ain’t nobody got time for that! We know you’re dying to go to Japan, but there’s really no reason, or need, to succumb to that because good sushi is here in Hong Kong. Take Sushi Gin, for example, which offers omakase at three different price points, a decent amount considering the quality of the sushi. Be sure to grab a seat at the long bar and take in the atmosphere, along with every piece to fix that sushi craving. 

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  • Restaurants
  • Japanese
  • Lan Kwai Fong

What to order: Uni and salmon roe macaroni gratin ($148)

No trip to Japan is complete without a visit to a buzzy little izakaya, and so we’re off to Hong Kong’s Uoharu, which offers good vibes and great food. This seafood-focused izakaya has lots of fresh seafood, depending on the catch of the day, grilling on the robatayaki – all of which keep us coming back for more. Another must-order is the luscious uni and salmon roe macaroni gratin, a creamy, indulgent dish full of flavours from Japan and its seas.

  • Restaurants
  • Ramen
  • Causeway Bay

What to order: Pork bone based fish broth dipping noodles ($78)

Another Japanese chain restaurant that opened to great fanfare in Hong Kong is Mitaseimenjo which serves tsukemen, the kind of noodles that you dip into a sauce before slurping. The homemade noodles here are thick and cooked al dente, perfect for dipping into the rich pork bone and fish broth, which can get a little thick sometimes but you can ask them to add soup or water to dilute it a little. It’s so simple, yet utterly satisfying.

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  • Restaurants
  • Japanese
  • Sheung Wan

What to order: Yakiniku BBQ plate combo set ($480) + Shochu sour tower ($80)

Designed to look like an airport inside, Yakinikumafia ticks a lot of boxes in terms of transporting us to Japan. The clean and modern interiors, people shouting in Japanese from time to time, and most importantly, the Ozaki beef. Rich, buttery, and flavourful, the beef comes in cuts of otoro (fatty), chutoro (medium fatty), and akami (lean), which you cook yourself on the grill in front of you. Wash it all down with a refreshing highball or sochu sour tower and feel yourself drift into Japan.

  • Restaurants
  • Japanese
  • Yuen Long

What to order: Omakase, for the uni cup

Back to sushi (OK, we never really left it) and we’re heading to Sushi Man in Yuen Long or Whampoa. Both branches offer omakase (from $1,580 to $1,900) which feature one of Sushi Man’s main showcases, the uni cup. Filled generously with the caramel custard of the sea and topped with fresh prawns, this is a seafood lover’s wet dream. Plus, the rest of the courses in the omakase are equally good, making Sushi Man well worth the trip.

Still craving for more Japanese food?

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