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Modern Japanese restaurant offering a deliciously authentic traditional Japanese eating experience in the heart of Causeway Bay.
A couple of floors above bustling Jaffe Road, Kura recently opened its doors as a Japanese restaurant with a mission to offer top-quality traditional Japanese cuisine in an authentic, modern setting. In a city where Japanese restaurants are – thankfully – these days ten-a-penny, Kura manages to stand out because, although slightly missing the mark in a couple of important areas, it serves up an impressive array of Japanese favourites that do full and delicious justice to the ways of washoku.
The restaurant is relatively spacious, with various nooks and crannies delineated by pillars, dainty-wooden-beamed dividers and thin walls, much like in restaurants on the back streets of, say, Tokyo or Kyoto. There’s also a hulking counter that stands as the focal point of the restaurant and at which nine lucky patrons can sit and look on as the sushi chefs slice and press away. Despite these features however, it has to be said that the ambience of the place falls short of offering that truly authentic Japanese experience. Whether it be the choice of furniture, which could be taken more for Ikea than Ikebukuro, or the slight messiness – it is extremely hygienic by the looks of things – behind the sushi counter that just wouldn’t fly in your average Osaka sushiya, it’s hard to forget that you’re actually in Hong Kong.
Now onto the food, which leaves very little to complain about. Kura’s rather extensive menu offers 13 lunch sets comprising of favourites from sushi to tempura, priced around the $350 mark, and for dinner, there’re three quality- commensurate omakase sets for $1180, $1380 and $1680. I went for the middle Kichijyou dinner set for $1380, and despite going into the meal with a smug trepidation the result of over seven years spent in Japan, I was far from disappointed. From the first serving, which came in the way of a light starter of salmon nose and roe, the quality and freshness were evident. The restaurant prides itself on shipping in fresh seafood from the markets of Tokyo, Hokkaido and Kyushu daily, and the freshness proved a constant throughout.
A 10-piece sushi platter followed the starter, composed of traditional favourites like fatty and medium-fatty tuna, both delicious; yellowtail and amberjack, both of which were fresh and succulent; and silky, incredibly fresh uni (sea urchin) presented exactly as it should be. The head chef studied in Tokyo and then worked at Ta-ke before opening this venture, and his comfort and confidence in washoku is demonstrated by the way he puts his own cheeky twists on a couple of the offerings, including – arguably the standout of the night – the raw shrimp sushi sprinkled with black truffle, which stuck a delectably delicate balance.
The standard didn’t drop as the meal went on, with the later entries of red snapper miso soup and the Japanese melon and sponge cake dessert proving incredibly delicious, authentic, and demonstrative of the Kura team’s understanding of Japanese cuisine and passion for getting the freshest ingredients from the markets of Japan to the mouths of their patrons. To wash all this down, they also stock a respectable selection of imported sakes, and reasonably priced Asahi beer. Despite not the cheapest affair, an outing at Kura is a must for true washoku aficionados, or those wanting to seriously dip their toes into the eclectic world of Japanese cuisine.
1/F, 482 Jaffe Road
|Opening hours:||12pm-2:30pm, 6pm-10:30pm|
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