Kushiyaki Beco (CLOSED)
Time Out says
There are plenty of drink-friendly Japanese joints in town but few embody the izakaya spirit as successfully as Beco. Opened by Sushi Kuu’s chef Satoru Mukogawa, this tiny 20-seater is all about eating, drinking and being merry.
The big draw here is beef and the open kitchen flings various cuts from tongue to tail. It’s solid execution from the spot-on salt seasoning to the expert heat control and everything is plated with a wedge of lemon and a blob of wasabi and yuzu kosho on the side to pique the flavours of the meat. The ox tongue ($65) on a stick is thick-cut and drips with delicious umami meat fats. On another plate, cubed wagyu hanger steak ($65) and oyster blade ($45) are both exceedingly tender, the latter carries a slight gamey profile that works particularly well with a squeeze of citrus. The more offbeat sweetbread ($45) is a standout with a velvety body that just holds up under a sweet marinade. And while sausages ($65) may sound low-brow, don’t knock Beco’s homespun wagyu franks until you’ve tried them with a dash of pungent, full-grain mustard.
Going off the cow, grilled chicken soft bone ($40) provides the crunch and salt that’s essential to sake-side nibbles. Then there’s the slight fusion punch from the kimchi pork ($65) with thin curls of fat-strewn meat heaped under stir-fried onions, chives and spicy fermented cabbage. Daily blackboard specials are also available, such as shichimi togarashi dusted jumbo scallops ($90) that are seared just through with still-creamy centres. The real stars here though are the mushroom and wilted spinach that soak up the buttery cooking liquids at the base of the half shell. And if you’re still feeling peckish after all that, go for a round of homestyle onigiri rice balls ($55) with baby sardines or mentaiko spicy cod roe.
There are a few forgettable items, such as the thin and doughy egg pancake ($75) dotted with dry clam meat. But between the other fantastic dishes, the generous pours of beer and sake, and the genuinely awesome atmosphere, there isn’t much to detract from the overall dining experience. Sushi Kuu may be the restaurant to impress a first date but Beco is the sort of place to bring close friends. Dorothy So
2 Shin Hing St, Sheung Wan, 2581 1282. Daily 6pm-11.30pm. Dinner for two: around $650.