Taku means “home” in Japanese but the owners of this restaurant might well have called it Little Osaka
The wooden booths and cozy lighting provide intimacy inside while the exterior resembles traditional eateries in old Osaka. Although few of the waitstaff are Japanese, they’ve been well schooled in Japanese restaurant etiquette. Expect the customary chorus of “irasshaimase” upon entering, and sprightly table service.
The menu touts Taku’s fresh organic tofu, so we gave two varieties a try. The farmhouse tofu ($55) came in a bamboo boat, chilled on a bed of ice, with fresh daikon, ginger and spring onion. We stirred the vegetables with our tofu as our server instructed and the dish took on an unappetising pasty texture – a far cry from the custardy kinugoshi tofu (silken tofu) served in Osaka. The steamed silken tofu with mixed mushrooms, spring onion and soba sauce ($60) was a marked improvement. Warm, the tofu was appropriately smooth and the sauce gave the dish that salty something the cold dish was sorely lacking.
Delicately battered and exquisitely flash-fried, a good tempura calls to mind fine hand-blown glass. The mixed vegetable and prawn tempura ($130) is not far off here, although the pumpkin was undercooked.
The beautifully sourced fish of the deluxe sashimi platter ($380) were consistent with the standard served at well-regarded restaurants in Japan. The colour and consistency of the uni is always the ultimate fresh test. Ours was firm, sweet and bright gold.
G/F, 35 Elgin St, Central, 2545 9966; www.taku.com.hk. Daily noon-3pm, 6pm-11pm. Meal for two: around $750.
G/F, 35 Elgin St, Central