Hong Kong’s best Japanese restaurants
Perched on the 101st floor of the ICC, the sky-high Inakaya offers more than just a spectacular 270-degree view of Victoria Harbour, with a divine menu of sushi, teppanyaki and exotic fish that matches the spectacular setting. Make sure to reserve a spot in the robatayaki and teppanyaki area if you’re keen for some live grill action – you can choose your pick of the seafood – as you sip your whisky or sake literally among the clouds.
The first overseas outlet of the Michelin three-star restaurant in Osaka, Kashiwaya's Hong Kong location is just as impressive and was awarded two Michelin stars within a year of its opening back in 2015. Renowned for its various themed kaiseki cuisine and recreating the same atmosphere as the Osaka store, everything from the utensils to the food selection process is no different from the original historic restaurant. It’s well worth the visit to experience how they marry traditional techniques with contemporary plating.
With more than a century’s history in Japan, Nadaman arrived in Hong Kong in the 80s and has been part of the Shangri-La hotels ever since. Kaiseki is the name of the game here. Paired with an elegant yet comfortable setting and experienced chefs, every dish here is a brilliant combo of food and art. Just the plating itself is well-worth the price.
Minimalism is the key theme at Sagano. Motifs of bamboo and wood are used throughout the restaurant, which takes guests on a culinary journey all the way to Kyoto. The menu has a wide range of authentic Japanese specialties, from sushi and tempura to kaiseki and teppanyaki. Seasonal ingredients are crucial to this eatery and, in autumn, matsutake mushrooms take centre stage in many of the dishes. There are six private suites there too, including one decked out entirely in Japanese bamboo and tatami.
Formerly named Inagiku, this high-end restaurant at IFC serves a pan-Japanese menu that includes sushi, teppanyaki and sukiyaki, among others. The tempura and kaiseki are where you can best experience the chefs’ creativity and skills combined with high quality ingredients. Go for the set menu as it is the best value but also come by during weekends for the seasonal Japanese-style afternoon tea. The view overlooking Central Harbourfront isn’t too shabby either.
Sushi Hana was established by one of the top teppanyaki chefs in Hong Kong, whose other venture, IM Teppanyaki & Wine, was awarded a Michelin Star two years in a row. Hana offers a more affordable alternative to other sushi joints in town without sacrificing the quality. Serving ingredients such as Hokkaido conch, Ōita clams and Toyama prawns, this is the place to visit if you want the most seasonal Japanese food. Be sure to book your spot beforehand as there’s only around 15 seats in the restaurant.
This massively popular sushi spot in Causeway Bay has been operating for more than 16 years. Here, the chefs work in the center of the U-shaped sushi bar and only the freshest fish is on display. You'll often find yourself spending big bucks to eat here, so best book for lunch if your tastebuds say yes but your bank account says no. Sushi Hiro has also recently opened a new location in Tsim Sha Tsui, which offers a traditional omakase dining experience.
One of the most difficult-to-book restaurants in Japan, the three Michelin-starred Sushi Saito opened its first overseas branch in Hong Kong this March. Overseen by revered sushi master Takashi Saito, who hand-selects the freshest cuts of fish every morning to be flown same-day from Tsukiji Market, the sushi and sashimi are guaranteed to be seriously good here.
This IFC sushi joint is often overlooked thanks to its location next to Crystal Jade, but its excellent sushi offerings deserve to be on your radar. Helmed by renowned culinary veteran Mitsuhashi Kaoru, who has previous television appearances with Gordon Ramsay, Sushi Sei picks out only the best and freshest ingredients, combined with its signature sushi rice and the chef’s exceptional sushi rolling skills to produce beautifully made rice balls. Omakase menus are also available and include the freshest seafood of the day, as well as sashimi, pottery grilled dishes and tempura.
The first and only Japanese restaurant in Hong Kong to receive three Michelin stars five years in a row, Sushi Shikon does one thing only: omakase. And they do it well. The chefs not only use the freshest of ingredients, but their skills from slicing and sushi rolling to plating are remarkable too. Best to leave the cameras at home as it’s recommended that you enjoy each piece of sushi within 30 seconds of it arriving at your table to really appreciate its next-level freshness.