All-new Japanese izakaya Kuki has opened in Hong Kong’s Causeway Bay, offering a host of easy-eating bites from the Land of the Rising Sun.
Allow us to paint you a picture: it’s late on a weekday evening and you’ve just put in the hard yards at the corporate coal face and now have nothing but aching eyes and an empty stomach to show for it. Fortunately, new pint-sized izakaya concept Kuki has busy salarymen like you covered with a menu of authentic bites from Japan’s vibrant street food culture.
Taking its name from a distinguished samurai family from Japan’s Sengoku period, which served under the Warring States’ feudal lords Oda Nobunaga and Toyotomi Hideyoshi and was famed both for its military prowess and its boisterous gatherings, the new restaurant serves delicious MSG-free Japanese dishes, including Osaka’s popular street snack kushiage.
Expect bold colours (unlike your cubicle) and plenty of inspiring graffiti-styled warrior murals, which will set the scene for the culinary delights of chef-proprietor Kevin Wong, who taps into his experience in upscale Western restaurants to deliver a casual yet elegant izakaya dining experience that makes the most of the freshest ingredients.
Unlike many holes-in-the-wall izakayas, Kevin’s special batter, used for the signature kushiage – assorted meat and vegetables deep fried – creates a thinner, crispier texture without the usual grease, so there’s less sin and more flavour.
Other dishes to look out for include the Koji chicken, which is marinated in house-fermented cooked rice; soul-soothing oden fish cake stew, which comes with a choice of traditional kombu-based stock or a special seasonal fish broth; and signature Kuki wings, which use hormone-free “awa tail” chicken from Tokushima, which are best matches with the restaurant’s extensive sake collection.
Get the in-house sake sommelier to recommend a brew, turn your work brain off for a little while, and enjoy the legacy of fellow warrior.
For more Wining & Dining inspiration click here.