Stepping away from the Hong Kong tourist trail can only come with the highest recommendations. I reckon that applies to any city in the world. This trip wasn’t about The Peak, the nightly light show or climbing the steps of the worlds largest outdoor bronze buddha. That was done years ago.
This trip was all about the eating. The only thing we didn’t plan right was where we stayed – Tsim Sha Tsui. Somehow we spent most our time on Hong Kong Island and made many a taxi ride through the harbour tunnels.
Something I discovered about Honkers this time around is how good the Japanese food is. Ok, admittedly I didn’t have tonnes of it but what I tried was fantastic. A little online research drew me to the small Tin Hau district near Causeway Bay, in particular this yakitori hotspot in the shadow of a road viaduct. I was wise in calling ahead and reserving a table as I knew the place was small and would fill up in no time, which it kind of did.
There’s counter seating with full view of the grilling action but realistically a table is a better option as the small plates of skewered goodness accumulate so quickly that any visible surfaces vanish before your eyes. Skewered goodness like the insanely delectable goose liver (98). Creamy, savoury, fatty, artery-clogging. I’m sure my pleasured groaning was causing a few sideways glances from other diners. The chicken with long onions (22) didn’t give me the same tingles but the juicy and smoky flesh didn’t let us down either.
Beer with grilled meat is just a given so we couldn’t help but take advantage of the buy two Kirin and get on free. Bargain. Black pork (32) yakitori ends up being my second best and the favourite for the other half. The flavour is strong, succulent and crispy in all the right places. The juicy pork neck (28) fillets are doused in yuzu and lemon zest and last for mere seconds before being inhaled.
One of my all-time favourite Japanese foods is the eel; rich, oily and nourishing. The broiled eel (30) here doesn’t disappoint and neither do the harpooned scallops (48), golden and buttery.
The final yakitori plate is the perfectly cooked cod fish (38). While we had enough of the savoury stuff we were still craving something a little sweet. Yakitoritei doesn’t have any desserts on the menu so we ducked next door to Oyster 18, a wine bar that also dishes up Italian food.
It’s a pretty small place and was already full so we sat at the only outside table, in the brisk cool air, and finished the night off with some rather ordinary desserts. The warm dark chocolate pudding (60) was nice enough but at the same time was nothing outstanding. My caramelised prune cake (65) sounded better on paper as the end product ended up being two very dry pieces of cake that were toasted until crisp. Terrible, actually. Lovely blueberries, though!