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Restaurant check: Sushi Ta-ke

5 Aug 2016 by Tamsin Cocks

BACKGROUND

Located in Causeway Bay’s Cubus building, tucked off the main shopping streets, Sushi Ta-Ke offers top-quality Japanese fare based on traditional Edomae sushi and sashimi.

The upscale restaurant, managed by 1957 & Co hospitality company, has been a firm favourite on the Hong Kong dining scene since it opened in 2011.

The arrival of new executive chef, Adachi Seiji (pictured below), and a brand new omakase (chef’s choice) menu, meant it was time for a return visit.

Sushi Ta-Ke - Chef Adachi

THE RESTAURANT

Arriving at the 12th floor, patrons enter an atmospheric bamboo-walled corridor that leads to an intimate dining area. Seating options include regular dining tables or bar stools perched around the chefs’ workstation – a fabulous choice for watching the masters at work.

The décor and ambient lighting, conceived by Steve Leung and Tino Kwan respectively, are characterised by dark, elegant furniture and a continuation of the bamboo theme for a sleek, minimalist appeal – allowing all focus to be centred on the food.

A private dining room is also available, and is an ideal setting to impress a group of clients.

Sushi Ta-ke Private Ro

THE FOOD

Bring an appetite to tackle the ten-course tasting menu; though each dish is light and delicate, the sheer range and variety quickly adds up and you don’t want to miss out.

Appetiser

Slow-cooked Japanese octopus

Octopus is rarely described as “soft” and “tender”, yet the slow-cook method erased all traces of a chewy or rubbery-texture. Totally unlike any octopus I’ve had before, and an excellent start to the menu.

Sashimi – three dishes

The first of three sashimi dishes was “Japanese fresh sea urchin” – a new experience for me, and as ratified by my fellow diners, a top-quality introduction. The presentation was spectacular, with the soft flesh of the sea urchin displayed in its spiky, black casing. The freshness of the urchins – alive an hour before serving – was discernible by the fact that it was solid enough to be picked up by chopsticks. The light mousse texture offered a delicious, subtle taste of the sea.

Sushi Ta-Ke sea urchin

Next up was a trio of dishes; toro – the “wagyu” of tuna, the most expensive cut from the belly of the fish and packed full of flavour; crunchy sea whelk; and marinated golden-eye red snapper with seaweed. Each was served with freshly-ground wasabi. This was followed by tasty seared bonito.

These first few courses were also paired with Senkin Issie sake, that had a light, refreshing taste.

 

Sushi Ta-ke chef's table

Simmered dishes

Simmered abalone – a Hong Kong-favourite, was up next. The presentation was immaculate as ever, decorated with an interesting green leaf. The abalone was dense and meaty, but not overpowering.

Sushi Ta-Ke Simmered abalone

Monkfish liver in red wine sauce, one of the most popular dishes on the menu, was next. The foie-gras of the sea takes over 48-hours to prepare, due to the constant reheating required. The result was a melt-in-your-mouth texture, with an intense, smooth taste.

By this point we moved onto Modern Senkin Omachi, a slightly fuller-bodied sake that pairs well with meatier dishes.

Grilled dish

I’d been looking forward to the wagyu roll with great burdock in teriyaki sauce from the outset. As expected, the rich, marbled meat was absolutely divine, and the pairing with root vegetables and a light, fruity sauce helped to keep the dish from being too heavy.

 

Sushi Ta-Ke Wagyu roll with great burdock in teriyaki sauce

Seven kinds of nigiri sushi

Each handmade piece of sushi was elegantly presented and included: toro, surf clam, rosy seabass, sea urchin, striped-jack, small mackerel and marinated tuna with soya.

 

Sushi Ta-Ke sushi

Soup

A light red snapper soup came at the end of the meal, followed by green-tea mousse and a special “egg-cake” surprise.

Verdict

I practically had to roll out of Sushi Ta-Ke, but it was worth every mouthful. A prime example of premium Japanese cuisine and a guaranteed crowd-pleaser.

Price: Chef Adachi Seiji’s Omakase Menu starts at HK$1,500 (US$193) per person + 10 per cent (excluding alcohol).
Address: 12/F, Cubus, 1 Hoi Ping Road, Causeway Bay, Hong Kong
Phone: 2577 0611
Website: sushitake.com.hk
Opening hours: 12Noon-3pm and 6pm-11:30pm

Tamsin Cocks

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