The whole object of travel is not to set foot on foreign land; it is at last to set foot on one’s own country as a foreign land.” – G.K. Chesterton

Monday, 7 February 2011

Disappointing sushi @ Sen-ryo, Hong Kong

We had mediocre sushi for lunch last Sunday at the mall downstairs, and we really should have known better. Online reviews of the Sen-ryo restaurant chain seem to indicate that you can get fresh seafood and good sushi at one of the sushi joints, but these reviewers have obviously not eaten good quality sushi before (like the ones from Tsukiji market, near where we used to live). The last time I had sushi was more than 4 months ago, just before we moved from Tokyo to Hong Kong. This crappy sushi experience did nothing to satisfy my sushi craving, and in fact it made me miss Japan all the more. Sen-ryo wasn't cheap either (about HK$380 for 16 sushi pieces), and I shudder to think how bad it gets at the cheaper sushi places. Most of the sushi items were passable but definitely not at their prime. Even the sushi rice grains were stale and hard. Definitely do not order uni (sea urchin), which is usually one of my favourite sushi. Unfresh uni is pretty gross, and this is the reason why so many people hate uni. The sushi in the photos don't look too bad, but looks are deceiving and our taste buds don't lie.

Anago (sea eel) was probably the most palatable item, but it wasn't prepared and presented to its full potential:

Highly unremarkable Chuu-toro (medium fatty tuna) and Aburi-salmon (seared salmon):

Ama-ebi (sweet shrimp) that wasn't sweet or creamy, and Hotate that was a bit dry:

Seafood roll - had cucumber, a type of pickled vege, flying fish roe and minced tuna. Not too bad actually, but nothing exceptional:

Slightly fishy tasting Ikura (salmon roe) that didn't really "pop" when chewed, an indication that it was past its prime:

We gave Sen-ryo a try (mostly because we were hoping not having to go too far from home for good sushi), and we give it a thumbs-down. Japanese sushi chefs have such great pride in serving really good quality seafood, and you won't find this at Sen-ryo. However, we had some fantastic Japanese food yesterday (by Japanese chefs!), and I'll blog about it soon.


  1. Hi there --

    Which branch of Sen-ryo did you eat it? My friends and I have noticed a difference in quality at different branches.

    The general consensus is that the branches at Hysan Place, Palace IFC and Century Plaza are really good. Haven't been to the Elements Sen-ryo in a while, so can't say what it's like these days. The Cityplaza used to be a favorite but is less popular these days. As for the Times Square and TST ones: don't know anyone who has a good word to say about them!

  2. Hi there YTSL,

    Thanks for your comment. It's good to know that the quality is better at some branches, but I don't dare to take the risk at trying another Sen-ryo. One bad sushi experience is enough! Perhaps the quality has improved at the Elements branch, but I can never understand why it is always so popular and brimming with customers. Perhaps they don't know what good sushi tastes like!