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

Thursday, 28 April 2011

Japanese @ Yamashiro (Elements), Hong Kong

Interrupting the series of our Italian adventure (and taking a welcome break from sorting through the massive pile of photos from our trip and editing them), here is a recent dining experience at the newly opened Japanese restaurant in the rooftop dining area of the Elements mall. A high school friend from Perth was visiting Hong Kong with her husband, and it just so happened that they'd booked to stay at the W Hotel which is literally next door to us. Since they'd arrived in HK only hours before dinner, we decided to do the smart thing and have dinner in the area. It really is super-convenient to have a mall downstairs from where we live. We'd been meaning to try out the new Japanese restaurant since it opened a few months ago, so we took the opportunity to go to Yamashiro.

Yamashiro is quite a lovely restaurant, with a nice decor and prices comparable with other expensive restaurants in Hong Kong. Service was acceptable enough, but there is definitely room for improvement if the restaurant wants to make its mark alongside other more notable Japanese restaurants. The restaurant is still fairly new, and I'm sure time and training will iron out those issues. The food was good, and I was pleased to find that the sushi and sashimi were fresh (I'm still a bit wary of eating sushi in HK after a bad experience). Beautifully presented dishes that I've learnt to expect from the Japanese cuisine. Yamashiro's menu also features teppanyaki dishes, but Rob and I only ordered from the sushi menu. Our friends had only eaten breakfast that day (how can people get through the day with only one meal?), so they ordered quite a few dishes which ranged from sushi to teppanyaki to tempura to noodles. I think they were happy enough with the meal.

Rob ordered a-la-carte sushi, including several expensive items that were HK$100 a piece (he doesn't pay any attention to the price listing on the menu, at least not until after he has placed his order). Rob began ordering the sushi using the Japanese names, and our poor waiter had trouble until I suggested Rob used English. Rob said the sushi were pretty good except for the aburi-toro (grilled fatty tuna) which he said was too cooked.

(clockwise from top left) O-toro (fatty tuna), aburi-toro (grilled tuna), hotate (scallop), ama-ebi (sweet shrimp), uni (sea urchin 'roe'), ikura (salmon roe), unagi (freshwater eel), and anago (saltwater eel):

I got the Chirashizushi, which included many sashimi items that I would have ordered if I'd gone the sashimi-only route. I loved the colours in the bowl, and my friend remarked how healthy my food looked. The 2-year-old enjoyed the ikura (salmon roe) and kept requesting for the salty orbs (he'd eaten a fairly hefty packed dinner due to the fact that I didn't want to take my chances on a Japanese restaurant having anything substantial he could eat that was free from soy and sesame).


There was a nice selection of desserts, and no one (except me) could resist ordering something sweet to finish the meal with. After some deliberation, Rob decided upon the Green Tea Tiramisu, which was beautifully presented. It tasted pretty good too, although not much like the coffee-and-liquour tiramisu we ate in our recent trip to Italy (which, incidentally, weren't much like the tiramisu we've had outside of Italy).

Green tea tiramisu:

It was great to see my friend again whom I hadn't seen for years! The food was good, albeit a little pricey, but it's good to have a decent Japanese place close by for the next time we have a sudden hankering for sushi and sashimi. (For the record, I think the Japanese food at Inagiku is better.)

Yamashiro Japanese Cuisine
Shop R002-3
Civic Square, Elements Mall
1 Austin Road West
Tsim Sha Tsui
Tel. +85 2 3743 1421

Back to photo editing I go, and stay tuned for more photos of sights and food from our trip to Italy!

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