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, 24 June 2013

Excellent sushi @ Kenjo, Hong Kong

My parents were visiting us in Hong Kong for the past week, and they left for Australia this afternoon. They arrived from Canada very early morning on the day of my mum's birthday, so my poor mum spent her birthday quite jet-lagged and napped several hours in bed in spite of my repeated requests to stay awake during the daytime. When I was planning where to bring her for her birthday treat, I'd prudently decided to hold off the outing for the following day when she would be a bit more rested. That day coincided with our 4-year-old's kindergarten graduation day, for which hubby was planning to take time off work anyway. So we had a family outing to his kindergarten, and then we all enjoyed Japanese food, the cuisine my mum always requests for her birthday. Kenjo is one of the top-rated sushi restaurants in HK, a mecca for sushi and sashimi lovers, and I believe that after almost 3 years living in this city, we have found our favourite sushi restaurant! We came during lunch time because it was convenient for our purposes, and this proved to be a wise choice for the pocket as the lunch menu is apparently more affordable than the dinner options. It was a nice treat for the eyes to walk in the entrance and see the traditional sushi bar with fresh seafood on display and the chefs hard at work - that is one of the many things I've missed about living in Japan. Kenjo is only a small restaurant, and reservations are highly recommended, even at lunch time.

The sushi bar with the chefs hard at work at 12pm on the dot. Shortly after this shot was taken, those seats were filled rapidly with hungry diners, as did the tables in the main dining area. The senior chef at the far end may be Kenjo-san (perhaps next time hubby and I will book at the sushi counter and find out):

Cute teacups:

The restaurant had a casual and relaxed atmosphere, but the waitstaff were kept busy on their feet with the peak lunch crowd. As far as I know, all the chefs working behind the sushi counter were Japanese, because our Chinese waitress communicated our requests to them in Japanese. This is probably as authentically Japanese as it can get outside of Japan. The lunch menu had a strong focus on sushi and sashimi, but there were also tempura, grilled fish, beef teriyaki and grilled anago (seawater eel) sets available for those who don't really like eating raw seafood, like my dad. The price ranged from HK$120 to HK$280 per lunch set, and each set came with chawanmushi (steamed egg custard) and miso soup. It is pretty good value to come here during lunch time. We ordered a good variety of lunch sets between the five of us, and we were all happy with the quality and flavour of the food.

Chawanmushi, which was beautifully silky and nicely flavoured with vegetables, chunks of chicken and a ginkgo nut at the bottom:

The birthday girl ordered the Sashimi Teishoku (sashimi set lunch, HK$220), which she enjoyed thoroughly. There were eight types of sashimi (salmon, two types of tuna, bonito, prawns, crab, and what I think is buri [yellowtail]). She really liked the seaweed salad. In fact, I don't think there was anything she didn't like:

My dad's Anago-don (grilled sea eel on rice, HK$170) - a good choice for fish lovers who are not keen on the uncooked types:

Hubby chose the Okonomi-sushi (assorted sushi lunch box of your choice, with 8 kinds of sushi and 1 roll, HK$190). Hubby chose his usual favourites, and he was pretty happy when he got his request for otoro (fatty tuna belly), which wasn't part of the list he could choose from. The roll along the top contained pickled daikon (which was yummy), and his selection were (clockwise from left) o-toro, salmon, ama-ebi (sweet shrimp, hidden behind the shiso leaf), seared tuna, anago, uni (sea urchin), ikura (salmon roe) and tamago (egg):

The boy got the Higawari Teishoku (daily special, HK$120), which was ebi-furai (fried prawn) and hiyayakko (cold tofu). The prawns were fried to a perfect crisp, and my mum and I were happy to grab the heads and tails (which the boy didn't want). The tofu was gorgeously silky and very enjoyable to eat:

After much deliberation, I decided to go for the Sushi Bento (HK$170). This was the last to arrive at the table, and it was presented inside a beautiful tiered bento box, much like the jubako used for oshogatsu (Japanese New Year) meals. Unfortunately no photo of the box as the trays were removed from the box by the waiter to set on the table. One tray held tempura items that were not greasy at all; another tray held delicious grilled fish, seaweed salad and yummy yam balls; and the third tray held six sushi items. These were very good, and had a nice variety of Japanese food. This is something I would order again:

We were told that coffee or dessert was included in the lunch sets, and here are all three types of ice cream offered to us - azuki (sweet red bean), green tea and lemon sorbet:

The food was excellently made using top quality ingredients. This is truly sushi and sashimi at its best. We will be back.

[Prices quoted above excludes the 10% service charge.]

Ground Floor
30 Minden Avenue
Tsim Sha Tsui
Kowloon, Hong Kong
Tel. +852 2369 8307

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