One evening last week we celebrated my aunt’s birthday at Hakkaisan, a Japanese restaurant at Causeway Bay.
We were taken into a room and it didn’t take long for the first dish to arrive. Shortly after moist Pan-fried Scallops and Shimeji Mushrooms that was attractive with sizzling, melted butter, Conch freshly delivered by air that evening was served. Its naturally sweet flavour and firm, almost crunchy texture made it a nice sashimi. Perhaps without the fear towards snail-like creatures I would love this dish even more.
After that came Fugu Mirin Boshi, a food product that can be lethally poisonous if not treated properly by the chef. But we cared less and enjoyed thoroughly the dried pufferfish. Since it was seasoned with sweet sake, it gave a delicious salty-sweet flavour that seemed difficult to be found elsewhere.
We continued with small dishes of appetizers, which included Soft-shelled Crab Salad and Mixed Sashimi Salad. The first salad was tasty and the second one was impressive and particularly refreshing while dressed with vinegar. I love salad and this has become my recent most-loved one 😉
Salmon Tartar on Toast was just fine though .The baguette did not seem very fresh to me while the tartar… I couldn’t recall much, but I would say Yoichi Japanese Noodle in Kowloon City, one of the foodie’s paradises in the city, makes better ones.
Then the hot dishes came! Fried Asparagus Sushi topped with Tobiko had a mix of subtle flavours that matched, Pork Cartilage was with time cooked to tender and flavourful, Sweet Potato Cake was thick layers of purple and yellow mashed sweet potato put to the frying pan that tasted salty rather than sweet, Pumpkin Tamagoyaki was ok and could have been tastier without pumpkin (sometimes simple is really the best), Tempura that was just ordinary, and Deep-fried Chicken wrapped with Shiso Leaves and Deep-fried Chitlins that neither surprised nor impressed.
As for dessert time, Mochi and Anko tasted fine but was super chewy in an unpleasant way. Lucky to have Deep-fried Banana with Whipped Cream Toppings and Chocolate sauce, it wrapped up the dinner nicely and kind of let us forget about the imperfections.
In short, the restaurant has some really nice dishes to offer that make people want to go back, but it has yet to work harder on some others or else it will just fall deeper into the category of “not worth dining at” — as if what many have already written in Openrice.
Hakkaisan Japanese Restaurant
6/F, Kyoto Plaza, 491-499 Lockhart Road, Causeway Bay
Tel: +852 3571 9598