Bigfoot Centre, 38 Yiu Wa St, Causeway Bay, Hong Kong
+852 2893 0333
Sushi restaurants may be a dime a dozen in Hong Kong, but there’s a difference between those that serve perfunctory fish on rice and those worth writing home about. Kishoku passes into the latter group with flying colours, delivering one of the best omakase experiences in the area with jet-fresh ingredients, exemplary service and creativity in spades.
Launched by founder Ivan Yeh, Kishoku was the result of several eye-opening trips to Japan, where Ivan was inspired by the local culture and exceptional cuisine of the region. In 2013, after rounding up a team of professional chefs and scouting out the perfect location in Hong Kong, Kishoku was born – the first fine dining omakase of this scale to open in Causeway Bay.
More than four years later, Kishoku has amassed an ardent following, distinguishing itself from the plethora of other Japanese establishments nearby. It is no surprise that ‘ki’ translates to joy and ‘shoku’ means to eat, given the unrivalled pleasure of sitting down to enjoy one of the restaurant’s omakase meals.
As is customary with omakase, the decision of what to serve is entirely in the hands of the chefs, although tweaks and adjustments are made throughout the meal based on your feedback. This is often non-verbal: use your chopsticks instead of your fingers and the chef may add more rice to keep the structural integrity of the nigiri; display pleasure in a single ingredient and you may find an extra serve towards the end of the meal, compliments of the kitchen.
Like any good omakase, the meal progresses slowly and builds excitement as it unfolds, climaxing in the signature dish – a massive slice of otoro tuna, served with shiso and grated rock salt sandwiched between crisp nori sheets. It’s a testament to how good this is that 10 pieces of sushi in, it still manages to be the highlight of the meal.
This isn’t to take away from the premium lineup that precedes it – there may be delicate white shrimp, thick and meaty Hokkaido scallops, or sweet and briny sea urchin served in its shell with chopped toro and pops of salmon roe. The more adventurous dishes are some of the best: cod milt topped with black squid ink, slices of crunchy geoduck, and steamed abalone served with an abalone liver sauce that bears the essence of umami flavour.
In between is an assortment of premium fish, from seared tuna belly tendon to yellowtail, Japanese sea bass and mackerel. Every piece is minutely detailed, from a drop of yuzu here to a swish of ponzu there.
The design of the space adds to the experience: varying geometric shapes complement the wood and stone elements, while the contrast of stillness and movement is reflected through featured art installations. Partitioned seating or private rooms are available for those seeking quiet and intimacy, but the best view in the house is a seat at the sushi bar. Small groups can opt for the private sushi bar, where up to seven guests are offered a front row seat for their own culinary spectacle.
It’s like watching a performance or a symphony of sorts, with the chef as the conductor: from the slow but steady start to the crescendo, the transformative gastronomic journey will leave you giving nothing less than a standing ovation at the end.