Sushi Ta-Ke is, along with Sushi Shikon, one of the city’s two great sushi restaurants. Located in the Cubus building in Causeway Bay, the restaurant’s sleek design is a contemporary reinterpretation of a traditional sushi restaurant, a fact perhaps best exemplified by the marble, rather than hinoki wood, sushi counter. Upon alighting from the elevator, you encounter a bamboo grove in the reception corridor that proceeds to a 12-seat sushi counter, several scattered tables, and a private dining room with its own sushi counter. The restaurant is magnificently and theatrically lit by Tino Kwan.
The service at Sushi Ta-Ke is among the very finest in Hong Kong, on par with the Michelin 3 star restaurants in the city, except even more personalized. Within the first 45 seconds of our entry into the restaurant, we had been greeted by every server, given a warm serviette, handed a menu and sake list, had a napkin decorously, if slightly coquettishly, draped across our lap by an obliging waitress, and served a glass of hot green tea. The fastidiousness never really lets up after that: picking perhaps the tiniest sake glass available from the selection we were offered, I resolved to test whether it would stay filled or languish empty – a good test since, first, it was dark and would therefore require a deliberate effort and, second, it would require repeated efforts throughout the night, and therefore gauge consistency. It was rather shocking: the glass never stayed empty, even when I resorted to taking shots immediately after it had been refilled; it was refilled about 40 times over the course of the evening, always before running completely dry. Bravo.
The cuisine reaches a consistently high level, and a few items standout as truly special. The restaurant is fond of handing you items inside folded seaweed, such as a grilled scallop or a piece of toro sashimi, both of which are superb. The slightly warm rice of the edomae sushi was so loosely packed that it was difficult even to pick up the piece. A quintet of divine shima aji, slightly sweet ebi, hakamuchi, o-toro and silky, creamy uni was simply unimprovable. The hakamuchi, a seasonal fish from Hokkaido, was first blow-torched and gave off a smell that was, there is no other word for it, intoxicating. It was among the finest dishes I’ve had, anywhere. The o-toro was buttery beyond belief and truly first rate. There are also enticing cooked dishes, such as tofu stuffed with fish, carrots and gingko nuts and a grilled sardine with a plum sauce that, frankly, tasted like a really delicious eel. A perfect denouement to the meal is a bowl of superb seafood miso soup with tamago and scoop of green tea ice cream. The cuisine is all beautifully plated on Arita-yaki and Kyoto kiyomizu ware.
Sushi Ta-Ke is an absolute tour de force – it is, pound for pound, superior to every Japanese restaurant in New York save Masa, no mean feat. The Hong Kong Tattler ranks it as the 2nd best restaurant in Hong Kong, but it goes unacknowledged in the Michelin Guide, a fact worthy of both laughter and derision when one considers some of the other restaurants that have been awarded stars.
12/F, Cubus, 1 Hoi Ping Road
- Hong Kong
- Best Decor
- Best Service
- Best Wine Lists
- BYOB Corkage Fee: $300HKD
- Private Dining Room