Thursday, May 3, 2012

一芳日本料理 Ippou Japanese (Hong Kong) - ♕♕♕ 1/2

  Ippou 一芳 seemed so capable of becoming a success story on theory.  Just look at Yardbird.    The ultimate goal here is to be the hippest Japanese chicken specialty shop,  selling a few exclusive Chicken Sashimi dishes,  Grilled Stick items as well as Japanese Nabe hotpots and quite a few selection of chicken organs.  Never mind that which ever organ we tried to order,  it was unavailable on the night!   This is not the first shop in HK to go down this chicken specialty path,  since Torishin and Ippai-Ya have been doing this for a few years prior to here.    What made this meal a little underwhelming came as two folds.   (1) - the sticks weren’t grilled very evenly well and most haven’t started to develop that charred and maillard flavour,  plus the tare sauce was too mirin based imbalanced and thin.    (2) - Being a chicken specialty shop I couldn’t help noticing how there was virtually no birds taste in the chicken dishes itself.    Eg.  Torishin,  Ippai-Ya, Beco were much more normal in this aspect.   It was kind of like tasting under-grilled,  tasteless proteins with a mediocre sauce throughout the night..  A little unfortunate and hope they also realise it soon.



Ex-Chef from 松島 -
Used to be a Sushi master,  but now he is grilling sticks as well!
Can’t say I wasn’t a little disappointed by the end of the meal though..  Hope it is just a once off problem,  even though the head chef was present on the night..



Appetizer -
Not that appealing.  Just some sort of 春雨. 
Yebisu Beer is a good pairing with grilled food.



3 Types of Chicken Sashimi 鶏さし盛り合わせ  -  $180
One of the chicken part was still half frozen,  and the slightly boiled one was quite dried out stringy.  The best one was the aburi grilled breast with a rarer centre.   But the raw chicken didn’t have much taste.  I gave it benefit of the doubt initially,  but I have since tried better versions in other shops to know where the potential lies.   This was so promising indeed.  Hope they can improve on it!    ~   6/10


Warm Vegetables Salad 温野菜サラダ – $70
This came with a decent sesame based dip.  The vegetables aren’t that interesting at all but were surprisingly cooked spot on in texture.   This was one of the best dishes on the night.   ~  7/10



Tsukune Minced Chicken Balls つくね – $40
When this arrived I already knew it was going to be below average.  The balls haven’t even been grilled until it has caramelised or developed a maillaird reaction flavour.   There was a lack of tare sauce as well which doesn’t help this flavourless matter,  and there wasn’t much cartilage or organs flavour inside.   No additional egg yolk for dipping into too.   This was honestly very disappointing in every single aspect imaginable,  you could get better from the supermarket.  ~  1/10



Grilled Chicken with Japanese Spring Onion  ねぎま – $25
At this price it is well priced!   But the stick wasn’t grilled evenly and suffered the same as the above Tsukune in that it was taken off the grill before it was ready.  The chicken was surprisingly tasteless,  totally void of chicken taste!  Sad smile  The sauce was another major problem.  The amount of mirin in the overly thin tare sauce,  was not cooked off yet and was spoiling the balance with its pungency.   ~    4/10


Grilled Chicken Skin 皮 – $25
The front of the stick was more burnt but a little dry,  the rest of the stick was chewy without being crispy enough.   Very uneven.    Quite average.  ~   5/10



Beef Tongue 牛タン -  $40
This was a little better,  but like most grilled sticks here hasn’t really developed that grilled flavour characteristic.   I am sometimes fine with this if it’s mean to be more elegant in style but backs it up with fresh ingredients taste!   But this was average in taste only,  not saved by the grilling.  ~  6/10


Mentaiko stuffed Chicken Wings  てば明太  -  $50
This was probably the best dish of the night!  The chicken was still rather tasteless,  but the skin was evenly grilled and slightly crispy.  The mentaiko stuffing was very thoroughly cooked already,  a little duller than usual.   But this is still recommendable!   ~   7/10





Price: $300 per person
Food: ♕♕♕ 1/2

Opening Hours:
Mon to Sun -  11:00-15:00,  17:00-23:00

Address:  灣仔灣仔道199號天輝中心16樓
16/F, Tiffan Tower, 199 Wan Chai Road, Wan Chai
Ph: 2833 2178


  1. I hate when places dont have what they have advertised on their menu - also very disturbing that some of your meal was still half frozen

  2. Cara, I might need to ask you about advice on where to visit in Europe soon. Not confirmed yet but have been Scouring through your blog and also Parisbymouth already hoping for clues! : )

    Yeh I don't know why part of the sashimi was a little frozen :P And the chickens were quite tasteless overall. I already re-tried some other shops to confirm my suspicion to be fair! Beco, Ippai-Ya, Torishin, Nishiki are all better in this aspect!



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