On the 31st of Dec the Japanese culture follows the Western Caesar Calendar, and usually go and devour some 年越しそば Year-Bridging, ToshiKoshi Soba on every New Years Eve. Subsequently, during the next few days of the New Years, it is customary to consume a New Year’s 正月料理 - 御節弁当 Osechi Bento at home. Each individual item in the Osechi Set symbolizes a different fortune and prosperity. In Hong Kong this can also be experienced whether you prepare it yourself or as found at some Japanese-run restaurants. Unfortunately, two of my best finds locally are either closed or no longer doing it for 2014, but hopefully we will be able to find a good replacement..
Previously the Best Osechi in Hong Kong.
#1 Genki Ippai - 元気一杯
(Shop E, 4/F, Miramar Shopping Centre, 132 Nathan Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong)
Fortuitous enough previously to have chanced upon here by calling up my various trusted Japanese restaurants I regularly patron, this amazingly beautiful and thoughtful ‘Osechi Set’ was only around $500 and enough to feed 4 or more people. Rather unfortunately, they decided not to continue serving this in 2014. We were so keen to return..
#2 - Our House Made Osechi Set for 2013 with another Blogger Friend who came back from Japan -
You can seek for all the separate ingredients from major Japanese Supermarkets to make this finally happen but if you count them all up, there is a lot that we did buy and not all were utilized and it could have been much worse, and then behind all of that there’s certain protocols and presentations you need to follow. City Super naturally has the most complete Osechi New Year selections, but I have seen partial selections appearing in SOGO, APITA, JUSCO, etc. We also had to buy our own layered Bento boxes. *Elementary Cost per person is around $250, not cheap, but quite fun! Tempted to do it again as I still have my lacquered bento boxes at home.
七味和食 Nanami Restaurant – $280 (Now Closed)
Unfortunately this was rather great value for money and would have been highly recommended yet the shop closed down already. The Osechi Set here before costing only $280 was much better value than say Kowloon Nadaman’s 御節 Bento, which was missing a few essential elements to be a full experience but charged upwards of $300 for less already.
Full Kaiseki and Osechi Course at Nadaman,
HK Island Shangri-la – @ $520
The Kowloon-side Nadaman as abovementioned, offer their Set Bento during only the morning for $300+ but with not too much items. No brainer to pick the Hong Kong Nadaman side instead with a full Kaiseki Course unless you’re in a real hurry..
Quite a few other shops will be offering New Year’s Japanese Osechi Ryori -
Places like Sushi Hiro 寿司広, Wa San Mai 和三味, Sushi Toku 寿司徳, Youka 八日, plus both Nadaman branches above and a fair few others. Not many will be great value for money, like the above Genki Ippai edition we ate. I still believe making your own Osechi Course is going to be more fun and authentic to the original Holiday spirit. Make sure you down your meal with some Ama-Zuke 甘鮭 or 屠蘇 Toso wine to keep with this Spirit.
~~ Happy New Year 2014 ~~