Ginza Iwa is from Tokyo’s Ginza district and is the recipient of a Michelin 1 Star back in homeland. They recently opened an outlet in Hong Kong (much like many other Japanese shops in fact which all decided to open in HK) - me and a friend were lured in by the pretty decent looking sushis which looked legit enough on photo albums. So after bailing out a few times from my side, we decided that we have to stick with the determination to suss this place out. Let’s begin with our chosen $800 + 10%, middle tier Lunch Omakase course.
Lunch Menu -
Not cheap. But still cheaper than Dinner courses as expected. After so many disappointing dinner meals elsewhere and even if knowing that lunch quality might not be most representative of their potential, we still decided to come do lunch first.. $800 course it is then.
おつまみ – 2 of 3 Starters only included in the $800 course
They were Hirame 平目 and Kinmedai 金目鯛. Both were ok, but I expected the tougher Hirame to be sliced thinner, while the more oily Kinmedai to be sliced thicker. Here both fishes arrived looking the same… Not very convincing already ~ 7/10
シシャモ – Shishamo Smelt Fish, aka 多春魚
I was a bit surprised by this to be one of my 3 Otsumami dishes for an additional $350 on top. Although fresh from Hokkaido, this one was meaty but surprisingly was totally void of any eggs inside. May be I had just eaten a male specie as in this season they should be pregnant? ~ 7/10
Tai Konbuzuke - 鯛の昆布漬け
Again this Sea Bream Tai was sliced slightly too thickish, just like the sashimi tsumami つまみ above, and wasn’t too appealing. Stilll quite fresh and crunchy but smaller details could have been better. ~ 7/10
Chu Toro Tuna - 中トロ
A really good piece of middle grade Tuna Belly. It was both oily and flavorful, I would give it a positive knod for once, as many toros in town are rather flat in flavours. Not here! ~ 8/10
Next came the Autumn Kohada – こはだ
This was marinated with Konbu seaweed first, just like the Tai snapper above.
The julienned shiso leaves beneath the fish (not seen on photo) were a little over-powering however, but in hindsight, I think it was mostly because the fish wasn’t strong enough to carry the overall balance. Kohada is part of the prerequisite to an Edomae 江戸前 sushi experience but under-performing on this day! ~ 6/10
秋刀魚 – Sanma
Also in season, but I couldn’t help but think this was slightly on the fishy side…
I mean knive skills wise today so far, it was ok and the rice shari quality was pretty good. But a few of the fishes we ate today were more on the average side. This Sanma won’t be very convincing either but hey… We were cheap-skates and only willing to pay for a premium lunch. May be it is much better during dinner and when the freshest seafood gets Jetted-in. ~ 6.5/10
Anago eel - 穴子
This carried the right taste and a decent sauce to back it up with. Not the best Anago eel version I have ever had, but this one was I guess acceptable and slightly fatty, and it came with some Yuzu zest beneath too! I prefer them to be more gelatinous and also presented inside-out and the skin side up usually, but this was ok tasty if I must be lenient and accept this is HK afterall… ~ 7/10
Tuna Tekka Maki and Kanpyo Maki - 鉄火巻き & 干瓢巻き
Made to share. These were done professionally enough. Still liked the rice here the best, one of the major incentives to come back.. but may be not the fish by today’s performance. ~ 8/10
Miso Soup - 味噌汁
Made with 4 different kinds of Miso pastes. This was just so sublime, despite not using any fish bones. One of the best Miso Soups I’ve tried in Hong Kong. Could had had more ingredients though.. ~ 8.5/10
Sushi Ginza Iwa, now in Hong Kong -
Rated as Michelin 1* back in home town of Ginza, Tokyo. The Hong Kong outlet is not too shabby at all, it still needs some minor-tuning IMO to be convincing though. In the mean time, Senryo might have much inferior rice and kniving and nigiri skills - but their fishes on average actually performed better although only by a smidgeon..
Price: $800 + 10%
Ease of Access: 4/5
Food: ♕♕♕ 1/2 to ♕♕♕♕ 1/2
Mon to Sun - 12:00pm to 14:30pm, 18:30pm to 22:30pm
30th Floor, No 8, Wyndham Street
Ph: 2619 0199