Thursday, April 10, 2014

298 Nikuya Yakiniku -

  Yakiniku in Hong Kong in general can only be called average!   In Japan,  a lot more choices of different Cow or Steer DNA’s & differently butchered exclusive Cuts can be available,  and some steers are purchased and ordered only if that particular carcasse has won grading awards by post-mortem analysis.   In comparison, you will have trouble in HK finding even a Yakiniku-ya that uses Real Charcoal on a 七輪 BBQ grill.   Even Taipei has better choices..   The much lauded 伊呂波 Iroha is decent,  but way too expensive versus the easily accessible quality in Japan and it is not even the best available.    Wako  和幸 series sound promising but the marination technique is a bit Hong Kong localized for me.  和宴 Wa-En by Okinawa En Group is a mid-tiered shop but at least Japanese run,  but their yakiniku meat selection can be on and off or oxidized,  and I wouldn’t call it value for money especially when considering their Beer & Rice prices.   本陣 Honjin, opened by the same group behind a supermarket Wagyu Meat wholesaler and Shabu-Shabu based 牛陣 Gyu-Jin,   performs much better at their Causeway Bay shop with their in-house Japanese butcher chef,  but their TST or Jordan outlet are not worth your money.   Other shops like the locally famous  盛八 Morihachi are more affordable but it also depends largely on the outlet you visit,  they have on & off days at every outlet we visited and my last few visits the quality was declining.   

My current favourite Japanese-Korean Yakiniku shops now in Hong Kong are  298 NikuyaWagyu Pure,  & the recently upgraded  燒肉孫三郎 Magosaburou.  To me,  it is all about Quality vs Pricing Point,  and 298 definitely performed.



A Tiny Space -
They will be expanding and opening another outlet in Central very soon.


Oolong Tea included in Lunch Set -




Salad,  Sichuan-style Mapo Tofu,  Korean Namuru,  Rice,  Tare Sauce and Miso Soup -
It’s just ok…  but at least affordable cheap during lunch hours.  Most are only around $95-100 range  ~ 6.5/10



Thick Cut Beef Tongue  タン塩厚切り - $100
Marinated very well without being too potent,  the texture was also perfectly good,  not too chewy but also tender.  Even better than the ones we ate in Japan’s Okinawa recently I would say.   Probably 2nd best to the more oily flavourful ones at local Torimen (local Benchmark for sure) and up to par with Iroha’s version.    So decently priced compared to Iroha or Wa-En as an A La Carte dish too,   which is almost double here.   Good stuff!   ~  8/10

Wagyu  Karubi – $95 Lunch Set
Shockingly Low Price aside,  the marination was spot on and so Japanese authentic  for a Mid-tier plus shop there.  In Japan,   the cheaper Yakiniku shops that you visit,  the heavier the garlic and marination and the darker the meat.  This today was sophisticated and correct,  the Beef Ribs were marbled and balanced.   Just right overall!  And only $95 including all the above Lunch Set items.   ~  9/10



宮崎牛サーロン厚切り – Miyazaki Wagyu Sirloin Thick-cut $140
This was pretty fatty and I think cooking it to Medium-Plus is the best way,  it should be slightly crusty crispy on the surface but with that signature oil burst when you bite into great wagyu.   As A La Carte this was also really well priced and I like the thick cut,  it worked better on this particular grill   ~  8.5/10




Grilling some Thick Wagyu Tongues -
As mentioned it’s no real Charcoal 炭火七輪 Grill.   It really makes a difference,  although this is probably less likely to cause you cancer?   Really don’t know but humans are born greedy,  we want choices and if it kills us,  we want to know we chose it by will.




Thin Beef Tongues -  $50 Extra during Lunch
We ordered both Lunch Sets & A La Carte items.   This thinly sliced tongue dish can be had for only $50.   Personally this was not bad and is marinated in salted Shio-Dare sauce,  but somehow they didn’t grill too well on this gas grill and it lacked major taste.   Shows that 平嘢無好嘢 in Hong Kong,  even if the shop is run by Japanese chefs.   *Apparently the night version with lots of negi is better though  ~ 5/10



Price:  $200 + 10%
Food:   ♕♕♕♕ 1/2
Ease of Access:  4/5

Address:  上環禧利街15號地下
G/F, 15 Hillier Street, Sheung Wan, Hong Kong
Ph: 2799 2818

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