Thursday, October 24, 2013

Mekiki no Ginji 目利きの銀次 - (Hong Kong)

  Another new Japanese import from Okinawa,  in Hong Kong this outlet is run by the JC Group which already operates Inakaya 田舍家 and Kaika かいか,  both of which also have original shops in Japan  much like here and somehow I once again never got to reviewing them due to falling behind...    Initially expecting this to be Okinawan styled food,  such as the like of trusty Rakuen 楽宴 shops from Okinawa,  it turned out Mekiki no Ginji does modern Izakaya style food with only a small emphasis on the Okinawa regional part and no sea grapes or spam dishes here either.   This is a summary of my two self-paid visits to here and I can so see their potential. 



They use real Charcoal here for Grilling -
This is fairly rare in Hong Kong due to strict Fire Regulations..
The room can get very smoky at times though..  wear appropriate clothes and on my 1st visit I ended up having teary eyes.   But this is SO Japanese if you have been to Izakayas in Osaka..  




Iced Tea -
Compared to my iPhone 4S,  this tea was rather humongous.



500ml Okinawa ORION Draught Beer – $78
Not cheap but it is one of the rare shops to offer the draught beer version of this in HK.




Fresh Daily Fish Counter -
Mekiki no Ginji is not a sushi bar,  but one appreciates that they have set up such a pretty Daily Seafood counter.   On my 2nd visit,  it had more Shellfishes on display but during this 1st visit it was more about seasonal fishes.




Autumn Pacific Saury - さんまの刺身 $220
We were saying that this was decently priced initially,  but when this arrived it was more on the smallish size compared to the norm.   *I personally think this year’s Autumn Sanma’s to be smaller than usual for this time of the year,  may be due to global warming.   To me at least,  this was very fresh though not big or fatty.   ~  7/10



Mentaiko Pollock Roe in Egg Roll with Daikon Oroshi  明太子厚焼き玉子 – $58
I was very happy with this version,  because most Mentaiko or Tarago versions in HK taste like a placebo effect and not really present.  Not here,  where the Mentaiko roes were big,  crunchy, tasty,  spicy,  fishy all at once.  The eggs taste is not amazing but it’s runniness was maintained.  Best version in HK by a large margin.  Feel free to quote me for this !!   ~  9/10





Four Fried Oysters with Torched Sea Urchin Sauce -  牡蠣とほうれん草ウニソース焼き $68
Easily the highlight of the meal.  The execution and taste was sublime,  and even the wilted spinach under it helped to balance the whole dish.  Super addictive and one of the best new dishes I have encountered in HK recently.   ~  12/10




6 Pieces Charcoal Grilled Kushiyaki - 炭火焼串六点盛り合わ $98
Such good value and all smoky!  Unfortunately it was all a bit too moist and doused in a wet sauce to our liking,  as this is not very traditional in style.    Minced Chicken Tsukune,  Bacon Wrapped Tomato,  Chicken Wings,  Chicken Nankotsu soft-bones,  Pork and Chicken.   I liked the side cabbage salad actually,  but there is no denying that this is great value for money.  ~  6.9/10




Grilled Beef Tongue – $58
Tender,  Oily,  good beefy taste.  Except this was once again a little wet.  I liked it more than the above grilled platter and this was again good proportions for the $58!   Elsewhere it will be like 50% more.   ~  7.5/10



Mentaiko Roe Onigiri - 明太子炭火バター焼きおにぎり $68
The rice ball was crisp on the outside and moist inside,  but wished there’s more rice taste such as that serve at Gomitori 五味鳥. This made up with the spicily strong Mentaiko roes taste again and some butter.   Very addictive but on the same night,  trumped by the above Mentaiko egg-roll’s performance.   ~  8/10



Wild Duck with Inaniwa Udon and Dipping Soup  -  鴨のつけうどん $78
Inaniwa noodles here were in fact cooked more spot-on than the also newly opened Inaniwa dedicated shop Inaniwa Yoske 稲庭養助.  The duck broth was most concentrated too but to me needed more Japanese burnt leek to be correct.   Came with some pickled Takana which is more South-West Japanese accent.  The charcoal-y duck breast pieces looked good but were a bit tough personally.  Eggs were another highlight.   Decent.  ~  7/10



Dipping Broth & Charcoal grilled Duck -
Really in need of some burnt Japanese leeks for extra dimension..


Grilled Pork Soft Bones with Wasabi Ko powder - 豚ソーキの炭火山葵焼き $48
This was much softer than anticipated.  I liked the sauce but it was quite moist again and there wasn’t much wasabi input.   I liked it on it’s own,  but looking back at the recipe it could be even better.   ~  6.9/10


Orion Beer by the bottler 500ml – $78
They serve this as both draught beer and as a bottle.  I just wanted to order both to test out the difference.   This time around,  the draught version wins slightly definitely..



Tuna Maki Fishermen’s Style - 毫快ごばれ鉄火巻き $78
The menu said $78 but when I received the check,  it said $98 for some reason when going over my bill again.  The tuna was not the best quality of it’s kind but for an Izakaya,  this was ok acceptable though sterile.   At least the wasabi was properly grated stuff and not the canned powdery version.   Still baffled in the meanwhile as to why I got over-charged with this dish but at the end of the day -  most of the dishes here were price decently and cooked better than most shops..   ~  6.5/10





Price:   $300 Per Person Self Paid
Food:   ♕♕♕♕  to  ♕♕♕♕♕
Ease of Access:  4/5

Opening Hours:
Sun to Thurs -  12:00pm to 14:30pm,  18:30pm to 22:30pm
Fri to Sat - 12:00pm to 14:30pm,  18:00pm to 23:00pm

Address:  P502, World Trade Centre, 280 Gloucester Road, Causeway Bay, Hong Kong
Ph:  +852 2895 0885


  1. Thank you so much for this in depth review! I much prefer a traditional and less modern fusion approach like Rakuen, than what Ginji is trying to do here, and your perspective is extremely useful to me, given that I will be visiting HK again end of the year, and I am trying to squeeze in a few Japanese meals, kappo/sushi and maybe one izakaya/robatayaki/yakitori type joint. It sounds like Inakaya may suit my tastes a bit more, but it looks like a broad style restaurant (what's your opinion on the place?) I'm thinking about just going for robatayaki and teuchi soba, hopefully will work. Kappo/sushi is going to be a tough one...Iwa and that new place in Central featuring Sase's chef? Should I even bother with Gonpachi, though it seems more in line with what I might like?

  2. Ai ya! We are supposed to go to all the same tastings! But I've been missing out!!! Next looks great here!

  3. Jess - Yeh I heard but you got hit with a flu! I was sick too and I am still recovering but I keep going clubbing haha so it doesn't help! :P

    Beef No Guy - I have also been to Sushi Iwa and Gonpachi recently, sorry I am a bit late with blogging but I have posted some pics on Instagram!! Gonpachi has home-made soba - food is not bad but they present it really simple, like fried chicken is only fried chicken no salads. Crab Tempura is only crab at Gonpachi, no fried veggies no matcha salt, etc. If you know what I mean but having said that the taste was ok.

    Here at Mekiki no Ginji - the food is much cheaper and the Sea Urchin sauce Oyster dish is to die for stuff! Both here and Gonpachi also uses real charcoal bed, which is so rare in HK and I am glad both new places offers it!

    As for Sushi Iwa vs Sushi Sase - it's a hard one. I liked the fishes better at Sase but the variety, kniving skills and rice were better at Iwa. I would probably suggest Iwa because you get more varieries in seafood! In comparison - Sushi Mori has the best tasting fishes, I think it's not only about freshness but somehow their seafood have better taste! But Mori has the worst rice by far (red vinegar type) and the nigiri skills is only average, so I suggest going for Lunch instead! : ) Let's meet up if you come by Hong Kong !!


  4. HKE, thank you so much! I still have a little under 2 months before I return. For sure there will be more new places for me to consider (and significantly less time to try them all), so I will keep reading! Will send you a msg on FB before the trip, and reveal myself :-). Would love to meet up! I think wherever I end up eating in HK will significantly be better than San Francisco Bay Area (particularly where good Japanese run Japanese restaurants are a very rare breed), but of course it helps to go to the place that offers the maximum value. My first challenge will be finding where to eat on Christmas Day when I arrive (hopefully restaurants are not going to jack up the price like Ta-Ke did with the New Year's Eve optional special menu... else I'll just squat at a dai pai dong or noodle shop haha)



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