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The environment at Hide Yamamoto is quite cosy, so that even though we were one table out of three occupied on the night the atmosphere never felt ‘dead’. A large sushi bar flanks one end of the room, while a teppanyaki bar lines another wall, offering different options for seating. The décor is plain but contemporary with looming chandeliers, looking less like your standard Japanese restaurant than a modern European one.
There are some surprising dishes on the menu that toe the fusion line, such as al dente soba noodles with caviar and olive oil that is an unexpected combination that is light and refreshing. We also enjoyed a chawanmushi with truffle, uni and crabmeat that was certainly indulgent, and wonderfully silky on the palate. Agedashi tofu was a great example of the classic, accompanied with fresh vegetables. We sampled a nigiri platter and found the toppings generally tender and sweet—particularly the scallops and clams—but they were let down by the too-sticky rice grains that were packed in a little too densely. Better was the main course of wagyu beef slices served shabu shabu style with excellent sides of pickled radish, slow-cooked onion tinged with sweet soy sauce, and thin crunchy lotus roots to balance the fattiness of the beef. For dessert, strawberry parfait with pop rocks and yuzu sorbet was a fun option, though we would have preferred the sorbet to be lighter.
Bottles of sake are on the pricier side, with the cheapest bottle of Suien Karakuchi Jyunmai priced at HK$480 and with other premium junmai daiginjyo sakes mostly going for $2,000 and upwards. There is also a modest number of wines by the glass.
Service is sweet and our sake glasses were dutifully refilled when needed. However we would have liked the staff to have better knowledge of the menu items.
A meal for two with wine and service will come to around MOP1,400 which is expected for a smart Japanese restaurant.