Kiku is deceptively large and its location in the upmarket Landmark makes for a vibrant, lively atmosphere, especially at lunchtime. Most diners are initially directed to the busy front-of-house section containing tightly-packed tables and muted decoration, but there is a range of small, comfortable booths scattered behind Japanese-style screens to the rear. Several seats are also available around the brightly-lit sushi and sashimi bar. Designer lamps are a feature and small amounts of bamboo, stone-effect columns and oriental touches provide a determinedly modernist décor with Japanese overtones.
The extensive menu of fine Japanese cuisine is spread across several separately presented sections. Lunch specials are popular but individual dishes drawn from either the raw fish or cooked sections provide a smorgasbord of tempting alternatives. Succulent cuts of sashimi are accompanied by deliciously spiced soy sauce. Though the seasonal variations are always worth considering, the ark shell is a permanent offering and highly recommended. Homemade sushi is predictably good and when presented as a roll, such as the soft shell crab and avocado, the range of textures and flavours impress. Batter on tempura could be lighter, but the fried coating of fish cake as a starter perfectly envelopes the tasty filling. Other appetisers include satisfying strips of roast file fish dipped in a creamy sauce and moist spinach tossed in a fortified sesame sauce. Elsewhere, a generous chunk of cod cooked in miso sauce is a success, the careful cooking and presentation allowing the fulsome flavour of the fish to shine. US or wagyu beef dishes are available and the stir-fried sliced beef in a zesty ginger sauce is worth considering.
A couple bottles of wine are available, but the attention of most diners will undoubtedly focus on Japanese beer or the dizzying array of premium sake bottles served at table in a specialist dispenser. The house sake is certainly acceptable and available by the glass.
Very pleasant and well-turned out staff (some in traditional costume) provide a high standard of service. Menu options are suggested and recommended and a smile accompanies every dish.
Prices vary depending on the number of premium dishes ordered, but two people should be able to eat a good range of food for about HK$900, without drinks.