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Departing from the lift on the 5th floor of a building found on Yiu Wa Street in Causeway Bay, it is not immediately apparent how to get into Kishoku. The hallway is surrounded by wooden screens, any one of which might slide to open. Luckily staff seem aware of your arrival and one of the doors automatically opens before too long into a small but well-thought out restaurant, with a selection of booths on either side of the passage that leads to centrepiece of the restaurant – the sushi bar. It’s the prime seating location. Further sushi bars are available in adjoining rooms which can also serve as private dining areas.
The omakase menus at Kishoku offer seasonal and signature items and, with four to choose from, are the way to go. The Ku premium menu includes a base of 5 sashimi and 7 sushi options and we begin with the signature baby shrimp, sweet and fresh. swiftly followed by uni tofu, the uni fresh and buttery. Crispy cod fish with mayonnaise arrives to pair perfectly with our sake. Next the chef hands over a Hokkaido scallop, lightly cooked yet beautifully seasoned and simply wrapped in a piece of nori. The scallop is fleshy and sweet and juicy. Next comes plum with raw scallop and shellfish, the scallop totally different from that which preceeded yet equally tasty. A highlight arrives next in the form of the signature sea urchin gunkan, uni served in its shell with chopped toro and salmon roe. Sheets of nori accompany in which to wrap a combination of these rich seafood flavours – the smooth, melted texture of the uni, the fatty toro and the burst-in-the-mouth roe. Oysters from Hokkaido follow – uncommonly large and tasting light and sweet yet meaty. Rock salt is grated over tuna belly, fatty and luxurious and wrapped in a sheet of nori before being passed across the counter, with that distinct almost minty, peppery flavour of the shiso leaf. Moving on we have hot grilled eel on lotus, marrow, carrot and okra, followed by ginger and pickle, before it’s time for the sushi dishes which include seasonal specialities as well as Japanese sea bass, striped jack, shrimp, tuna belly, and a very generous uni, as well as tuna tendon and a savoury tamago cake with white fish and shrimp. Some are accompanied by a squeeze of lime to bring out the flavours and a seafood miso soup arrives amongst these offerings. Orange and melon penultimately close the meal, followed by a sweet combination of Yakult and banana ice cream scoops to end the excellent Ku experience.
An expansive sake list offers a range of sizes and options from premium junmai daiginjyo, junmai daiginjyo and daiginyjo to junmai ginjyo, plum wine and shochu selections. The house sake is recommended served cold and is a pleasant smooth rice wine that pairs well with the sashimi and sushi selections.
Each dish is presented across the sushi counter with an explanation from the sushi chef, though further enquiry doesn’t always garner hoped-for answers. Service on the other side of the bar is discreet but agreeable and fairly efficient, though tea top-ups are sometimes lacking.
Whichever menu set you go for, a meal at Kishoku will set you back, but for a special occasion, the high quality of ingredients and intimate setting make it worthwhile. The Ku set for two with sake comes in at around HK$3,800.