[Hong Kong] FUKU by Nishimura 馥

Rating: ❤❤❤❤

Japanese food lovers will rejoice at the arrival of FUKU by Nishimura in Central from the same owners of Nishimura in Tsim Sha Tsui which is known for its high quality cuisine using the freshest and finest ingredients! With over 35 years of culinary experience specializing in kaiseki (traditional multi-course Japanese dinner), Chef Imai at FUKU strives to bring the most authentic kaiseiki cuisine to Hong Kong while the restaurant also offers sashimi, teppanyaki and tempura as well. Offering different types of Japanese cuisine in one place is a formula that works well in Hong Kong as opposed to Japan where most restaurants specialize in only one thing. The only question is will they be able to excel in everything? Let's find out!

True to the chef's background, the first two kaiseiki dishes that we tried were utterly impressive and painstakingly assembled. The Japanese manager came by to introduce the dishes and showed us pictures of how the food was put together in the kitchen with tweezers to achieve the utmost precision. The Uni with Caviar, Green Apple, Yuzu Citrus and Gold Leaf ($160) was paired with layers of fresh bean curd skin which resulted in delicately light and sweet flavors that complimented the fresh uni very well. 

The Matsuba Crab Meat and Roe with Tosa Vinegar Jelly ($160) was another delight to eat with a light layer of sweet and tart vinegar jelly wrapped around generous amount of crab meat and roe which is in season now. With its sweet-tasting flavor and soft fluffy meat, Matsuba crab is a crab lover's dream come true!

Since Nishimura is known for its high quality of ingredients, it came as no surprise that the Premium Sashimi Selection ($588) with toro, amaebi, hamachi, hirame, akamutsu and hotate were delectably fresh and I pretty much enjoyed every single piece in the selection.

While the Premium Sushi Selection ($598) was solid as well, I thought that the shari (rice) could use improvement as it was too firm and not acidic enough.

Moving onto the cooked food, the Grilled Cod Fish with Saikyo Miso Sauce ($268) arrived in a gorgeous modern presentation which was a pleasant surprise, and taste-wise I thought it was comparable to those that I've in Japan.

I actually had a sore throat that day so I didn't try the Premium Tempura ($258) but my dining companions said that the batter was light and not oily at all. 

After the kaiseki dishes, the Japanese Kuroge Wagyu Beef Sukiyaki with Onsen Egg ($488) was probably my second favorite item here as the beef was buttery soft and just melted in the mouth!  

The offerings are so diverse here, they even have Unagi Kamameshi ($488) which is Japanese eel with steamed rice. Kamameshi literally translates to "kettle rice" and is a traditional Japanese rice dish cooked in an iron pot called a kama. By cooking the rice and the ingredients in the kama, the rice gets slightly burned at the bottom which adds a whole new layer of flavor to the rice.

Is this the prettiest plating for fruits or what! The Seasonal Fruit Selection ($268) with Shizuoka musk melon, Fukuoka amaoh strawberry, Japanese pear and pomegranate was both a delight for the eyes and the mouth as the fruits were super fresh and sweet. 

The Rice Dumplings with Sweet Soya Sauce ($48) were fun to chew on but the mochi can be rather filling.

The Matcha Anmitsu ($58) with match ice cream, red bean paste, mochi and Okinawa black sugar syrup has everything that Japanese dessert lovers will look for in one bowl.

The Hokkaido Milk Pudding ($48) was surprisingly my favorite of all desserts with its intensely rich milky flavor and baby smooth texture!

The Warabimochi ($68) was hard to pin down because it was so jiggly and bouncy but it was also super soft and delicious to eat with the kinako (sweet toasted soybean powder).

Verdict - I came away generally impressed with the food at FUKU especially the kaiseki dishes I tried and would like to come back to check out the whole kaiseki experience with Chef Imai. The upscale restaurant with its elegant decor and private seating is perfect for business lunches and dinners to entertain clients in Central. Prices are not cheap but you get what you pay for. With the freshest and finest ingredients flown in directly from Japan everyday, there is even a retail shop set up next door for diners to conveniently shop for high quality food and drinks from Japan!

*By Invitation

FUKU by Nishimura 馥
3/F, Hutchinson House
10 Harcourt Road, Central
Tel: 2110 5038

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