[Hong Kong] Shimo 霜月

Rating: ❤❤❤❤1/2

It's getting harder to be impressed with Japanese food in Hong Kong since I travel to Japan often but Shimo pleasantly surprised me with the high quality of its food and attention to details! I get wary of those "Japanese" restaurants that are really run by non-Japanese and you can feel that something is off immediately whether it is in the restaurant design, attention to details or just in the menu itself, but none of those alarms went off at this restaurant. Located in the new OLIV building in Causeway Bay, Shimo specializes in shabu shabu and sukiyaki cuisine while offering sashimi, sushi and tempura as well. 

The design of the restaurant is rather traditional and low-key with primarily wooden furnishings with a big sushi counter in the center and dining tables by the walls. Private rooms are also available for bigger parties with better views of the city since the view in the main dining room faces Times Square.

The private dining room I was in had views of the Happy Valley Race Course and nearby skyscrapers including Central Plaza!

The Shabu Shabu/Sukiyaki courses range from $550 - $980 depending on the type of meat and seafood of your choice which also includes two appetizers, seasonal vegetables, your choice of rice/porridge/udon and dessert. We ordered 2 types of beef sukiyaki sets to try plus additional sashimi, sushi and seafood dishes as well. 

The first of our appetizer from the sukiyaki set was a French Ancelin oyster which had a briny taste but the Belon oyster ($100) was the better of the two in my opinion with a pronounced flavor and metallic finish! Legend has it that Belon oysters are one of the rarest oysters in the world and they were certainly unlike any other oysters I've seen before with a round and flat disk-like shell. 

The second appetizer of our set was an assorted sashimi with toro, Hokkaido scallops, shima aji and hamachi. The toro was undeniably my favorite of the bunch with its melt-in-your-mouth texture but all were of high quality and deliciously fresh to eat!

The Geoduck Sashimi ($280) was another exquisite sashimi offering as the geoduck was fresh and sweet with a snappy texture!

I was wholly impressed with this Akamutsu sushi which is a rare type of deep sea dwelling perch from Japan. Topped with a dollop of yuzu pepper, the fish had a lush texture with a rich flavor that was carefully balanced by the spicy topping. 

The Seared Toro Sushi was solid but pales in comparison in terms of flavor to the toro sashimi though. 

The Japanese A5 Wagyu Avocado Sushi Roll ($160) combined the best of both worlds with beef and sushi! The beef oozed with umami flavor while the avocado, cucumber and crab provided a contrast in texture and taste. 

The Japanese Hairy Red Crab ($330/whole) arrived with all of its precious meat detached already along with a bowl of creamy crab roe! It was very convenient to eat and while the crab roe could have been richer, the crab meat was lovely as it was firm, juicy and sweet.

Moving onto the stars of the night - sukiyaki! We were presented with our plates of beef first starting with the Prime US Beef ($580) and followed by the Japanese Wagyu Beef ($870). Both looked gorgeous with its marbling and I couldn't wait to devour them all! The portion was surprisingly generous as each piece of beef was as big as my face and you get 5-6 pieces per set.

We also got a plate of vegetables which was used to prepare our sukiyaki. 

The staff prepared the sukiyaki by melting the fat that came with the beef first and grilling some of the vegetables before pouring the sukiyaki broth. Once it came to a boil, he dipped the beef into the broth to cook for a good 30 seconds before serving. The US Beef was delicious with a great meat to fat ratio but the Japanese Wagyu was definitely the winner here as it was pillowy soft with a rich and fatty mouth feel. 

We couldn't let the delicious sweet soy broth go to waste so we cooked our Inaniwa udon with it as well. The udon was thin, smooth and chewy all at the same time!

Dessert was kept simple with your choice of ice cream and I chose a green tea ice cream that unfortunately needed a richer matcha taste. 

Verdict - while the prices may be high, you do get what you pay for and I honestly think that Shimo is a great choice in Hong Kong for authentic and high quality Japanese hot pot cuisine!

* By Invitation

Shimo 霜月
15-21 Sharp Street East, Causeway Bay
Tel: 2321 5155

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