Restaurant Review: Nagasakayaki, a Japanese Robatayaki Opens in Mongkok

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The entrance of Nagasakayaki, a Japanese restaurant in Kowloon’s Mongkok district in Hong Kong. Photo Credit: Accidental Travel Writer.

Discover Hong Kong

Nagasakayaki is a newly opened Japanese restaurant in Mongkok. It is the second Japanese eatery to be opened by the Hong Eat Kong Drink Group, which also operates Gozen Edo in Kwun Tong. But the ambience and cooking styles are completely different.

Nagasakayaki (炉端焼き) is a robatayaki, a Japanese style restaurant serving small portions of meat, fish, and/or vegetables that have been slowly barbecued on a Japanese-style grill.

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Chefs serve diners dishes on long wooden spatulas. Photo Credit: Accidental Travel Writer.

The dishes at Nagasakayaki are slowly cooked on grills behind the counter of the restaurant’s open kitchen. When they are ready, they are served to diners on long wooden spatulas.

It is believed that the robatayaki concept originated in the Japanese city of Sendai in Miyagi prefecture at a restaurant called “Robata”, which grilled fresh vegetables using this method.

Robatayaki restaurants then started to spring up on the Northern Japanese island of  Hokkaido, where seafood caught in the nearby port was added to the menu. The concept proved popular, and robatayaki restaurants started to open across the Japanese archipelago.

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Nagasakayaki opened in mid-December 2018. The 2,000-square-meter restaurant has a counter seating, which allows diners to watch the action in the open kitchen.

There are also about 70 tables, many of which are booths alongside the window, with a view of the street.

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Here I am in the restaurant’s VIP room.

The restaurant also has a VIP room, with seating on a platform. I’m pictured in the VIP room, posing with a menu. But I actually had dinner sitting at the counter in the main dining room.

I was hosted by the restaurant, which arranged a tasting dinner for me and a dining companion. I was both flattered and honoured to be the first journalist invited to give the restaurant a try.

The Tasting Menu

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My dining companion started with some sake, with was topped up throughout the meal …

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Then we were served our dishes, one by one …

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Dried P Eihire – えいのひれ七味えい (七味魚翅) – first we were served dried globefish, which was chewy with crispy edges. I really liked the texture! As for the flavour, it was savoury with a touch of sweetness. OMG, how I LOVED this dish!(HK$58)

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Queen Clam – クイーンクラム (貴妃蚌) – the clams were served on the half-shell atop lighted salt in a sake-laced sauce. After consuming the meat, my dining companion and I picked up the shells and drank the sauce. (HK$48/one)

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Grilled Dried Atka Mackerel – ほっけの一夜干し(花魚一夜干) – I never would have known that the mackerel had been dried. It was incredibly moist, tender, and flavourful. What IS their secret? (HK$88/one)

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Japanese Sausage -日本のソーセージ (日本香腸) – probably not the healthiest dish on the menu we sampled, but it sure was delicious! ($38/one)

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Portobello Grilled Foie Gras – フォアグラ バゲット(鵝肝大黑菇) –  A Japanese hamburger? OMG, was THIS dish delish! My dining companion and I agreed at the end of the meal that the portobello grilled foie gras was the piece de resistance! BTW, if you don’t know what portobello, is, it’s a giant mushroom. (HK$108)

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Grilled Sweet Green Pepper – ししとう (青椒仔) – the green peppers were …(HK$26)

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Japanese Grilled Riceball with Salmon – 焼きおにぎり(鮭) (三文魚飯團) – the rice balls were coated in sesame seeds and very crunchy. They were best dipped in a savoury brown sauce. (HK$28/one)

The Verdict …

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I thoroughly enjoyed my dinner, as did my dining companion. The food was excellent, it was beautifully presented, the ambience was relaxing, and the service was attentive.

My favourite dish was the portobello grilled foie gras, which could best be described as “decadent”. Next in line would have to be the very yummy dried P eihire.

Nagasakayaki is a welcome addition to Mongkok’s vibrant dining out scene. Japanese food is highly popular in Hong Kong, and I’m sure this stylish Japanese eatery is going to be a big hit with HK foodies!

Where

Nagasakayaki – 長阪燒 – 2/F, 189-191 Portland Street, Mongkok, Kowloon, Hong Kong. Tel: (852) 2591-6669. Facebook Page: Nagasakayaki

Nagasakayaki: without doubt, one of the best newly opened Japanese restaurants in Hong Kong!

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