In the blink of the eye, hubby and I have been married for 8 years. We just celebrated our 8th wedding anniversary last month and like every year, I was given the task to select the restaurant to celebrate this special day. It wasn’t too difficult for me to decide, because there was a restaurant at the top of my list that I’ve been dying to try.
A couple of months ago, we were having dinner at our favorite Sushi Fuku-Suke restaurant and overheard (ok, I was eavesdropping) a conversation between another couple and the sushi chef about the best Japanese restaurants in Hong Kong. One of the restaurants they couldn’t stop raving about was RyuGin and how much they loved their specialty “fruit” dessert. I was intrigued.
…so, RyuGin was the restaurant of choice.
In 2012, Tokyo’s renowned Nihonryori RyuGin brought to Hong Kong its first oversea’s branch, Tenku RyuGin. Striving to bring Hong Kong diners the same traditional and unique Kaiseki experience, Tenku RyuGin has climbed to the top quickly with 2 Michelin stars and ranking No.50 on Asia’s 50 Best Restaurant’s in 2014.
Overseen by chef Seiji Yamamoto and executed under the guidance of chef de cuisine Hideaki Sato, seasonal Gastronomy Menu’s are crafted with quality and seasonal ingredients flown in from Japan daily.
RyuGin doesn’t do a-la-carte, they only offer a 10-course meal priced at $2180 per person. At the time I made the reservation, we were asked if there were any items we were allergic to or didn’t eat. I made a note that hubby didn’t eat shrimp. Just as we were seated, our server presented us with menu of the evening in a beautiful purple envelope and assured us shrimp wasn’t being served.
The meal started off with a Monkfish Liver and Aka clam, which was the ideal winter appetizer. Expecting bitterness in the dish, I was surprised with the creaminess and sweetness of the liver. Paired with spring onions to offset the oiliness and thin slices of radish and yuzu zest to add lightness, balance was the key. I now understand why they say monkfish liver is the foie gras of the sea.
Following the signature monkfish, was an abalone simmered for 2+ hours served in a shallow shell-shaped dish. The thinly sliced abalone was tender with a bit of chew, which was the perfect bite. The smokiness of the winter vegetables and slight spiciness of the grated radish makes this a warming winter dish.
After the first 2 dishes, I was already thinking, “OMG, these dishes are A-MA-ZING”, how is it I haven’t tried this place earlier? Then came the shiitake mushroom chawanmushi with Matsubagani crab, and it blew me away. The rich and luxurious egg custard with the sweet pieces of crab and droplet of intense crab tomalley made this by far the best chawanmushi I’ve ever had.
The soul-warming soup of gently poached Gillardeau oyster in a turnip purée was unique and thicker than our typical Asian soups. The addition of yuzu zest brightened this interesting soup.
The selection of the sashimi trio was paired for the stark contrast in tastes and textures. The first being light and slightly chewy, the second Horse Clam was smoky (from the light torching) with a bit of a crunch and the last being soft and fatty.
One of the highlight’s of the evening was the Charcoal-grilled Aflonsino, with the scales being threaded by needles and grilled to crispy heaven. The flesh of the fish was juicy and succulent with a hint of saltiness and when combined with the grated radish it took this dish to a whole new level.
Just when I thought the food couldn’t get any better, I was proven wrong with wagyu sukiyaki. The purposely undercooked wagyu was so tender it just melted in my mouth. The idea of using the onsen egg was genius and hubby wished he could have had 3-4 bowls of this!
…you can see the glorious orange yolk infusing with the Japanese beef.
Nearing the end of the meal, we were served this simple bowl of sea urchin layered over a bed of warm rice. This delicate and flawless dish was a great way to wrap up the mains.
Finally, the long-awaited for RyuGin Speciality -196°C Mandarin Candy and +99°C Mandarin Jam. Looking at it, it looked like a piece of art and I really didn’t have the heart to crack it open. But, the server encouraged me to take my spoon gently smash the fruit to reveal the powdered mandarin ice cream…
…then a +99°C mandarin jam is spooned over. Each spoonful was a combination of hot and cold mandarin experience. Delish!! This speciality fruit dessert has also been crafted as strawberries, grapes, apples, pears…If only I can try them all…
The second dessert was a deep-fried spring roll filled with sweet red beans, mochi and strawberries to be dipped in a vanilla ice cream. This was no where on the same level as the Speciality Mandarin dessert, but was still very tasty.
And lastly, matcha tea to finish.
This meal was perfectly tailored to create a unique kaiseki experience with flavors exploding in your mouth from start to finish. This restaurant has moved to one of the top restaurants on my list of favorites in Hong Kong.
Dinner Total for 2: $5326
Address: Shop B1, 101/F, ICC, 1 Austin Road West, Tsim Sha Tsui / Tel: 2302 0222
Date Of Visit: Jan 19, 2015
Dinner Tasting Menu ….$2180 x2
Fall in Love Deluxe Tea ….$138
Umeshu ….$276 x2
San Pellegrino ….$68