It has been more than 3 years that I have not visited HK and staying there for more than 2 nights to have some proper meals in the area. This was a solo trip and it usually meant I hardly had any meal at Chinese restaurant. I kicked off with a dinner at Wagyu Takumi – a high end Teppanyaki style restaurant in which the chef skillfully and effectively blending the elements of French and Japanese cuisine. Plenty of top produce from France and Japan was scattered throughout the night. It was my first visit here last month and current head chef named Daisuke Mori (the restaurant has been identical with Mitsuru Konishi who will be a culinary director of a more casual dining place serving contemporary Italian in his new project). Chef Mori has been with Wagyu Takumi for a couple of years and both Mori-san and Konishi-san used to work at the Paris legendary restaurant, Taillevent.
For dinner, there’s only one menu available: 8-course tasting menu (there were 3 main courses to choose from) and as with many other top restaurants, guests were welcome and encouraged to mention any allergy or dietary restrictions. Wagyu Takumi’s concept reminded me of Waku Ghin in which the chefs would put a show and cooking most of the dishes in front of you. There were several dishes that I thought were very good and even exceptional:
-Tako (massaged for several hours) cooked with butter and red wine. The octopus’ tender texture and delicious flavor was not inferior to the tako at top sushi place such as Yoshitake. It was served with fluffy & rather sweet pumpkin espuma, slightly acidic grape as well as truffle foam. I was offered Alba truffle shaving for an extra HKD 250 that I declined
-Wagyu Takumi had 2 signature dishes: the first one was a slowly pan-fried ‘mini’ NZ abalone (tasty and pleasantly chewy) put on top of French barley creamy risotto, prepared al dente and thoroughly absorbed the abalone stock. The celery foam was refreshing – an option to have it bigger than a tasting portion would be nice. The chef did not use Japanese abalone because it’s too tender and I was told that Hong Kongese preferred a chewier awabi.
-Another famous dish as the restaurant’s name suggested: Japanese wagyu beef. For my case, the well-seasoned beef was Hida wagyu tenderloin (100-120 grams) – slowly grilled over Wakayama charcoal. Although it’s ‘tenderloin’, it was still very marbled, succulent, flavorful and not overly oily. I could still comfortably taste the beef’s meat – each byte was truly heavenly. The hida wagyu was accompanied by komatsuna puree, garlic, shallot and endives. Excellent!
I would be satisfied in general of having 3 items above. However, at the beginning of the meal, I decided to order an additional main course as I could not refuse the temptation of having Brittany blue lobster which was also the restaurant’s specialty. I thought I made a right decision
-The superb and live blue lobster (nearly impossible to find one in Singapore) was slowly cooked and perfectly executed. The result was a juicy creature retaining its sweet and original flavor; texture wise, it’s a bit firm yet still relatively tender – really loved both the meaty tail and plump claw. The sauce was also flavorful and balanced – a mixture of lemon grass, coriander and lobster bisque. The side dishes were seasonal vegetables consisting of turnip, carrot and caramelized onion
In general, I am very pleased with the food. My rating was probably ‘elevated’ because I ordered the Brittany lobster that happened to be really good. I heard that someone even had all the 3 main courses in the past. All of the four dishes described above comfortably performed at the level of 2.5-3* by Michelin standard. The rest of the dishes not mentioned here was a bit uneven at times. The dining room’s décor and atmosphere was far from the lavish and expansive one at Waku Ghin; here the L-shaped counter was quite small and ‘intimate’. My seat was not good, near the back-kitchen. However, the staffs worked hard to make you feel comfortable. The restaurant manager (Don Kwok) was around; busy serving the dishes as well as having some conversations with diners. Near the end of the meal, finally Chef Mori became more relaxed and I had a chat with him as well. Consistent to Japanese culture, Mori-san and Don sent me off until the restaurant’s entrance as I left the restaurant. I really don’t mind returning here should I have another chance in the future.