Often associated with long, champagne-flowing brunches, Zuma is in fact a serious contender of Hong Kong’s Japanese fare. Take a seat at the bar and watch Zuma’s team of skilled chefs prepare sushi and sashimi izakaya (sharing) style, alongside signature dishes of Chilean sea bass with green chili ginger dressing or roasted lobster with garlic, shiso and ponzu butter. Each dish is made from the finest quality ingredients, the fresh, vibrant colours adding to the presentation, seen in the zingy grilled edamame with Amalfi lemon and the shichimi pepper watercress salad with avocado, cucumber and wasabi dressing. Begin or end your experience on the terrace, where new bar manager Lorenzo Coppola mixes Japanese and French-inspired cocktails at gin label Citadelle’s pop-up.
Level 5&6 Landmark Atrium, 15 Queen’s Road Central, Central; 3657 6388, zumarestaurant.com
Chef Max Levy’s Okra has established itself as a firm favourite from its corner of Sai Ying Pun, but it’s on the second floor of his establishment, above the casual nature of his street-level izakaya, where the New Orleans native demonstrates his encyclopaedic knowledge of sushi and sake. In a near-clinical space completely covered in white tiles, Levy serves a reservations-only, multi-course omakase with sake pairings. There are composed dishes featuring seasonal and preserved vegetables that reflect Levy’s tutelage under shojin ryori chef Hiroshi Nakahara, and nigiri sushi that is heavy on expertly dry-aged, umami-laden fish.
110 Queen’s Rd West, Sai Ying Pun; 2806 1038, okra.bar
Sushi Gin’s itamae sushi bar format, backed by generous views of the surrounding cityscape, make it a regular business lunch option. With few cooked dishes, the focus is undeniably on the sushi, prepared by a cracking team of sushi chefs who are mesmerising to watch. Diners would be wise to choose the nine-piece sushi course, with highlights including the kinmedai (red snapper), the mackerel wrapped in shiso leaf, and the Hokkaido uni, which comes with a generous heaping of shellfish.
27/F, Zing!, 38 Yiu Wah St, Causeway Bay; 2151 1888
The crown jewel of Hong Kong’s sushi scene is undoubtedly the revered Sushi Saito, which brings the high craft of the original Tokyo location to the 45th floor of the Four Seasons. The tranquil eight-seat sushi bar is helmed by owner Takashi Saito’s right-hand man, 29-year-old Ikuya Kobayashi, who brings the best of Japanese seafood to guests via lunch and dinner omakase courses. Highlights include the akagai clam, Japanese horse mackerel and kinmedai snapper, which are personally selected by Saito-san in Tokyo before being flown to Hong Kong each morning. The rice equals the neta (toppings) in its quality, which chef Kobayashi pairs with different types of fish using different temperatures. It’s common knowledge that reservations here, as in Tokyo, are exceedingly hard to come by, although potential diners can try their luck by calling a number during a three-hour window on the first day of every month.
45/F, Four Seasons Hotel, 8 Finance St, Central; 2527 0811, fourseasons.com
Michael Chan brings his experience from Nobu to this beautifully decorated space with a view. The sushi course has won many a fan, with highlights being the kombu-cured horse mackerel and the aged toro, both of which are suspended above a morsel of sushi rice sourced from Kyoto and cooked in mineral water. The tamago-yaki egg sushi, one of the most difficult items to perfect, comes off perfectly at the end of the course, representative of Chan’s honed expertise in the craft.
22/F, V Point, 2-22 Tang Lung St, Causeway Bay; 2339 1899