Wagyu Takumi, Wan Chai
Wagyu Takimi is awarded 2 stars in Michelin Guide Hong Kong and Macau 2014-15, thehidden gems housed immediately to its sibling restaurant Gin Sai and Sushi Rozan. Wagyu Takumi is the only michelin-starred restaurant that serves authentic French food with a Japanese twist. The food here blends the finest French culinary traditions with Japanese ingredients and sensibility to create a unique cuisine that is rarely found elsewhere in Hong Kong.
Address: Shop 1, G/F, The Oakhill, 16 Wood Road, Wan Chai 灣仔活道16號萃峯地下1號舖
Hours: Mon to Sat: 12:00-14:30; 18:00-23:00, Closed on Sundays
Came for: Charcoal Grilled Wagyu Beef, Abalone and Shimanto Seaweed with Barley Risotto
Price/Menu: Lunch menu: 4-course $880, 6-course $1,380; Dinner 8-course $1,980
There are only 14 seatings in the relaxing open kitchen environment you and your friends can view the preparation of your dining experience as it unfolds before you. The set menu is inspired by seasonal ingredients which are mainly from Japan, France and Europe.
Being defined as a French-Japanese restaurant, the decor of Wagyu Takumi might reminds you of an high-end Japanese teppanyaki restaurant but that is not the entire picture. In fact, the majority of the omakase menu is based on highly conceptualised fusion fare that flirts heavily with luxurious ingredients such as abalone, sea urchin, lobster and wagyu.
The dinner starts with a basket of warm breads, consists of traditional baguette and sourdough. The skin was pretty crust while the center was soft and fluffy. The smoked sea salt butter was very special, high in flavor and makes the simple bread flavorful. The manager recommended some traditional sake to paried with our meal.
We began with a trio beautifully presented snacks. The fronter one was an olddie but goodie, the lobster jelly with fresh sea urchin and mustard cream. Scoop down from the top to bottom, the mustard cream works wonderfully with the refreshing but umami lobster jelly on the bottom, the natural sweetness of the sea urchin lifted the overall texture and flavor.
The second one (left) was a mini foie gras sandwich with apple jelly, the bite-size sandwich has a very nice balance. The last one (right-bottom) brought us back to refreshment, a pear tart with luxurious caviar. We loved the lobster jelly the most among all three amuse bouche.
First course was soon beautifully presented in front of us. The salted baked beet root has a very deep flavor, underneath the thin beet root layers was marinated bonito fish. The fish was minced into a fish ball shape, the meat was moist and has a very clean taste.
Next came the Gazpacho, which is a Spanish cold soup usually made with a tomato base. The soup tends more appealing after the finishing tomato soup. It was hard to see the crab meat pysically but when i scooped down, the generous portion of fresh Brittany Crab made me mouthwatering, its juicy and sweetness made the soup really delicious. The entire dish was very refreshing.
Move on to the warm dishes. The signature abalone dish, which is also the dish i came for - abalone and shimanto seaweed with barley risotto. The abalone was pan-fried in a very low temperature from the very beginning of the meal, until the dish was served.
The buttery and umami fragrance was another sense of the dish besides its presentation. The abalone has a lovely pan-seared skin and incredibly tender center. Risotto was cooked al dante with rich broth, the seaweed made it even more umami. On the top was celery foam, which brought a very clean and refreshing hint. The entire dish was very enjoyable and impressive, definitely worth coming for/back.
The first main course was pan-fried Japanese sea perch. It smells very fishy when it was preparing. Under its golden-brown crispy skin was juicy fish meat, but there were some mini fishbone which was edible. We don't know if the chef did this for a purpose but we both were a little bit disappointing with this. The vegetable bouillon was very flavorful, the diced vegetable was pan-fried and cooked in the rich fish broth, it balanced well with the fish.
There were three options for the main dish: roasted duck, French blue lobster and charcoal wagyu. The top pic is no doubt the wagyu, it is like you never eat at Wagyu Takumi if you didn't try the wagyu. Besides the wagyu, we also tried the blue lobster. The whole lobster was peeled in front of us, although not huge in size, the fresh and juicy meat made it very impressive. The sauce was very simple and kept the orginial flavor of the ingredients, which is the essence of Japanese culinary.
The beef was too cooked from the very beginning of the meal, at the slow-cooked charcoal griller on inside the open kitchen. Start from the raw beef tartar, which was flavorful and juicy. The most impressive part was no doubt the wagyu tenderloin from Kagoshima. It was cooked medium and was so succulent. The outlayer has a very lovely grilled fragrance while inside was incredibly juicy. The sauce was very simple which didn't overwhelm the flavor of the wagyu. On the side was deep-fried garlic and baby romaine to clean the taste. It was the best wagyu so far, it is hard to find words to descrive the sensation, so please try it by yourself.
We had a more refreshing dessert instead of the cheese platter as a transition to the main dessert. The cream cheese was airy and the rosemary espuma with mixed berries was not over-sweeted. Quite refreshing one but not very impressive.
The dessert consists of three parts. The hazelnut creme brulee was silky and high in hazelnut flavor, the caramelized surface was neither too sweet. The milk ice cream was not very strong in flavor has too milky for my liking (it was too 'fresh'=positive), on the back was some crushed nuts. The sourness from the lemon sauce brought a excellent balance.
It was a very enjoyable meal, the most beautiful part is no doubt the main courses as well as the abalone risotto. The end part of the meal was not very impressive but in general, it really worth a try. The wagyu and abalone risotto are seriously worth coming for.There is only one Omakase menu priced at $1980+ per head, quite pricey for 8 dishes, but consider its amazing wagyu steak and quality of other ingredients, as well as its 2-michelin starred standard, the price is among reasonable range. (a price of a steak at any western restaurant easily go up to HKD$500+). We were satisfied with all the dishes and worth a re-visit as well.