Marble magic and Hokkaido charm at new restaurant KAGURA
02 Aug 2017
Japanese yakiniku restaurant KAGURA just opened at Elements this week. Of course, we had to try it. Yakiniku magic & Hokkaido potatoes? Yes, please. Specialising in Hokkaido cuisine and marbly goodness, this Michelin-recommended Japanese import is known for its use of Mirai beef, a KAGURA-exclusive high-quality beef, and its farm-to-table fresh food philosophy.
It didn’t take us long to find the place. A pile of bricks and wood surround the bright ‘KAGURA’ logo. The entrance emulates a countryside cottage (very Heidi-esque) and the interior continues the theme of warmth & winter. We were quickly seated at a small table each with a round BBQ grill and utensils. We first tried the minced meat salad, a ubiquitous filler along with the potato salad that came soon after. The potato salad was perfectly seasoned with a unique garnish of potato chips that tasted suspiciously similar to the Calbee kind.
The Mirai meat finally arrived, gloriously marbled and gorgeously presented, they came with a side of vegetables including the bright yellow Hokkaido pumpkin. We were told to eat the cuts in order: tenderloin - karubi - rump - loin and to grill one side of the meat until the juices bubbled before flipping the meat for another few seconds. The tenderloin was melt-in-your-mouth tender; dipped in the wasabi sauce provided and washed down with a gulp of whisky soda, the result was authentic and ultimately comforting. The karubi came next, incredibly tender, it diminished nearly instantly. Next came the rump which was possibly our favourite, a little leaner, we flavoured it with a big lump of wasabi and some mushrooms to go with. The last was the loin, which was also a little leaner, we finished the rest of the veggies along with.
The next courses were the Kamikomi pork cuts and the chicken thighs. We found the chicken thighs a little boring and felt that it did not have a specific sauce that may have complemented better. The marinated pork belly was overwhelmingly sweet, which may have been amazing with some rice accompaniment. The pork loin was delicious with the Himalayan salt, but again, the pork series may have tasted better with some rice.
The A4 wagyu, luxuriously marbled and served in sukiyaki style was an absolute delight. Drizzled with a sweet sukiyaki sauce and then grilled for just a few seconds, the whole thing is rolled up and then dipped into yolk before being devoured. We would love seconds if it wasn’t HK $108 per piece (absolutely worth it though).
The meal ended with a warm mozzarella cheese and potato dish that came in a cute red pot. Eating these, in the end, seemed a little odd, since the whole dish was neither sweet or savoury. A few of the potato pieces felt a tad undercooked, but the creaminess of the Hokkaido cheese carried the dish.
The dessert wasn’t much to our liking. The texture of pudding, the Almond Tofu dessert had a strange soapy aftertaste that we couldn’t pinpoint exactly what. For meat-lovers looking for the next BBQ hotspot, KAGURA is a good option for authentic Hokkaido cuisine and grilled marble goodness.
Shop 1086, 1/F, Elements, Tsim Sha Tsui, 2682 3913; fb.com/kagurahk