Look & Feel: Designed to feel like an Izakaya – albeit one with far more space than you’d find in Tokyo—Brooklyn Yakuza is a surprisingly expansive restaurant split into two with a duplex consideration. Downstairs, there’s a big bar area which, given the restaurant’s location in Lan Kwai Fong, seems destined to become a happy hour spot and late-night dance floor. Upstairs, the main dining room features a theatrical sake bar—if you’re lucky, you might be treated to glassware created by co-owner Arron Rhodes.
To create a very industrial vibe, design studio Zebra has dressed everything in unrelenting shades of black and grey—and deep brown leather seats— giving everything a sleek yet moody ambiance. Look a little closer, though, and you’ll find some tongue-in-cheek touches—chopstick rests are caps taken from bottles of Brooklyn Larger (the company is a collaborator).
On the Menu: The menu at Brooklyn Yakuza is about blending east and west by drawing influence from western and Japanese cuisines. You’ll find a version of beef tartare at each of the Showmen Group’s restaurants, but here ($168), it’s done with Australian Wagyu, miso egg yolk and tapioca crackers to go with the team (it’s delicious, by the way). To round out our starters, we try the Crab Croquettes ($118) and BFC Karaage ($108). While both dishes were done well, the former could’ve benefitted from an extra flavor punch while the latter had a touch too much thanks to generous lashings of sauce.
For mains, we sample the Okinawa Pork Loin ($228), Wagyu Beef Cheek ($268), and Grilled Salmon ($188). All three were solid choices—perfectly cooked and well presented—but again, the Okinawa Pork Loin seemed a bit bland.
Don’t miss the drinks here, which are very well executed. The Sapporo Snow ($98)is a fresh concoction of gin, coconut and citrus designed to mimic the look of the Japanese flag, while the New Age Brooklyn ($98) is a rich, punchy mix of whisky, Fernet Hunter, Lillet, orange, and chocolate.
Jeng: The concept and branding are on point, as are the drinks.
Not So Jeng: While the food overall is good, individual plates are a bit hit and miss. It’s early days, though, and no doubt the team will be working hard to refine these in the coming weeks.
FYI: Ask for a booth for more comfortable seating.
This writeup was based on a complimentary media tasting. The Loop HK doesn’t guarantee/sell restaurant review coverage. See our editorial policy here.
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