Thug (and nori) Life: Hong Kong-born Pirata Groups seems to be going from strength to strength despite the pandemic with multiple new openings over the last year and in the year ahead. Its most recent is TMK Rap and Rolls in Wanchai’s hot Star Street district.
Look & Feel: It’s small, but much like its original in Sheung Wan, TMK Rap and Rolls packs quite the visual punch. Old-school boomboxes line the walls while 90s rap and hip-hop tunes bring a bit of attitude and atmosphere to the venue. There’s heavy use of red and black, adding to the visual statement, while window seating, central high-table seating, and a main bar make good use of space and add depth to the restaurant’s layout. Mainly though, it feels like a fun place to be, even at lunchtime in the middle of the week.
On the Menu: First and foremost, TMK Rap and Rolls is a temakeria, so Japanese-inspired plates are the focus. The a la carte features “classics” like spicy tuna, salmon avocado, soft-shell crab, and prawn tempura, alongside “TMK All-Stars” such as a Wagyu Beef tartare, Tuna HotDog, and Salmon Taco. There are also bigger sharing plates like the Rap & Rolls Hamachi, Katsu-San, and a series of nori-bowls.
At lunch, when we visit, there’s only a set menu available. Guests can choose from a combination of dishes to create a two-course ($148) or three-course menu ($168). We order the Salmon Tataki to start, which features deliciously fresh fish slices with a kick of chili. The second starter – a Broccoli Hummus – is great in theory and certainly tastes good, but is somewhat let down by a paper-thin wafer that doesn’t have the heft necessary to support the hummus. The TMK bowls that follow as mains hit the spot, though. We split the West Coast and the B.I.G; the first features salmon, avocado, and tofu and is a delightfully fresh and hefty meal that captures the essence of Californian cuisine while the second has raw M7 Wagyu Beef and is a hearty, meaty dish that still manages to be light on the stomach.
For dessert, we split the Poppin’ Ice Cream and Fried Banana. Sometimes innovation can go badly wrong but as it turns out, putting vanilla ice-cream together with popcorn, olive oil, and nori results in a surprisingly not-too-sweet dessert. The Fried Banana features – obviously – chunks of fried banana with coconut dulce de leche and pistachio crumbs and brings back pleasant memories of favorite childhood desserts.
Jeng: The food, the atmosphere, the service…with TMK Rap and Rolls, Pirata Group hits it out of the park again.
Not So Jeng: The restaurant is pretty small and it doesn’t take reservations, so you may struggle to get a table when it’s busy.
Great For: Quick, casual lunches or raucous dinners.
FYI: They have yet to get their liquor license, but in the meantime, you can BYO.
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This writeup was based on a complimentary media tasting. The Loop HK doesn’t guarantee/sell restaurant review coverage. See our editorial policy here.