Hot Coals: Skewers, sake and sashimi are the three S’s behind newly opened Yokai. The Japanese manga-inspired restaurant gets its namesake from the “Yokai picture book” by manga artist Shigeru Mizuki, and is decorated in imaginative manga artwork. The specialities here range from kushiyaki skewers grilled over charcoal, to tuna donburi.
Look & Feel: Inspired by the artwork of Shigeru Mizuki, the venue on the 23rd floor of H Queen’s features LED-wrapped walls showcasing various manga murals on rotation. A main dining space separates the two counters, one serving up grilled skewers, the other specializing in sushi. Floating paper lanterns that change hues depending on the time of day adds a fantastical touch to the decor. There are also two private dining rooms as well as a narrow balcony for al fresco dining.
On The Menu: Must-haves include the prime tuna donburi as well as a selection of grilled skewers. Yokai sources their delectable tuna cuts from the same supplier as three-Michelin-starred Sushi Saito, so you know you’re getting quality products. The prime fatty tuna donburi ($368) is melt-in-your-mouth tender, while the “5 kinds of Yamayuki tuna sashimi donburi” ($468) offers a variety of textures and flavors ranging from decadently marbled to clean and lean akami. Don’t leave without trying the premium pork roll with egg ($45), a hefty skewer of a whole soft-boiled egg wrapped in a thick savory slice of bacon. The syrupy sweet soy sauce that coats the meat is all kinds of delicious. Chef Okuma spent over 10 years perfecting the art of yakitori, and he puts all that knowledge to good use when it comes to perfectly grilled poultry. The chicken liver ($42) is delicately tender with not a hint of gamey-ness, while the heart ($38) is perfectly cooked to retain that bouncy texture. The chicken oyster ($50) comes with segments of grilled scallion and is incredibly juicy and packed with flavor.
Jeng: You get your Japanese food fix here with not only quality kushiyaki but also premium sashimi, which is hard to find all rolled up into one restaurant. The price point is also decent for such a solid menu packed with quality ingredients.
Not So Jeng: We foresee this being the next hotspot for all things grilled, and may be even harder to book than Toritama in the future, so get those reservations in.
Meet the Chef: Chef Okuma Hirofumi hails from Hakata, an area renowned for its yakitori. He has over 20 years of experience in the kitchen, and was most recently with OBU Company, a Japanese restaurant group with several Michelin-starred restaurants within its portfolio.
Great For: A relaxing evening with friends in a stylish venue that serves up high quality Japanese fare without the hefty bill or pretentious atmosphere.
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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.