An Izakaya in Japan traditionally refers to the evening boltholes for overworked locals. Although the concept has taken on new meanings and become a lot trendier in metropolitan cities, the core idea is still there. Essentially, it’s a mix of a pub and a cha chaan teng – bringing food and booze in one upbeat spot. Luckily in Hong Kong, there’s an abundance of options for Japanese cuisine, including Izakaya. Here are the best spots for Izakaya in the city…
Contemporary Izakaya and jazz club Silencio is a dim-lit hideout for discerning diners. The vibrant restaurant captures the ambiance of traditional Japanese Izakaya with its chattery atmosphere and delightful dishes. But it’s the provocative artworks on the wall and the masterfully innovative menu that brings crowds back every time.
6/F, LKF Tower, 33 Wyndham Street, Lan Kwai Fong, Central, 2480-6569. Open every day 12:00pm to 3:00pm, 6:00pm to 12:00am.
Tucked away in the centre of Lan Kwai Fong’s party district, Amazake offers a chic respite away from the noise. That’s not to say that it doesn’t get a little wilder after hours – the hub gets popular around midnight for its beer pong scene. At dinner time though, Izakaya dishes range from crispy tempura to assorted sashimi.
G/F, On Hing Building, 1 On Hing Terrace, Central, 2537-7787. Open every day, times vary.
Housed at upscale shopping mall Landmark, Zuma is one of the city’s favorite spots for modern Japanese Izakaya. Dishes at Zuma use premium ingredients merged with top-notch chef expertise to curate the most exciting creations. Head here for the weekend brunch to pair your Izakaya experience with a glass of bubbly.
Level 5&6 Landmark Atrium, 15 Queen’s Road Central, Central, 3657-6388. Open every day, times vary.
Izakaya by K
This year, Tseung Kwan O saw a flurry of new openings along the waterfront promenade and its surrounding areas. Another new kid on the block, Izakaya by K is named after Japanese chef Yusuke Kitade and specializes in Izakaya cuisine and vibes. Guests can tuck into the lunch or dinner set menus or order a la carte. Favorites include the chicken wing karage and indulgent seafood.
Shop G07, The Parkside, 18 Tong Chun Street, Tseung Kwan O, 3618-8211. Open every day 12:00pm to 3:00pm, 6:00pm to 12:00am.
Chi Chi Cham
Perched on bustling Peel Street, Chi Chi Cham is a boisterous Izakaya restaurant with Asian influences. The interiors are inspired by ancient China, creating a novel experience that stands out from its surrounding eateries. Drink and dine all night long – the Japanese Izakaya way.
G/F, 53 Peel St, Central, 2386-9718. Open Monday to Saturday 4:00pm to 12:00am.
Cult classic RŌNIN is a Japanese bar thought up by Hong Kong entrepreneur Lindsay Jang. Offering a French-Japanese concept, the restaurant welcomes diners from all over looking for an innovative spin on Izakaya. Drop by and add on a sake flight to truly live the experience.
G/F, 8 On Wo Lane, Central, 2547-5263. Open Tuesday to Sunday 6:00pm to 12:00am.
Newly opened Roji opened its doors in Lan Kwai Fong’s hidden alley – previously home to Brickhouse. Although many diners continue to mourn the loss of the Mexican crowd favorite, Roji continues the legacy but for a different cuisine. Serving Japanese Izakaya bites throughout the night, the eatery is a bustling hub for post-work drinkers and weekend gatherings. Trust us – you won’t be disappointed. The chicken Katsu and king crab are a must.
G/F 20A D’Aguilar Street, Lan Kwai Fong, Central. Open Monday to Saturday 5:00pm until late.
Try authentic Okinawan food at Rakuen. The casual restaurant has two outposts – one in Causeway Bay and the other in Tsim Sha Tsui. Known for its seafood, this Izakaya spot is also great for drinks and group catch ups.
12/F, Circle Tower, 28 Tang Lung Street, Causeway Bay, 35808858. Open every day 5:00pm to 10:00pm.
Housed at the beautiful Mandarin Oriental Hotel, The Aubrey is an eccentric, upscale Izakaya dining experience. Besides its sweeping views of the stunning harbor, the restaurant has three distinctive bar experiences, a drawing room and a curio lounge. Be sure to try the omakase cocktail experience for a personalized dining adventure.
5 Connaught Road, Central, 2825-4001. Open every day 12:00pm to 2:00am.