With so many amazing Japanese restaurants in Hong Kong, any eatery worth its salt can only stand out by bringing freshness and flavour to its menu. Sushi Rin has done exactly that with its new shellfish omakase menu, which we got to try for ourselves.
What do you get when you combine Japanese food with fine dining? Probably something Hong Kongers are more than familiar with: omakase. Sushi Rin is one such place in town where you can get a fantastic omakase meal. With a new seasonal menu highlighting shellfish, you’ll get a feast packed with freshness and flavour. Having personally experienced the new Hiroaki-Kai menu at Sushi Rin, here I am to bring you some of my thoughts.
Sushi Rin: An omakase haven
Tucked away on Jervois street, Sushi Rin has been serving authentic and delicate Japanese cuisine since 2019. This restaurant opened a branch in Tsim Sha Tsui in 2021, but I had my Edomae-style omakase experience in Sheung Wan.
The wood-planked interior is elegant and set up like a stage for the chefs. The majority of the restaurant is just the omakase counter, displaying the mindful preparation of the food.
Experiencing the Hiroaki-Kai menu at Sushi Rin
Starring seasonal shellfish plucked straight from Japan, the Hiroaki-Kai menu is one of Sushi Rin’s highlighted omakase menus this April – and the one I got to sample. Executive Chef Leung Wai-lap selected some of the most delicious and sought after shellfish to be traditionally prepared by the talented team.
After three kinds of appetisers and sashimi, the shellfish omakase experience officially began. The chewy Akagai (Ark Shell) and Tsubugai (Whelk) were some of the freshest, most flavourful shellfish we’d ever had – that was until I got to the Nagasaki Konagai Fresh Oyster. I can safely say that the term “fresh oyster” has a new meaning after I tasted the burst of flavours packed into that half shell.
Next was a type of shellfish I wasn’t initially familiar with, but was won over by the first bite: Mirugai (Geoduck). The geoduck had a tender yet slight bite to it and its umami was accentuated by the splash of soy sauce on top. The Shiro Baigai (Japanese Babylon Shell) was another delightfully presented dish, plated together with the shell to highlight its origins and freshness. The flesh was juicy and packed with flavours of the sea. The Grilled Tairagi (Pen Shell) with Soy Sauce was a slightly drier, hearty course accompanied by crisp seaweed.
The stewed course and the grilled course were next, and both were pleasant surprises for me as I don’t usually prefer cooked shellfish. The Steamed Abalone had just the right amount of softness; whereas the shell of the Grilled Sazae (Turban Shell) was lit with a blowtorch at the table by the Sushi Rin staff and had a good level of crunch.
Next came several sushi courses, kicking off with the crowd favourite Uni (Sea Urchin). The chef was very generous with the amount of Uni he piled onto the bed of rice, resulting in a mouthful of savoury, umami flavours. The Kobashira (Surf Clam adductor muscle), Botan Ebi (Botan Shrimp), Hokkigai (Surf Clam), and Torigai (Japanese Cockle) were all welcome zings to my palate after the cooked courses. The Torigai was especially fresh and satisfying.
Nearing the end of the feast, I was served the Scallop and Vegetable Tempura. Fried to perfection, I enjoyed the light, welcome crunch which brought out the zest of the vegetables. Then, the attentive staff notified us that there would be an extended break between the tempura course and the rice course. This was a nice touch as I’d soon know that I’d want all the room I had left for the amazing rice course.
The Manila Clam Rice and Clam Soup was something I did not expect from an omakase menu. I’ve never been presented with a whole pot of rice at the tail end of the meal before! However, the Manila Clam Rice was one of the tastiest rice dishes I’ve had in a long while. The clams were as fresh as they could be and imparted their flavour to the rice and soup.
After an extensive amount of food, the feast was concluded with theMatcha Pudding. I’m personally not a huge fan of matcha, but the flavour was not overpowering and the texture was light yet creamy. Even those that are matcha-averse would want to save room for this dessert, as it was a refreshing way to end the meal.
All in all, Sushi Rin provided an all-star omakase experience. Packing $2,380 for the 17-course menu, I’d say that the amount and quality of the food justified the price. The seasonal shellfish was delicious and introduced me to flavours I haven’t had before. My personal favourites were the sushi courses and the rice course. The large pot of rice that I got seconds for is enough to have me coming back before the month ends!
Sushi Rin has locations in Sheung Wan and Tsim Sha Tsui.