November 12, 2014

Hong Kong - RyuGin

Updated February 20th 2015

 Monkfish liver from Hokkaido and Aka clam with spring onion in mustard miso sauce

 Simmered abalone with winter vegetables served with grated radish sauce

 Shiitake mushroom egg custard topped with Matsubagani crab

 Poached Gillardeau oyster and mashed turnip soup in winter style

 Assortment of sashimi

 Charcoal grilled Alfonsino served with crispy scales

 Wagyu ribeye sukiyaki with onsen tamago

  Premium sea urchin on steamed rice with simmered fresh seaweed

 Bottarga grey mullet roe on steamed rice with simmered fresh seaweed (for Bf who can't eat sea urchin)

 RyuGin Specialty -196C pear candy and +99C pear jam

 Deep fried spring roll, sweet red beans, strawberry, shiratama mochi

Date of visit: January 16th 2015


Watari crab salad under chrysanthemum flowers

Enter the Autumn Forest - Simmered abalone, mushrooms, pine nuts on hot egg custard

Poached Gillardeau oyster wrapped with shabu-shabu Wagyu beef and grated celeriac jelly

Flavor of autumn - Charcoal grilled Matsutake mushroom in Ichibandashi soup

Assortment of sashimi

Slow cooked blue lobster and selection of vegetables with Manganji pepper flavoured sauce

Large eel grilled over Binchotan charcoal

Ikura salmon caviar and Kobashira on steamed rice

Tea before the dessert courses

RyuGin specialty -196C apple candy and +99C apple jam

Kyoho grapes and Nashi calpis jelly with sense of sudachi and shiso flower

Matcha to end the meal

RyuGin Hong Kong is the first overseas branch of RyuGin Japan. It offers only one menu, a kaiseki of ten courses that highlights fresh seasonal ingredients flown in from Japan daily. I enjoyed each delicious and unique dish, but I had a few favourites. One was the Gillardeau oyster wrapped in Wagyu beef (or Boyster, according to Bf). The “Boyster” was presented in its original shell and thoughtfully cut into two bite-sized pieces. The flavour of the sweet and tender beef was more pronounced in the beginning, while the brininess from the creamy oyster came after. The tangy celeriac added brightness, bringing the dish together. It was definitely a well-executed dish. I would’ve never thought beef and oyster could be eaten together, let alone be this delicious!

Another notable dish was the grilled eel. The skin was super crisp while the meat was kept soft and sweet, with a hint of smokiness. The glaze was not too sweet, which I liked. Hands down one of the best eel dishes I have ever had. I also loved the molecular gastronomy dessert, which was a candy “apple” filled with powdered liquid nitrogen apple ice cream and topped with piping hot apple jam. Hot, cold, crunchy and fluffy all at the same time!

A lot of fine-dining restaurants serve expensive ingredients, slap a hefty price tag on them, and leave it at that. At RyuGin, you are paying for the skill and technique, heart and soul the chef pours into executing each dish. He condenses and amplifies the flavours of the ingredients without overpowering your palate. The chef is able to create a symphony of flavours and textures that work so well together. This is the epitome of Japanese kaiseki.

Aside from the food, you get a stunning view of the harbour from 101/F while enjoying impeccable service. The dark decor and wooden panels that separate each table create an intimate dining experience. The staff was attentive and very knowledgeable about each dish, from the source of ingredients to cooking techniques. Portioning and timing were perfect. The dishes arrived at an appropriate speed and I didn't feel rushed or that they took too long. After the dessert courses I was perfectly satiated.

Note that the menu changes every few months, so some items pictured above may not be available. My visit was on October 3.

Address: 101/F, International Commerce Centre, 1 Austin Road West, Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong
Phone: 2302-0222
Hours: Mon-Sat 6pm-930pm, Sun 12pm-3pm, 6pm-930pm

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