Rating: ★★★★★

Address: UG/F, Hilltop Plaza, 49 Hollywood Road, Central中環荷里活道49鴻豐商業中心地面

Telephone: 2815 0455/2815 0477

可能是香港人愛吃日本菜的關係吧,有水準的日本餐廳香港都有不少,可是說到頂級的日本料理,香港還是跟日本有一段距離。Sushi Sase是一家專門供應懷石料理的餐廳,是我不少住過日本的朋友認為在香港數一數二最高質素日本餐廳。我和朋友到Sushi Sase叫了一個Deluxe Sushi Set ($480),有十二件即製的壽司,聽來有點貴,但每一件壽司都超美味,價錢是值得的。Chef Sase以前是札幌 Sushi Zen的主廚,但他不是每天都在餐廳,訂位的時候記得要問清楚,訂 Chef Sase’s Table!

While many decent mid-priced Japanese restaurants can be found in Hong Kong, our Japanese fine-dining scene still lags far behind that of Tokyo. There are only a handful of upmarket Japanese restaurants that are truly comparable to those in Japan, and Sushi Sase is widely regarded to be one of them.

Sushi Sase is a smart, understated Japanese restaurant on Hollywood Road that specialises in kaiseki cuisine. Named after Chef Sase, a courteous, knowledgeable chef who was the former head chef at Sapporo’s Sushi Zen, the restaurant has a simplistic and neat interior, decorated with light wood and bamboo surfaces, which resembles sushi restaurants in Japan; a large open kitchen gives the small restaurant a more spacious feeling.

As Chef Sase is not at the restaurant everyday, it is worth asking for Chef Sase’s Table when you make the booking. While the other chefs at the restaurant are accomplished, I would prefer having food personally prepared by Chef Sase himself if I am paying the same price for it anyway. The lunch sets at a lot of Japanese restaurants in Hong Kong are very reasonably priced in comparison with the dinner menu – the reason is that the Japanese raw fish wholesalers in Hong Kong only deliver the fish to Japanese restaurants in the afternoon, which means that the fish that you eat during lunch is almost always delivered the day before. Sushi Sase, however, source their sashimi directly from Japan, therefore the fish is impeccably fresh even at lunch time. This is also the reason why they are able to serve a Chef Omakase Course ($1,450) and a Mini Kaiseki Course ($600) at lunch, whereas the majority of the other Japanese restaurants only serve Kaiseki at dinner.

I went there for lunch with my friends one day, and we each ordered a Deluxe Sushi Set ($480), which comprised of 12 pieces of sushi freshly made right in front of us. Even though the prices seem hefty, the top-notch food was worth every single penny!

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(1) The steamed egg custard was butter-smooth, perfectly flavoured and overall flawless.

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(2) Lightly brushed with some soya sauce, the squid was gorgeously firm and chewy and was exactly what I had wanted.

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(3) The botan shrimp was one of my favourites at the meal. It was so velvety and ethereal that it instantly melted in the mouth!

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(4) Red snapper even if it is the expensive Thornyhead, is not my favourite fish for sushi, but the medium-firm texture of this piece of red snapper and the slightly grilled skin worked nicely.

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(5) The strands of crab meat tasted startlingly fresh and full of oceanic flavours.

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(6) The salmon roe tasted delicious and gently popped in the mouth, but there were no surprises.

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(7) The sea urchin sushi was a morsel of utter goodness, and its decadently rich taste lingered in the mouth. I could eat two dozens of these for lunch!

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(8) This white fish, gurnard, had an excellent body and taste.

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(9) The pink fatty tuna (ootoro) sushi was exquisitely marbled, and the red meat tuna sushi was lifted by a refined taste of the soya sauce.

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(10) The eel was salt-water / sea eel (anago), as opposed to a river eel (unagi), and was beautifully grilled and enticingly delicate. The Japanese egg roll had just the right level of sweetness and was marvellously tender and moist in the middle.

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(11) The Inaniwa udon was appropriately portioned so that it was big enough to be comforting but not make us too full. The udon was smooth and springy, and was souped in a subtly flavoured broth – it rounded up our meal nicely.

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Conclusion: Even though Sushi Sase is by no means perfect, especially considering the level of prices that it charges, the restaurant certainly has a level of finesse and precision that distinguishes it from most other high-end Japanese restaurants in Hong Kong. With a sleek setting, attentive service and a touch of its own class, Sushi Sase is one of my top recommended Japanese restaurants in Hong Kong.