Address: 9/F., Stanley 11, 11 Stanley Street, Central 中環士丹利街11號Stanley 11 9樓
Telephone: 2521 0008
Omakase (お任せ) means “to entrust” in Japanese, and is a type of Japanese fine dining menu whereby the entire meal is placed in the hands of the chef. Expectations are always high for the chef to be innovative and surprising, and Sushi Tsuraku was opened in 2013 by a group of food-loving investment bankers who wanted to bring such artistic deliveries to the discerning palates in Hong Kong.
Located on Stanley Street in Central, Sushi Tsuraku is an intimate and sleek venue which offers only set menus for lunch and Omakase menus for dinner.
You need to adjust your price expectations when you go for Omakase meals, as these are meant to be a high-end, personalised dining experience and will usually cost over $2,000 per head, and sometimes even over $5,000 per head at renowned establishments. With this in mind, the two options offered at Sushi Tsuraku, a Koyo (紅葉) menu priced at $880, and a Yuki (雪) menu priced at $1,280, are not hefty at all.
The chefs at the restaurant are remarkably friendly and attentive, and they are very happy to accommodate any dietary requirements or personal preferences. My dining companion and I both order the Yuki menu, and my friend CJ, who is a banker at Morgan Stanley and one of the owners of the restaurant, very kindly offers us a complementary bottle of sake.
(1) We are presented with a platter of two small appetisers – a portion of baby eel in lime juice and some tofu sheets with sea urchin. The baby eel is exquisitely smooth and delicate, and the tofu sheets, accentuated by the rich sea urchin flavours, are also utterly enjoyable.
(2) A simple Japanese steamed egg custard lifts our spirits, as it is enticingly velvety and flavourful.
(3) The flounder with apple vinegar jelly follows – the flounder tastes sea-fresh, and the tartness of the vinegar jelly is absolutely refreshing.
(4) Even though the scallops are very smooth and tender, the lime juice seasoning is a tad too weak.
(5) The smoked baby tuna with caramelised onion is delightful – the baby tuna’s distinctive flavour is enhanced by a delicious smokiness.
(6) A rectangular piece of chutoro arrives next. Lightly seasoned with salt, we are told to eat it with a piece of seaweed wrapped around it. The chutoro tastes scrumptious, and the crispness of the seaweed makes it even more unforgettable.
(7) We are then presented with a block of ootoro, and it looks and tastes absolutely indulgent! Beautifully fat marbled, this little of bundle of joy melts like butter in the mouth.
(8) A small bowl of clear red snapper broth serves as a nice break for our taste buds. The soup is warm and soothing, but is a tiny bit bland.
(9) Instead of serving the usual pink ginger, here at Sushi Tsuraku they have their own invention of green apple slices in ginger juice. These are less pungent than ginger slices and are fragrant and fruity.
(10) We are already quite full but realise that there are still many pieces of sushi to come, so we have to ask the chef to give us less food. The hamachi sushi, seared pomfret sushi and blue fish sushi with cocktail sauce are rather tasteless, and the sea urchin is downright bland and disheartening. The hairy crab sushi and tiger prawn sushi fare slightly better, and have a tasty natural sweetness.
(11) The last course before the dessert is a piece of grilled black cod, and this turns out to be absolutely scrumptious! The black cod tastes pristine and fresh, and the texture is stunningly smooth and bouncy.
(12) For dessert, we are served a tomato jelly, which is light and clean tasting, with a hint of tartness giving the dessert some flair.
The sashimi dishes at this sushi bar are delicious and impressively creative, but the sushi is simply below the standard of what should be served at an Omakase meal. Since there is way more food than we can finish, the chefs should consider cutting down on the portions so that they can serve premium food throughout the entire meal. This way, I will definitely come back as I adore the sushi bar’s comfortably intimate vibe and their helpful and friendly staff!