The One With Robata Zawazawa – Inspiring Japanese Dessert & Cocktails

When you first walk into Robata Zawazawa, you will almost be certainly distracted with its astounding decoration.

Robata Zawazawa

The attention to details were all-consuming. From the Japanese lanterns, to the exquisite menu, right to the open kitchen/bar. I seldom get excited about the design of a restaurant, but Robata certainly got my camera snapping.

Robata Zawazawa

But I was at Robata that night to have a go at authentic Japanese dessert and drinks. Prepared by (what else) real Japanese kitchen crew.

Houji-cha Pudding

Robata Zawazawa

What comes to mind when you think of Japanese dessert? Probably over sweetened cakes and green tea ice creams. The average Hong Kong diners are accustomed to such Japanese fare, so when I was presented with real Japanese dessert. I was stumped.

I mean, how do you start? From the slightly tangy green-tea based pudding to crunchy pon rice pop and caramel-like kuro mitsu honey, what do you not do? We asked the director of Robata, Kenji Sato san for guidance.

Robata Zawazawa

So you take a taste of it, without adding anything. Then you put in some rice pops, and get some feel of the differing textures. Then add in some of those honey, and taste the contrasting taste of understated green tea and sweet, sweet syrup. Finally, mix everything together for the grand finale; a combustion of flavour and taste only a real Japanese dessert can bring.

I was spellbound.

“Haku Bai” – Plum Sake Cocktail

Robata Zawazawa

Mixed by Kenji san himself, we were offered two versions of the cocktails that night. I opted for the one in champagne glass out of pure whim (and also I like the red colour better than green, hah).

Robata Zawazawa

So how does a Japanese cocktail taste like? This was my virgin experience, so I couldn’t possibly comment on its taste. But I can compare it with the usual western variety (like those I had at Sevva and Sugar). The Japanese variety is smoother, more tangy, and certainly more palatable if you don’t like your drinks strong. However, don’t be deceived by how fruity it seems. It took me two sips before I realised I was already feeling tipsy.

Needless to say, I was delighted. I am a seasoned drinker and only the best of cocktail could have this effect on me.

Now, a word about the restaurant. Robata Zawazawa is a very intimate place, with seats for less than twenty. It focuses mainly on charcoal-grilled food, rather than drinks. Judging from the calibre of drinks we had that night, I am seriously intrigued by what its food will deliver.

If nothing else, I would return just to look at the lanterns again. Did I tell you how much I love them?

Robata Zawazawa

Click here for more photos from the night.

Note: This is an invited tasting session, a sneak peek for Festival of Wine 2011

Robata Zawazawa
41 Wyndham Street, Central
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Comments

  1. Guest says:

    Because I’ll turn up in a kimono… and nothing else ;)

  2. Amanda C. says:

    Tried the grilled meat once and loved it. Would love it even more when paired with Japanese wine!

  3. Lantern Warrior says:

    I. Want. The. Lantern.

  4. Mark says:

    I hope the food is as zawazawa as the decoration!

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