So I was at Hal’s Japanese Restaurant which was relocated from Central to Causeway Bay due to 2x increase in rent (according to Jason). Seems like many of the foodies know of and frequent this place, so I marked it onto my foodie to-do list for Causeway Bay area. Moon was in town, so it was a perfect opportunity for me to try out the restaurant.
Making a reservation was a breeze, and I realised why. Although I was some fifteen minutes late for my booking, the restaurant was empty. It felt like I booked the entire restaurant for our catch-up dinner; in fact, ours is the only table occupied for the entire night. It was a shame, really. The service by the entirely Japanese crew was stellar, though it would be nice if the two Japanese chefs smiled a little more. As for the food, well, Moon and I were about to find out.
Being the indecisive creatures that we were, we went for the easy way out and ordered two set dinners (at HK$380 each). The night started with assorted sashimi. Delicate pieces, too few for my liking, but the seafood is certainly one of the better ones I have tried. The salmon was a tad bland for my taste; I would have liked it a bit sweeter. What I found interesting with the sashimi platter was the vegetables that came along with it, particularly the seaweed which was a bit sourish but perfect to go with wasabi. It tasted as good as it looked.
The grilled usuyaki beef is probably the most difficult dish to be prepared for the night. Usuyaki beef is basically beef rolls filled with spring onions and garlic, then fried and glazed with teriyaki sauce. The chef must be skilled enough to avoid overcooking the meat, while making sure it will roll nicely. The usuyaki beef at Hal’s was perfectly cooked; the rolls were sturdy enough to contain the stuffing within; at the same time the beef wasn’t over- or under-cooked. Certainly the highlight of the night.
The assorted tempura was executed admirably, with just light enough a batter to make it crispy but not overly oily, though it was nothing to write/blog home about.
Also commendable was the plain rice – I know, it’s weird for me to like the rice, but it was great. Soft, sticky and fragrant. I know that the rice cooked here is of a certain, specific time (it was written on the menu), but for the life of me I can’t remember the name.
Verdict? Though price is a bit on the high side, Hal’s would be a place to impress, what with its show and substance are in equal measure.
Hal’s Japanese Restaurant
22/F, Circle Tower
28 Tang Lung Street