Musings of a bon vivant in Hong Kong

Okinawa surprise

7 Comments

First of all apologies for my long absence, can’t believe I haven’t had 1 minute of spare time to update the blog! Of course, it doesn’t mean that I haven’t been eating, and even though I haven’t been writing for a while, I have of course faithfully kept a note of where and what I’ve been noshing on.

One such establishment that needs to be mentioned is Ku-suya Rakuen in Causeway Bay. This little gem was introduced to me by one of my well-travelled friends and I was especially interested in trying it out as it specialises in Okinawan dishes, which I’d never had before. Ku-suya is part of the En group, and has a sister restaurant En, in Lan Kwai Fong.

Cute, with an intimate atmosphere, Ku-Suya gives you the feeling that you have been transported to a random Japanese village. We were shown into the quaint little Tatami Room and told that we could use this bell to summon the waitress- very useful. However, we had underestimated how loud the bell was which was rather embarrassing when we clanged it with all our might. Luckily we were hidden away from view! The music was odd though, a strange mix of Fame and MJ’s Staying alive the “lounge version” not by MJ himself. Hmm- is this the music they play in Okinawa?

Okinawan food, I’m told, is influenced a fair bit by the Americans due to their military presence and this is reflected in the somewhat eclectic menu, with taco rice making an appearance.

As always, we ordered A LOT. To start we had the special home made peanut flavoured tofu. Now, I am a tofu fan, but this dish did not sit well with me. Perhaps I just need to keep eating it until I get used to the weird thick gloopy texture- I’ll let you decide if it’s a love it or hate it dish. I did like the presentation though!

Apart from the tofu, the rest of the dishes were extremely tasty. It’s hard NOT to like grilled skewered meats, and the pork skewer platter was great. The shrimp and cheese croquette was addictive- I have a thing for anything stuffed with cheese so I couldn’t resist when I saw this on the menu. Piping hot, light cheese flavoured mashed potato inside and a delicate hint of shrimp with a crispy potato coating. Yum.The chicken wings stuffed with fish roe was interesting, I couldn’t really detect the fish roe as there was a strange herby/spicy taste overwhelming it but the chicken skin had a lovely bite to it.

I hate bitter gourd, and there’s a lot of this stuff on the menu, but I tried the bitter gourd fried with egg and I have to admit, it was good. But it might be because there was more egg than bitter gourd, but it’s a gentle introduction to this bizarre vegetable if you want to try it.

The deep fried lotus root was fantastic, like eating crisps but much better, crispier and more satisfying.

The taco rice was exactly like how I make my own chilli con carne, I wasn’t sure if I was meant to be detecting something Japanese amongst the kidney beans, chedder cheese and minced meat, but hey, if that counts as Okinawan, then so be it.

My highlight of the evening? The amazing Okinawan squid ink rice with fried egg. This is a really impressive dish, the presentation in itself is quite gratifying and leaves you salivating while you eagerly smash the egg up into the rice and let the runny yolk seep into the rich squid ink rice. Every mouthful is a delight of rich gooey inky rice and I urge you to order this dish first when you go. I could, quite honestly, eat 2 whole plates of it to myself.

Disappointment? The sausage platter- lacklustre presentation, bland, non succulent sausages. I personally wouldn’t have it on the menu as the restaurant already has plenty of other more delectable dishes worth eating.

Price wise, if you don’t order any sake, is quite reasonable at around $200-$300 each depending on how crazy your ordering is.

Overall impression? A welcome departure from the bog standard Japanese fare, just beware of booking for large numbers, they are known for giving away your table at the last minute even if you book in advance!

Chopstixfix rating: 4/5

Ku-Suya Rakuen, 12/F, Circle Tower, 28 Tang Lung Street, Causeway Bay. Tel: 3580 8858

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Author: chopstixfix

Michelle Ng is a Brit born Chinese-Malaysian who has loved food since time immemorial. She is a firm believer in "Live to Eat, not Eat to Live".

7 thoughts on “Okinawa surprise

  1. I love this place! Makes me drool just Reading the review. Try the sister branch in Central – they have a slightly diff menu e.g. gyoza pizza.

  2. Listen… it’s got to be the Okinawan squid ink rice x 2, let me warn you now!

    LOVE X

  3. Pingback: Chopstixfix’s 3rd review for the HK Spotlight! « ChopstixFix

  4. Hi Michelle,

    The ToFu in Ku-Suya Rakuen is definitely something to die for! Did you also try the sea grapes?

    Happy Eating!
    Geoff

  5. Ohhh…you weren’t exaggerating about the black squid rice! It has a sort of Su Bo effect…one can easily discount this dish on looks alone. x

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