Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Hong Kong Eats: Kaiten Sushi at Sen-Ryo (food, HKFall10)

Hong Kong people love seafood. Fresh seafood. So it's no surprise that sushi is extremely popular in Hong Kong. When something is popular in Hong Kong, there is no hesitation whatsoever to saturate the market, so it's also no surprise that there are a lot of sushi places in Hong Kong. One particular type of restaurant that is very popular in Hong Kong is kaiten-zushi. Instead of a sushi chef making your request to order from behind a sushi counter, everyone sits with access to a conveyor belt running through the restaurant carrying plates of sushi. See what you like, grab it. It's quick and cheap. While the quality certainly wouldn't match the sushi at an expensive restaurant, a popular kaiten-zushi place that is constantly busy should have high turnover and hence, fresh seafood, thereby providing great value.

While we were walking around Tai Koo City Plaza, we stumbled onto Sen-Ryo(千兩) and decided to give it a try. It's a chain with about 6 restaurants across Hong Kong. Their sushi seems to somehow be affiliated with Genki Sushi(元氣), a popular kaiten-zushi chain in Hong Kong favored for its quality, but otherwise it's a separate chain.

We started off with swordfish belly sashimi, ordered off the seasonal menu. The fish was fatty, but was a little too ice-cold for me, masking some of the flavor.

Uni gunkan maki was not of the highest quality, but the sea urchin had plenty of flavor and was a good value.

Crab sushi with real crab and real crab flavor. I'm so tired of the constant use of imitation crab sticks in the states.

One of the more interesting selections was this gunkan maki filled with raw sweet shrimp, crab tomalley and cucumbers. It worked really well in terms of flavors and textures, and was a great deal at HK$14 (=USD$1.8) per plate.

Also delicious was this gunkan maki filled with spicy salmon and topped with tobiko. Another great deal at HK$14 (=USD$1.8) per plate.

Cod liver gunkan maki was good and had a nice clean taste.

Another unique preparation was this flounder fin seared then topped with a black pepper sauce. The sauce was good and the fin had a good chew to it but was not tough at all.

I love foie gras sushi. I think seared foie gras and vinegared sushi rice is an amazing combination. The onion strands provided a nice crunch to round out the textures in the bite. As you can tell from the photo, there's a good amount of liver for the HK$30 (=USD$3.80) price.

There's no master sushi chef making your food, but there's a good selection of fresh tasting sushi and rolls at a good value. I'd recommend it if you happened to be in the area. Also recommended if you happen to be in the Tai Koo area is a trip around the food market section of Jusco. It's massive, with all kinds of food (ready-made, frozen, fresh produce, etc.), restaurants, and lots and lots of free samples.

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