Shell Street in North Point is a short alley where new restaurants have mushroomed. Some older restaurants have managed to survive while many have closed quietly.
I met two friends some days ago. We wanted to do claypot rice in Whitfield Road but were told that the chef was away and he might be back only after an hour or so.
As a result, we ended up trying our luck in neighboring Shell Street. Sio Kan caught our attention.
Our first impression was that this Japanese restaurant is a far cry from a traditional eatery.
We flipped through the menu at the front door to get some clues on what’s on offer.
They serve a wide range of dishes, from ramen and skewers to rice bowl dishes.
Inside was a tiny space with no more than 20 seats. Luckily, we had an early head start for dinner. Otherwise, we would have had to wait.
The three of us ordered two skewers, including torikawa (grilled chicken skin) and gyutan (grilled beef tongue), Sio Kan house ramen, Miyazaki wagyu ramen and chicken onigiri (rice balls).
The dinner cost HK$500, including a 10 percent service charge.
Given that the beef tongue came first, we expected chicken skin to follow. But we were next served Sio Kan house ramen, wagyu ramen, grilled chicken skin and finally chicken rice balls.
We shouldn’t blame the restaurant. The young waiter did ask us how we would like to be served in the first place. It was us who said the order wouldn’t matter.
Indeed, the order was not quite bothersome but the speed. A simple dinner like this took more than an hour, so you could imagine we were waiting anxiously between servings.
And we had to swallow down the rice balls and checked out just in time to save another parking hour.
I have some difficulty deciding whether I should go back. Normally, having had such experience, I wouldn’t consider another visit.
Yet, putting aside the tedious wait, every dish we ordered was quite satisfactory.
If they can improve the service, I would definitely visit again.
This article appeared in the Hong Kong Economic Journal on Jan. 11
Translation by Darlie Yiu
[Chinese version 中文版]
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