One day recently, as I was making my way back to Hong Kong after a Macau trip, I got a call from a friend who insisted that I meet up with him at Sanka (山下).
For those of you who don’t know, Sanka is a Japanese teppanyaki restaurant located along Stanley Street in Central.
The friend said that he had put in a lot of effort to book a place for us at the popular eatery, so we shouldn’t waste the opportunity for a get-together over a good meal.
Not wanting to spoil his enthusiasm, I dashed to the specialty restaurant soon after I got off from the high-speed ferry.
In any case, I didn’t need much convincing.
After all, teppanyaki, where food is cooked right in front you on an iron griddle, was the cuisine that I started my career with as a chef when I was 19 years in age.
The chef that I followed then was a Japanese American, from whom I learned so much. His knowledge of beef was profound and his culinary skills were excellent.
Back to the present! The Sanka outlet can seat only a few, including the counter and some VIP rooms, so one has to make a reservation well in advance.
Run by a Japanese who has worked for over 10 years in France, the chef never ceased to amaze us throughout the whole night.
Among the offerings, steamed egg went along with premium grade périgord black truffles from France, yielding an intense flavor.
I also loved the refreshing sauce with scallops in the sashimi platter of Japanese wagyu beef, scallops and tuna.
Meanwhile, grilled live surf clams were full of umami and the grilled Japanese seabass was so crispy that even the scales were edible. The matsutake clear soup was a brilliant companion.
One disappointment came from pan-fried Matsuba crab as the garlic sauce was way too strong and overrode the dish.
Next, we sampled salted-encrusted steamed abalone, accompanied by a French creamy lemon butter sauce, and slow-cooked Japanese spiny lobster with lobster sauce.
The way of cooking was unconventional but its effect was excellent.
Finally, we had pan-fried grade 5A Kobe wagyu beef cubes with garlic, onion and black pepper, which melted instantly in the mouth.
The dinner was amazing, ending with a glass of wine from Château Rayas.
This article appeared in the Hong Kong Economic Journal on Feb. 17.
Translation by Darlie Yiu with additional reporting
[Chinese version 中文版]
– Contact us at [email protected]