Finger Lickin' Nose-to-Tail Chicken
Take one principal ingredient, totally master it and then cleverly limit its availability, that’s the premise behind chef Matt Abergel’s slick, shop-house izakaya in the happening, gritty neighbourhood of Sheung Wan, and the response from discerning foodies and regular diners alike has been utterly phenomenal. The focus is on chicken yakitori although the short, sharp and schmick menu also features two soups and three rice dishes if you feel the need, but for us it’s the skewers every time.
And who would have thought the simple chicken could render up so many delicious body parts? Wings, neck, fillet, liver, heart, breast, thigh (actually the inner thigh to be ultra-precise), tail, crispy skin, wings, gizzard, oyster (absolutely our favourite part and they always sell out first), the divine meatball mixed with tare and egg yolk, and even soft knee bone infused with garlic and sake.
Abergel, who trained under Masayoshi Takayama at three-Michelin-starred Masa in New York before heading up the kitchen at Hong Kong’s Zuma, nails the starters too with his signature and utterly addictive KFC (Korean fried cauliflower) featuring crisp batter encased florets with a spicy glaze, and the unctuous liver mousse served on milk toast with lashings of fried shallots.
The no-res policy means it’s first come, first served and everyone else has to take a drink in the bar, but even this is no hardship with the excellent Japanese beer and sake selection, and cocktail specialities like the Whisky Lemonade made with Nikka whisky, Yusushu, lemon juice and soda. As the restaurant tagline says, ‘come early, come often’. Yes, sir!