The internet plays an amazing part in nurturing (the sometimes finicky) fine diners in Hong Kong, and the numbers of diners willing to empty wallets for great food are quickly on the rise. In this part of the world, Hong Kong has the infrastructure to cater to restaurants that import their food fresh from around the world. That, plus increasing affluence, plays a part in attracting renowned and newly minted celebrity chefs to look to expanding their food businesses locally.
RyuGin（龍吟） is definitely one gem of a restaurant that has set up shop in Hong Kong just a few months ago. This triple Michelin starred kaiseki restaurant from Roppongi in Tokyo is also ranked 28th in the World’s 50 Best Restaurants 2012. RyuGin serves up top-notch Japanese kaiseki ryori that pleases all the senses. Chef Hideaki Sato, the top apprentice of Chef Seiji Yamamoto in Roppongi, heads the Hong Kong branch.
RyuGin’s situated on the 101th floor of the ICC, the tallest building in Hong Kong. But don’t let the restaurant’s small footprint deceive you. Tables are reasonably private and adequately spaced. With a chilled glass of aromatic sake in hand, the comfortable environment and amiable service blend perfectly with amazing views of the sea, mountains along the horizon and a setting sun in the distance – a real treat especially after a long day.
The dinner is a 10-course omakase menu (HKD1980 per head excluding wine and service charge). The restaurant ensures fresh and seasonal food is served throughout the year, importing most of the ingredients from Japan. It’s likely for you to come across exotic ingredients not found in Hong Kong. The chef however, does make a daily trip to Tsing Yi, an island in Hong Kong, to pick fresh mangoes for the dessert, according to his wife Hiromi Takano, whom attended to us for the night.
In short, every dish was impeccable. Instantly you can tell a lot of effort goes into the cooking. The grilled corn custard was particularly appetizing. The slightly savoury dried shrimp broth jelly highlights the natural sweetness of the corn. Points go to its presentation as well. The chef takes the preparation to another level – picking the corns early in the morning when the fog is still hovering in the field – believed to be the best timing to pick the corns.
Another highlight was the charcoal grilled Unagi (eel). Prepared the Kansai way, it was nicely grilled to a crunchy texture and topped with a sweet sauce. The spice (Sanshou) served with the eel tingles your tongue and lips.
Not only does RyuGin handle traditional kaiseki dishes skillfully, it also incorporates Chinese cooking techniques and the art of molecular gastronomy.
Remember to check the weather report before you book your table!
Address: 101/F, International Commerce Ctr, 1 Austin Rd, West Kowloon, Hong Kong
Tel: (852)2302 0222