Date of review: May 21, 2015 | Reviewed by: Esther Wong
Set on the top floor of Oliv, located just behind Times Square, is this no-frills Japanese restaurant. The interior predominantly features a mixture of light woods, with sliding lattice partitions to divide the main dining room into smaller sections. A sushi bar area sits to the left of the space, allowing diners an opportunity to interact with the chefs as they prepare your food, and private rooms are available for more intimate occasions. Sadly, there isn’t much of a view from the large windows, as the building faces directly onto the side of Times Square.
Shimo specialises in Japanese hot pot cuisine, and diners will find a series of set meal options for shabu shabu and sukiyaki, which comprise two appetisers to the kitchen’s choosing, the main course (with both beef and seafood options) and vegetables, and a dessert. The US prime beef and taraba crab shabu shabu is a solid option for those looking to indulge in both meat and seafood, although we found our slices of beef to have more fat on it than we usually prefer. The broth is kept simple, aided only by a slice of konbu for seasoning. Diners can also order from a variety of jet fresh sushi and sashimi offerings, with tempura options available as well. The vegetable tempura was done well, and of quality that one would expect from a Japanese restaurant. We thoroughly enjoyed an added appetiser of creamy sea urchin with onsen egg – a combination that rarely disappoints with each element enhancing the rich flavours of the other. Dessert is kept simple – we recommend the tart yuzu sorbet, or classic black sesame ice cream.
Although there is a succinct selection of wines available, it is the plum wine and sake you’ll want to be enjoying with your meal here. The Kozaemon junmai umeshu paired well with our dinner.
The friendly staff are well trained and able to provide recommendations when prompted.
A dinner for two including drinks will cost approximately HK$1,400 – although this is a fair amount to pay, we felt that the value could be improved with more exciting dish options.