Date of review: October 16, 2016 | Reviewed by: Rachel Duffell
Located in Taikoo Place in Quarry Bay, this sleekly designed restaurant, complete with rotating sushi bar within which Shiro’s sushi chefs work their magic, is central to the large restaurant space. With plenty of well-spaced tables as well as sushi bar seating, the best seats in the house are the comfortable round booths in the centre of the restaurant. Light and airy with high ceilings, to one end lies a bar that is popular with the after-work, happy-hour crowd while the light hues of the furnishings, floors and walls combined with stylish lighting choices lend the space a sophisticated ambience.
An extensive menu is comprised of sushi, sashimi and hot dishes as well as tempura, salads and a number of chef signatures and tasting menus at Shiro. There are lists of "creative" dishes, "innovative" items and "crystal sushi", the latter in which Shiro’s chefs make use of jelly in their sushi – effective for the flavourful wrap of texture it adds around the rolls, almost like a film of sauce. The fish used at Shiro is of a high quality and throughout the menu tastes clean and fresh, perfect to accompany the other similarly high quality ingredients. While dishes appear to be served in no particular order – our sashimi and sushi orders come peppered with hot items in between, most fare well. The salmon with yuzu pepper rolls are large, finished with a delicate round of radish. Kanpachi with asparagus finished with a Thai jelly from the crystal sushi menu is flavourful with varying textures that make the delicate sushi bites more interesting. Scallops with cod roe come from the "innovative sushi" menu and are a highlight as well as being a signature dish – considerately put together and stacked with different flavours – a seaweed-heavy rice base, scallop on top that is lightly seared and topped with large rounds of cod roe. Tuna sashimi is served at the correct temperature and like all other sushi and sashimi dishes, beautifully presented. The chicken meatballs with egg yolk are slightly heavy on the sweet sauce that accompanies, but the black cod from the hot dishes menu is beautifully cooked with a rich marinade, fatty and tender, the moist flakes of white fish falling away from each other with ease. To finish the fresh fruit with mochi dessert is unexpected – fruits encased in a light and not overly sweet pale jelly, with small rounds of mochi and some crisped rice for an intriguing texture combination that is a welcome surprise.
The wine list is short but varied with an adequate selection of by-the-glass options and a reasonable sake selection. Sparkling sake, shochu, plum wine, cocktails and mocktails are also on offer.
At the start of the meal the restaurant feels severely understaffed with one waiter rushing to take orders, serve food, seat new customers and answer the phone. Even when things calm down, staff seem eager to get away from the table and choices feel rushed with little time spared from staff to give recommendations or explanations for certain dishes – a shame as the menu knowledge seems to be there.
Dinner for two with wine comes in under HK$1000 which, given the quality of fish, creativity behind the dishes and the sleek setting, seems like a reasonable price to pay. Service could be improved.