Date of review: August 19, 2016 | Reviewed by: Charmaine Mok
Set on the 12th floor of Cubus in Causeway Bay, Sushi Take is an ideal spot for a special date or a catch-up meal with a few close friends. The sushi bar is where you’ll want to be, to get the most out of interacting with the skilled itamae; however there are plenty of tables for larger groups. With its hard surfaces, the noise level can climb particularly if there are loud diners—as was the case during our meal, where a few animated young children were part of the scenery. If more privacy is required, there is a second sushi bar set in a private room that can be closed off to the main dining area.
Omakase is the way to go here, and each of these chef’s choice menus will start with a series of appetisers before building up to the main act of nigiri. One of the restaurant signatures is a dish of sweet shrimp perched on a pile of small white shrimp served with dollops of caviar and freshly grated wasabi—a pristine example of the clean, delicate flavours that arise from assembling the freshest ingredients. Seared Hokkaido scallop, as fat as a marshmallow, comes wrapped in a crisp sheet of nori that should be eaten as soon as it is handed to you, before the seaweed starts to soften; the delicious salinity from the scallop and the seaweed is a beautiful marriage of two equals. The chefs certainly have an affinity for bringing out the quality of their ingredients in simple ways, as is showcased in a dish of Hokkaido oyster served with just a squeeze of sudachi, a brush of ponzu and oroshi (grated radish)—the bivalve is slightly cool, the texture milky without being too creamy. Raw and grilled geoduck is perhaps less successful, as even the spritz of lemon was futile in fighting against the inherent fishiness of the former preparation. Among the nigiri highlights, it was clear that many of the seasonal fish on our visit benefited from a light blowtorching to release flavoursome oils; at one point, the entire restaurant was filled with the aroma of seared kinmedai (goldeneye snapper) and engawa (fluke fin). At Sushi Take, the rice is served at a lightly warmed body temperature and with a touch more vinegar, which may not be to everyone’s taste but suited ours. To finish, diners can opt for either a milky fish soup or a more traditional seafood miso soup before dessert of either fresh melon or homemade ice creams.
The drinks list is small but impressive, and requires need deep wallets; there are no wines by the glass available, and many wines are north of the HK$500 mark. The sake list is full of premium junmai daiginjyo that fetch a hefty pricetag, but staff were able to recommend a half bottle of Masumi Sanka sake from Nagano at HK$350; the fresh florals and rich rice flavour made this an extremely drinkable option.
Service is attentive, and while the restaurant was busy our teacups and sake cups were frequently topped up although we ended up doing this ourselves towards the end of the meal. Sushi chefs are able to explain every fish they are serving and are happy to give further detail for diners who are interested in knowing more.
An omakase meal for two with sake and service comes to around HK$3,200, which is expected for a generous meal filled with premium fish and seafood.