Opening Hours Mon-Sat: 12:00 pm - 2:30pm, 6:00 pm - 10:30 pm
Lunch HoursMon-Sat: 12:00 pm - 2:30pm
Dinner HoursMon-Sat: 6:00 pm - 10:30 pm
Dress CodeSmart Casual
Accept Credit CardYes
Date of review: August 23, 2017 | Reviewed by: Wilson Fok
Newly opened in July 2017, Tempura Taki resides in the restaurant-filled The Loop along Wellington Street. The entrance led us straight to the open kitchen bar that seats 13 guests, spacious with a linear layout; there is the cold kitchen handling sashimi and omakase starters, as well as a dome-shaped cover on the tempura deep-fryer at the further end of the bar, which overlooks a wide wall painting of a dragon through soaring sea waves.
The vibrant colours of the painting bring liveliness to the restaurant. Aside from the tempura bar, guests can also choose to settle for tables and one of the two private rooms at the back end of the main dining space, although the bar area is where the action is, and the perfect spot to enjoy tempura made to order.
Dinner at Tempura Taki offers only three choices for dinner sets, ranging from HK$880 to HK$1,480 per person. We opted for the ‘Taki Omakase’ set with starters, sashimi selection, a number of tempura pieces, complete with soba noodles and desserts. We began with an amuse bouche of scallops and prawns with avocado, greenhouse tomatoes, and wasabi vinegar. The highlight of the dish is a vegetable named junsai, or braseria, which are tender leaves with a natural gelatinous outer layer. The leaves are crisp, enhancing the tanginess from the vinegared seafood with a rounding sweetness from the tomatoes.
An appetiser platter was beautifully presented, and we particularly enjoyed the sesame tofu and the uni-topped tofu sheets, a refreshing beginning to the meal ahead. The sashimi platter offers three varieties of fish: the Alfonsino is rich and thickly sliced. We enjoyed the miniature white shrimps with mentaiko as well.
Tempura is an art in Japanese cuisine. With minimal seasoning, ingredients are battered and deep-fried until golden and crisp. Tempura Taki’s executive chef Eric Chan prepares a light batter as he proceeds with deep-frying. We began with fresh shrimp, the meat firm and fresh and the head, fried separately from its body, remains crunchy and especially satisfying seasoned with curry salt. Kisu, or Japanese whiting, is traditionally butterflied and deep-fried. Here at Tempura Taki, the fish is perfectly fanned out with just the lightest coating of the batter. The coating revealed the creamy flesh within.
Guests are offered a half abalone prepared in tempura style. The hearty shellfish is first simmered in a mixture of sake, dashi broth, and mirin, or Japanese sweet cooking wine before it was deep-fried. It’s umami and rich with light sweetness oozing through the juicy, tender flesh. The oyster-filled bell pepper was a surprise. The oyster was creamy but somehow the herbaceousness of the bell pepper overpowered the marine sweetness of the oyster. The set dinner ends with cold soba noodles and desserts, and both make a light, a fresh ending to a satisfying tempura meal.
Sake choices are strong at Tempura Taki, as the establishment offers a wide selection, mostly as bottles. Guests can select their desired sake cups from a tray of colourful choices. Alternatively, the green tea offered throughout the meal is also very good, complementing the seafood tempura.
Service can be hit-or-miss at Tempura Taki, as greetings were warm but the staff seemed more comfortable serving Chinese guests, as foreign diners were sometimes served their dishes without introduction. While the staff was keen to fill glasses and change plates for guests, courses may take an extended waiting period to arrive.
A dinner for two at Tempura Taki amounts to HK$2,700. The choices available at Tempura Taki are limited but the quality of execution is on point, although there is room to improve on service.