HK Magazine - - DINING -

Ja­panese. 3/F, Stan­ley 11, 11 Stan­ley St., Cen­tral, 2327-4482. In a build­ing with a Ja­panese restau­rant on prac­ti­cally ev­ery floor, Ueda Washoku Lounge & Din­ing makes its case for draw­ing in the lunch crowds with its sleek din­ing room, af­ford­able reg­u­lar lunch sets ($98-228) and breezy al­fresco ter­race com­plete with a ham­mock swing set.

HIT We opted for the omakase ($328, lim­ited sets at lunch) which in­cluded an as­sort­ment of sides such as pick­led radish, egg­plant, sesame spinach salad and sweet potato—and mains in­clud­ing tem­pura, roast beef, miso cod and sashimi. The best part was un­doubt­edly the raw fish, with a trio of fresh am­ber­jack, tuna and floun­der sashimi, and the sim­ple yet unbeatable pot of tuna and rice on the side with a bit of soy, wasabi, and kin­shi tam­ago— or shred­ded egg omelet. Ueda has sought out one of the premier rice dis­trib­u­tors in Ja­pan, and we de­voured the won­der­fully fluffy and soft grains—the type of fra­grant rice that’s so ubiq­ui­tous in Ja­pan but rare to find in Hong Kong. The roast beef was ten­der and the bowl of fish bone soup on the side full­bod­ied with good depth of fla­vor.

MISS The fish was over­cooked by a minute or two—the fine line be­tween an ex­cel­lent or ined­i­ble piece of miso cod—and the tem­pura bat­ter was heavy, over­whelm­ing the ingredients. The cooked prawn on the side was mea­ger and added lit­tle to the over­all com­po­si­tion of the set. For this price, we’d ex­pect them to de­liver pre­pared items that match the qual­ity of the raw fish.

BOT­TOM LINE We’ll stick to the sushi sets next time for the fresh sashimi and more of that ad­dic­tive Ja­panese rice. Open Mon-Sat noon-3pm, 5-11pm. $$

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