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. $$