Dining at Okra Kitchen is like stumbling on a little secret. Set just off Queen’s Road West in a quiet part of Sai Ying Pun, you’re unlikely to find it if you’re not looking for it. A sliver of a room contains a galley kitchen and counter seating on one side, and small bar tables along a wall adorned with a mural on the other. Indie and retro rock plays to a mostly younger clientele. At the helm is chef-proprietor
Max Levy, who is something of a poster boy for modern Japanese cuisine in Hong Kong. Don’t come expecting dainty titbits however, the food here—unlikely to be found on other menus and made for sharing—is big on flavour and unafraid of spice. Levy is a fan of aged fish, which can impart greater depth and tenderness, though can be an acquired taste for some. Lightly charred crispy brussels sprouts get a sweet and savoury lift with the addition of fried raisins and homemade XO sauce. Pair your meal with unusual sake, many with bolder profiles to match the food. Most are available by the glass or bottle, including Okra’s own-label The Monkey. Make sure you save plenty of room for the Uji matcha Cookie Boy, a warm and comforting dessert of roasted green tea and red bean cookie with smoked cream and lemon salt.