OKRA KITCHEN

T.Dining by Hong Kong Tatler - - Scene -

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.

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