For months after arriving in Hong Kong I’d wondered what was said when you entered certain Japanese restaurants. It’s become a familiar refrain by now and the team at Nadaman at the Island Shangri La positively bellow it on entry, especially when you’re the first diner in at lunchtime. いらっしゃいませ! Irasshaimase!
This was a quick lunchtime hop with a fellow gourmand and good egg from the old country, even if his allegiances are from the wrong side of Stanley Park. The teppanyaki and sushi counters behind us were full, while in the main dining room the clientele seemed largely from Japan. A cliché writ large, but generally a good sign.
The lunch sets are numerous and take in permutations of most dishes you could hope for, sushi, tempura, udon, rice sets, grills and more. They range from $230 upwards, a pretty fair price given what you can pay at far less salubrious establishments across town.
The Kaisen Don is that old standby of a sashimi rice bowl, here buried under an avalanche of tobiko. The fish was generously proportioned to the still warm rice whose grains fell apart, as they should.
Presentation wise, the accompanying soba with tempura prawn wasn’t the prettiest you could find, but appearances can be forgiven. The precise cook on the prawn, the crisp but not cloying tempura batter. Even if the soba here could never match the epiphany of a New Year Soba Master, it still made for a satisfying bowl.
Miso soup was dark and richer than the usual translucent version, all the better for it, I’m assuming using a red akamiso paste. Green tea was consistently refilled by the quietly professional service team, while the total damage for the Kaisen Don set came in at $284.