Japanese restaurant

New Japanese restaurant Zoku opens in Hari Hong Kong

The city is abuzz with genuine excitement at the recent opening of Hong Kong’s newest hotel, The Hari. It seems like nothing can stop the hospitality here, not even social distancing restrictions, and Hong Kongers are more than happy to welcome it with open and empty arms. Following the launch of their first-floor Italian restaurant and bar, Lucciola, the hotel has now opened the doors to their second restaurant, Zoku, a Japanese restaurant run by Chef Phillip Pak, a Nobu alum who you might recognize from now closed Lan Kwai Restaurant Fong Ce La Vi Hong Kong.

Japanese-inspired cuisine at Zoku

Zoku, a Sino-Japanese term for clan, tribe or family, is on the second floor and offers a refreshing take on Japanese cuisine in a lounge-style dining room. Meanwhile, the adjoining Terrace Bar (opening soon) offers an open-air experience that spans the entire length of the hotel with a huge living green wall backdrop.

A tribute to Japanese cuisine, Zoku’s varied menu features everything from sushi, sashimi, tempura, kushiyaki (grilled meat skewers), hot main courses and more, all of which are modern interpretations of the classics. Highlights include appetizers such as wagyu dumplings ($188) served with soy vinegar and garlic oil; a crisp snow crab salad wrapped in kataifi with baby spinach and heirloom carrot salad in a yuzu vinaigrette; temaki (hand-rolled)-style sushi that takes on a more taco shape filled with premium ingredients like toro, uni, and caviar ($188); and miso-marinated Alaskan black cod served with pickled ginger flower and plum.

Tofu Cheesecake

On the dessert side, a coconut-infused mochi cake ($118) that somewhat resembles a Hong Kong woman’s cake in its texture, served with miso caramel and coconut sorbet, a melted green tea with chocolate ice cream ($118), or a tart filled with seasonal fruit and yuzu pastry cream ($118), offer a sweet end to a meal.

cocktail suzie wong

Not to mention the drinks, bar manager Sabrina Cantini Budden has created an imaginative selection of cocktails inspired by both Japan and Hong Kong. The Wan Chai Sour ($108), for example, takes Hong Kong pineapple bread and turns it into a butter-washed pineapple rum cocktail with pineapple, lemon, flower liqueur elderberry, egg white and spiced oil, while Suzie Wong ($108) is inspired by the 1957 novel “The World of Suzie Wong” and features a cheeky blend of whiskey, rose syrup, cucumber and yuzu soda with a rosewater spritz. And then there’s Tsundoku ($108), which describes someone who has stacks of books but doesn’t read them (we all know someone like that!), a cocktail of sake and gin daiginjo brightened up by peach, cranberry, ginger and club soda, before being garnished with a paper crane.

Bowl of Chirashi Sushi Rice

Now open for lunch Monday to Sunday 12-6pm (due to current social distancing restrictions), Zoku offers lunch sets, with bowls of rice and bento (from $298 to $348), as well as the à la carte menu. The restaurant accepts walk-in customers but reservations are recommended and can be made through their website.

Zoku, 2/F, The Hari Hong Kong, 330 Lockhart Rd, Wan Chai

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