One symptom, I think, of being a “foodie” is an almost obsessive-compulsive need to research every eatery you will ever visit. And while I haven’t yet figured out if being called a “foodie” is a good label or a bad one (or whether I fit into that category, no less), I will concede that I spend a fair amount of time googling restaurants and their subsequent reviews.
Last Sunday, P challenged me again to lay off the internet searches and simply find a restaurant the old-fashioned way: walking around. That’s how we found ANA Sushi in Causeway Bay. We were looking for something Japanese (and CWB is definitely a great place to do it!), looked up at a tall building on Lockhart Road, and realized there were tons of options inside. I don’t know what prompted P to pick 5th floor, but I’m glad he did because we found one of my favorite reasonably-priced sushi places to date.
I didn’t know it at the time, but ANA Sushi is just one branch of the ANA group, which also has an oyster bar (on a different floor of the same building), and the recently opened ANA Gura in Central (with a chef who previously worked at Inagiku). We loved ANA Sushi so much we visited a second time, just a week later.
After exiting the elevator, we stepped over large black square stones scattered around smooth dark pebbles into a dimly lit dining room. There were tables of various sizes on the left and the right sides, with a long sushi bar at the front. On our second visit, we also noticed a private tatami room.
The service was fairly good, with wait staff functional in Putonghua and English in addition to their native Cantonese. (I will emphasize the “functional” part – don’t expect fluent English by any means.) Both times we were at ANA Sushi, we decided to create our own “tasting menu” of sorts by ordering an assortment of both their raw and cooked foods.
I think their sushi rolls are of some the best in HK at this price. The vinegared rice is actually flavorful by itself, as is the nori. The first time we got the California (standard, right?) and the second time, we got the spicy scallop and fried shrimp salad rolls.
P actually considered the spicy scallop rolls his favorite out of all the dishes we ordered. I didn’t notice much “spice” in it, but then again, I’m used to eating four-alarm pho. My favorite parts of the dish, incidentally, were the toasted sesame seeds which added texture and taste.
I really liked these shrimp salad rolls because the breading was awesome! Light and crispy, just perfect.
Then came the edamame, nicely steamed and salted. Afterwards we had the sirloin teppanyaki. Originally we ordered the teppanyaki beef with mushrooms, but it turns out they were out of beef slices. After a lengthy discussion in pidgin English with our waitress, we discovered that the beef with mushrooms actually involved beef slices wrapped around enoki mushrooms, which is why she was confused by our request to get the mushrooms with sirloin steak, as she was envisioning mushrooms sandwiched between diced beef. Once we worked out that we just wanted mushrooms on the side, she was happy to put in the order (again, I must emphasize the functional English at ANA Sushi, but hey – it gets the job done. The waitress was really sweet about it, at least!).
The enoki mushrooms were nice, and while the sirloin was tasty, it was a bit overcooked for my taste. Last time we were here, we ordered the mixed mushroom teppanyaki, which I would definitely recommend. The shiitake mushrooms were especially bursting with umami flavor, and it was great value for money. The other hot dish we ordered the first time was the beef fried rice, which I would also suggest. The rice is plump but a little bit crispy, which was delicious. I’d get that again.
The other two dishes we ordered the second time we visited were the handmade udon noodles with pork and the grilled chicken with miso paste. They were both all right, though nothing to write home about, IMHO. The noodles were interesting, a bit thinner than I normally see them, but the broth was yummy. Every now and then little bits of green onions would float onto my spoon and the crunch was fresh and exquisite.
The grilled chicken was a bit greasy for my taste, but the miso-paste added a sweet/savory flavor that P loved. He picked those bones like a hound dog beggin’ for scraps under the table (I hope he doesn’t read this).
So in conclusion, while there were some dishes the second time that I wouldn’t order again, I wouldn’t classify anything as an actual “miss.” I do believe ANA Sushi is a great place for sushi and sashimi, as well as fried rice and teppanyaki dishes (next time I hope to try the beef with mushrooms dish the way it’s meant to be made!). I’ll definitely be coming back, hopefully with enough friends in tow (and enough advance notice) to get that cool tatami room.
5/F, Kyoto Plaza, 491-499 Lockhart Road