Hong Kong Opening of Kushiage Haven Kushitei Brings Japan-Celebrated Joyful Dining Spirit to the Heart of Tsim Sha Tsui
(16 February 2023, Hong Kong) – Building upon a resounding success in Japan, convivial kushiage haven Kushitei has opened in the heart of Tsim Sha Tsui to thrill Hong Kong proponents of delicious batter-dipped, deep-fried morsels served on Japanese bamboo skewers (kushi). Conveniently located at Grand Centre in Humphreys Avenue – close to the Tsim Sha Tsui MTR station – the restaurant presents its authentic, seasonal-led omakase-style kushiage amid a lively atmosphere.
Brought to Hong Kong by farm-to-table Japanese dining group AP Place Hong Kong Co. Limited, Kushitei is one of Japan’s most beloved exponents of kushiage. Evolving from an open counter at a boutique eatery in Ebisu, Toyko, in 2019 to a 10-strong presence in Japan’s key cities, the brand is hailed for its lively dining spirit and perfectly fried meat and vegetables coated in the lightest batter. A ‘secret’ kneading powder of breadcrumbs – applied before the batter process – ensures each morsel has an unbeatable thin, even and crunchy coating.
The beauty of kushiage, especially at Kushitei, is the casual, playful vibe that goes hand in hand with the exquisite omakase offerings, allowing diners to relax and leave the cares of the world at the door. The 1,000 sq. ft-plus space is clad in calming wood, highlighted by a dining counter seating 8 people and surrounding tables accommodating a further 12 diners. Artful mood lighting imbues warmth and intimacy.
Lacing tradition with a contemporary edge, the Hong Kong culinary team of veteran, well-travelled Japanese chefs are experts at their craft. They serve a kushiage feast from the land and the sea, with each item freshly cooked and encased in feather-light batter to showcase the innate goodness of the ingredients. Sunflower oil in the deep-fryer is 100% pure and changed daily in a further hallmark of light, healthy eating.
Parent company AP Place Hong Kong Co. Limited provides another coveted attraction at Kushitei’s Hong Kong outpost – premium Japanese chicken. These native birds from free-range farms enjoy a pampered existence that yields enviably tender, juicy meat of firm texture for the richest umami taste.
Freshly cooked chicken and other jet-fresh produce grace two omakase-style menus of 10 and 12 kushiage courses (HK$498 and HK$698 respectively) that bow to the seasons. These, and an additional array of a la carte signatures, embrace a surprising variety of cooking methods, presentations, ingredients and condiments.
The two omakase menus highlight the quality of Kushitei’s kushiage. Each begins with an Appetiser Platter laden with an assortment of savoury goodies designed to spark the palate into life. The house speciality of Homemade Mochi Tofu provides a refreshing bonus course in the middle of each feast.
The 10-course deep-fried skewer parade kicks off with a sumptuous quartet melding prime meat and seafood – Wagyu Sirloin with Truffle Sauce, Angel Shrimp, Chicken Fillet Roll with Yellow Chive and Scallop. After the tofu serving, tangy White Radish is the prelude to juicy Oyster. The chefs then show their invention with Wheat Gluten Sprinkled with Parmesan Cheese and Shiitake with Special Minced Meat – two exclusive Hong Kong creations – as well as Lotus Root with Mentaiko and Salmon with Salmon Roe.
Diners plumping for the even more substantial 12 types of kushi will enjoy a quintet of temptations up front. As well as Wagyu Sirloin with Truffle Sauce, Angel Shrimp and the luscious, all-orange boost of Salmon with Salmon Roe, there are Mackerel with White Sesame and Sangen Pork Tenderloin. Seven decadent skewers follow, including Grilled Eel, Abalone and the Western-inspired delicacies of Foie Gras and Crab Gratin. Joining the aforementioned Shiitake-Minced Meat combo are another two creative standouts, Yellowtail with Yuzu and Kelp with Herring Roe.
Both menus conclude with a filling carb-rich choice of either Inaniwa Udon or Chicken Meat Ochazuke (a moreish green tea rice dish), followed by sweet notes of Monaka Ice Cream or Homemade Pudding.
Ravenous diners can enhance their bountiful kushiage experience with top picks from a supplementary a la carte list, which include the crispy deep-fried serving of Japanese Chicken Nanban (HK$68) and the must-have Seared Kurosatsuma Chicken Breast (HK$88). Special Chicken Soup Ramen (HK$68) and Grilled Rice Ball (HK$58) are options for those seeking further carbs. Before tucking into their kushiage menu, happy after-work souls can make themselves at home at the counter and snack on Edamame (HK$48), Potato Salad with Soft Boiled Egg (HK$68), Cream Cheese Pickled in Soy Sauce (HK$68) and French Fries with Truffle (HK$58) over a few drinks.
The deep-fried specialities of the house are complemented by a carefully selected list of Japanese sake and fruit wines. Yamanokotobuki Junmai Munakata Nihonshu Project Nama (HK$780) from Kurume City, Kyushu, headlines almost a dozen traditional sakes, while the brand’s own rice-wine label, Kushitei (HK$680), is a good start for a night of sake tasting. Fruity palates will welcome the Plum (HK$600 per bottle or HK$88 per glass), Aragoshi Peach Plum (HK$670 per bottle or HK$88 per glass) and Aragoshi Yuzu Plum (HK$670 per bottle or HK$88 per glass) liqueur trio from the Nara brewery of Umenoyado. Favourite Japanese beers headlined by the award-winning Hideji Kuri Kuro (HK$98) dark chestnut craft ale from Miyazaki – winning stout at the World Beer Awards 2017 – and tipples with a kick including Highball (HK$78), Sour (from HK$68) and Sho-chu (from HK$420) also feature.
“The opening of Kushitei in Hong Kong allows local diners to enjoy another unique style of Japanese cuisine,” says Mr Masashi Kamatani, Managing Director of AP Place Hong Kong Co. Limited. “Our authentic omakase-style kushiage is not only served in a joyful atmosphere, but also offers excellent value for money. It’s an amazing dining experience uniting different ingredients and cooking preparations that is always surprising, thrilling and satisfying.”
This first foray overseas for Japan’s celebrated brand of kushiage comes on the heels of AP Place Hong Kong Co. Limited’s successful duo debut last summer of tori kappo specialist Kicho and kaiseki wagyu supremo Ushidoki at Manning House in Central. The group is known for its sustainable farm-to-table ethos and insistence on safe, fresh, quality seasonal produce. It applies the utmost care and attention to detail throughout the food chain – from rearing its livestock and poultry in sustainable ways that promote animal wellbeing to skilful preparation of fresh ingredients and perfect cooking.
Kushitei is a sanctuary of joy and pure, crispy kushiage indulgence. It offers a retreat from the crowded streets of Tsim Sha Tsui and a relaxing rendezvous for casual omakase-style dining and imbibing. Its proximity to the Tsim Sha Tsui MTR station allows speedy access from most reaches of Hong Kong.
Kushitei is located at Shop G04-05, G/F, Grand Centre, 8 Humphreys Avenue, Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong.
Monday – Closed
Tuesday to Sunday – 5 p.m. to 11 p.m.
Note to Editors: Lunch service, available from 12 noon to 3 p.m., will be launched until further notice.
For more information or reservations, please call (852) 2688-6150. Stay up to date with the latest news of Kushitei at www.instagram.com/kushitei_hk/.