New sushi restaurant review: TMK, Sheung Wan, Hong Kong
Introducing Pirata's new punk rock temakeria
Hong Kong doesn’t lack Japanese restaurants but I’ve often found it difficult to satisfy cravings for fusion sushi. Growing up in Canada means I’ve built up a love for funky rolls that are more tasty than traditional. Think maki ‘Dragon’ rolls stuffed with shrimp tempura and unagi, and topped with slices of avocado. Here it’s not that common to see places serving this type of food or do it well … but there’s a new spot in town.
TMK is Pirata’s new temakeria. Food-wise, it focuses on funky Japanese but we’ll get to that in a second. First let’s talk about the vibe because it’s half the fun of visiting the restaurant. The decor and music were inspired by rock / punk rock and it’s apparent in every corner of the restaurant. You can’t miss the bedazzled 1980s motorcycle in the middle of the restaurant or the tongue-in-chic (think tattooed Ariel) stickers everywhere you look. Hits like Hart’s Barracuda and the Chili Pepper’s Californication blast all night and the noise is enhanced by the buzz of the crowd as well as a gong that sounds every time someone says “Drinks on me” and buys sake shots for the whole restaurant ($290).
Now back to the food. The temakeria focuses, of course, on temakis (Japanese hand rolls) but there are plenty of other delicious things on the menu.
After nibbling on some Edamame ($38), we dug into the Karaage ($78). I think Pirata have a version of fried chicken in all of their restaurants (shout outs to the ones at Chaiwala and Madame Ching!) and this one is similarly delicious. The thigh meat-only bites had a five spice-like seasoning which went well with the accompanying spicy yogurt dip.
The Wagyu Tataki ($118) was a smidge chewy but had a nice calamansi soy dressing and refreshing pickled rakkyo topping.
Pork is my favourite meat and I was very impressed by the Iberico Kushikatsu ($108). The slow-cooked secreto melted in the mouth and had a mild, creamy flavour. Even though it was deep fried, it didn’t feel that heavy especially when paired with the sweet and spicy pineapple sauce.
Sushi and Sashimi
This might look like a standard sushi plate but I assure you it’s not. I popped the salmon nigiri ($68 for four pieces) in my mouth and happily savoured the charred, fatty flavour before realizing that, wait, there was some popping candy in my mouth too! A fun, unexpected combination that worked. I’d definitely order this again. The slices of hamachi ($88 for four pieces) were also great and had a very buttery texture.
The menu is divided into traditional and TMK (more fusion) temaki. From the traditional section, we tried the Hamachi Tomato ($58) and the Soft Shell Crab ($68). Both of these were solid and satisfying though flavour-wise they were more standard than I expected.
This Tuna “hotdog” ($98) is from the TMK section. A deep-fried rice roll was stuffed with a spicy tuna mixture. It was a bit heavy but addictive; something I might reorder the next time I have one of my fusion sushi cravings.
We ended our meal with a bowl of Red Bean and Matcha ice cream ($48). Our server came around with a treasure chest of candy and we happily loaded on Maltesers, M&Ms and other assorted treats.
TMK is a loud, high-energy spot that’s serving up fun-loving comfort food at great prices. It might be a temakeria but definitely check out items from across their menu especially the kushikatsu and the salmon nigiri with popping candy. They don’t take reservations and most seats are on bar stools so this is definitely one for young / young-at-heart adults.
Shops G & H, G/F and M/F, 77-91 Queen’s Road West, Sheung Wan, 2662 2269
*By invitation for Foodie