These are Hong Kong’s best omakase restaurants

Updated on April 11 2017

For those of us who live to eat rather than eat to live, there’s arguably nothing more enjoyable than sitting down to an omakase (Japanese for “I will leave it to you”) meal. Usually a multi-hour experience, this type of sushi degustation connects the diner with the chef, bonded by a mutual respect for the ingredients served and the underlying rituals and traditions involved in an omakase meal.

It’s not just a regular meal — it’s an art form. Over the course of a few hours, the pristine ingredients and chef’s creativity unfurl in a parade of plates designed to awaken and heighten your senses. Feeling hungry yet? Here are some of our favourite omakase spots around Hong Kong.

UMI

UMI serves traditional Edomae sushi in Sheung Wan.

UMI at The Ocean, previously located in the beautiful seaside restaurant in Repulse Bay, has relocated to a prime location on Hollywood Road — offering greater accessibility to its traditional Edomae sushi experience for Central-based Hongkongers. At the helm is Yukio Kimijima, a fourth-generation master sushi chef who’s been practicing the delicate art of sushi and omakase for nearly five decades.

Settle down at the traditional sushi counter in UMI’s refined setting to savour an extraordinary omakase meal, with fresh ingredients flown in daily from Japan, and the fish and rice kept at precise temperatures and moulded together with deft, experienced hands. Be treated to delicate fish sourced from all over Japan, including halibut from Aishi garnished with fresh sudachi juice and freshly grated Himalayan rock salt; kawahagi (filefish) finished with a slice of fish liver; and thick cuts of otoro (tuna belly), served simply to highlight its streaks of delicious fat marbling.

Price of omakase: HK$1,588 per person

UMI, Shop 3, G/F, 159-163 Hollywood Road, Sheung Wan, Hong Kong, +852 2956 3177, lecomptoir.hk

Sushi Tokami

Tuna is a specialty at this hidden gem in Harbour City.

If you can navigate your way to Sushi Tokami’s obscure location down a nondescript corridor in Harbour City — walk past the Louis Vuitton store and you’ll spot it on your righthand side — you’ll find one of the best hidden gems in the local Japanese dining scene. A Ginza import, this superb sushi den specialises in tuna, due to the fact that the owner is also the founder of Yamayuki — a specialty tuna shop in Tokyo’s famous Tsukiji Market.

Yamayuki has earned its reputation over three generations, and is known as one of the top suppliers of premium tuna throughout Japan. At Sushi Tokami, you can go straight to the source, with the best fish flown in daily from Tsukiji to feature in the omakase. In addition to its range of premium tuna, appearing in a brilliant spectrum of light-pink toro to ruby-red maguro, Sushi Tokami is noteworthy for their special tanada rice, cooked in a traditional Japanese claypot with the addition of fermented red vinegar to create a subtle sweetness and unique aroma that pairs excellently with the fish.

Price of omakase: HK$2,200 plus 10 percent surcharge per person

Sushi Tokami, Shop 216A, Ocean Centre, Harbour City, 3-27 Canton Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, +852 2771 3938, en.tokami.com.hk

Sushi Man

Special attention is paid to uni and ikura at Sushi Man.

After launching their Yuen Long branch back in 2015, Sushi Man has recently expanded to sustain their large fan following, opening up a second location in Whampoa Garden. With the newly built MTR station directly across the street from this sushi temple, getting your fix of uni and ikura has never been easier (two of the main reasons you should be rushing to book your reservation right now).

We suggest going with the HK$1,500 omakase set, where you’ll be treated to this magnificent bowl of creamy sea urchin, after seven pristine pieces of sushi which include an ikura (salmon roe) nigiri that’s one of the best we’ve had in Hong Kong. (The chef marinates it in a homemade sweet soy sauce before sticking a jewel-toned mound of glistening roe on top of the vinegared sushi rice). Also included in the set are four kinds of sashimi, which during our visit ranged from a delicate fried scallop wrapped in a crispy nori sheet, to a palm-sized oyster dotted with bonito jelly. As for the vibe, it’s a bit more laid-back than the other establishments on this list: drinking, bantering with the chefs and merrymaking are encouraged, making Sushi Man a great destination for group dinners and parties.

Price of omakase: HK$1,000–$2,000 per person

Sushi Man, Shop G22A, G/F, Site 11, Whampoa Garden, 6 Tak Hong Street, Hung Hom, Hong Kong, +852 2794 3995, facebook.com

Okra Bar

Chef Max Levy has proven his expertise with Japanese ingredients at Okra, his humble kitchen in Sai Ying Pun that’s been quietly serving up some of the city’s most progressive Japanese fare since opening a little over a year ago. On the ground floor, the menu is casual and contemplative, with small plates ranging from homemade tofu with Okra chilli sauce to wild Sicilian seaweed salad with kibinago striped anchovies, while upstairs at Okra Bar chef Levy entertains six diners with a special rotating omakase.

The exclusive sushi counter is minimalism defined, with a backdrop of pristine white ceramic tiles creating a blank canvas to focus on the exquisite dishes. The omakase changes daily according to seasonality and availability of ingredients, with each meal comprising 3–4 cold dishes, 10–14 pieces of nigiri and 2–3 hot dishes followed by dessert. The focus is on premium sashimi with an emphasis on chef Levy’s special aged and rare fish, paired with a unique menu of natural wines and sake. Meanwhile, a playlist of 1970s New Orleans and Ethiopian funk and jazz rounds out the unique ambience of this unconventional Japanese kitchen.

Price of omakase: HK$880 per person; two seatings per night from Wed–Sat, advanced booking and pre-payment required

Okra Bar, 1/F, 110 Queen’s Road West, Sai Ying Pun, Hong Kong, +852 2806 1038, okra.bar

Sushi Gin

Fresh fish is the name of the game at Sushi Gin.

A veteran in the kitchen, sushi chef Ah Do’s fans have followed him from Sushi Ta-Ke to Kishoku to Sushi Gin, proving that it’s the chef’s creativity and dexterity that makes a great sushi restaurant, rather than any of its physical components. That being said, Sushi Gin’s space is certainly impressive, with a long wooden sushi bar flooded with light from large windows overlooking Causeway Bay and Happy Valley, plus a rock-lined dividing wall and bonsai trees creating a serene, zen-like ambience.

The freshness of the ingredients in the omakase set can’t be faulted, but what’s more noteworthy is the creativity of some of the dishes presented: you might find fried mini crabs scattered around your plate, pristine white-fleshed snapper scented with shiso leaves, or Hokkaido scallops paired unusually, yet surprisingly well, with cheese. To wrap up, don’t miss chef Ah Do’s signature toro sandwich — a thick, glistening piece of light-pink fatty tuna belly pressed with a fragrant shiso leaf between crisp nori sheets.

Price of omakase: HK$1,480–$1,980 plus 10 percent surcharge per person

Sushi Gin, 27/F, Zing!, 38 Yiu Wah Street, Causeway Bay, Hong Kong, +852 2151 1888, facebook.com

Dining at Murasaki

Dining at Murasaki embraces unconventional omakase, with unique presentations taking centre stage.

It may not be traditional omakase, but Dining at Murasaki has certainly made its name known in the Hong Kong dining scene with its “omakase tasting menus”, falling somewhere between omakase and kaiseki with beautifully presented Japanese dishes tinged with a French influence. At the helm is chef Alfred Poon, who brings over two decades of experience in top hotels and restaurants to the 10,000-sq.-ft. fine-dining space overlooking Victoria Harbour.

Using a combination of innovative cooking methods and traditional French and Japanese techniques, chef Poon and his team serve up a stunning degustation which ranges from sushi to sashimi to meat and vegetarian dishes. Seasonal fish is decorated with premium ingredients such as caviar, citrus jelly and gold leaf jelly, making the dishes pop individually in presentation, flavour and texture. While the first half of the tasting menu leans more heavily towards traditional omakase, the second half is where chef Alfred and his team push the boundaries creatively, with dishes such as sous-vide pork pluma with Japanese black curry and lobster Inaniwa udon with toasted Sakura shrimp consomme.

Price of omakase: HK$988–$1,288 plus 10 percent surcharge per person

Dining at Murasaki, UG/F 08, Sino Plaza, 255 Gloucester Road, Causeway Bay, Hong Kong, +852 2817 8383, diningatmurasaki.com.hk

Sushi Sase

Sushi Sase is named after its head chef, Sase Satoshi.

Named after its eponymous head chef, Sushi Sase is a seven-year veteran in the game, serving up one of the city’s best omakase experiences in a serene setting in the heart of Central. Duck into the restaurant on Hollywood, decorated traditionally with light wood and bamboo, and take a seat at the 18-seat sushi bar to enjoy a phenomenal omakase meal from chef Sase Satoshi (make sure to call ahead if you want chef Sase to serve you personally).

Dinner starts with different types of sashimi ranging from abalone to marinated octopus before the parade of sushi begins: think delicately smoky shima aji (horse mackerel) to plump botan shrimp and crab topped with rich and creamy roe. The anago (saltwater eel) is beautifully grilled with tender, sweet meat, while the marbled otoro needs only a dab of freshly grated wasabi as seasoning. Like all good sushi restaurants, the chefs keep most of the seasonings simple, letting the fresh flavour of the fish shine. A wonderfully fluffy tamago (egg omelette) and smooth, bright-green panna cotta provide a satisfying end to the meal.

Price of omakase: HK$1,180 and up

Sushi Sase, UG/F, Hilltop Plaza, 49 Hollywood Rd, Central, Hong Kong, +852 2815 0455, sushisase.com.hk

Sushi Shikon

The three-Michelin-starred Sushi Shikon is built on generations of tradition and apprenticeship.

Omakase is almost always a special experience, but for one of the most luxe (and expensive) experiences in Hong Kong, head to three-Michelin-starred Sushi Shikon. This Ginza import is led by executive chef Yoshiharu Kakinuma, Hong’s Kong’s first three-Michelin-starred Japanese chef, who trained under chef Masahiro Yoshitake in Tokyo, where the original restaurant was born from the legendary Yoshitake family.

Proper etiquette and a deep respect for the culture and traditions of Japanese cuisine are as important as the food here, with the cosy restaurant limited to only eight seats along an ancient keyaki counter. The menu starts with appetisers, then moves on to premium sushi, starting with the most delicate fish and gradually moving on to fattier fish and more pronounced ingredients. The restaurant serves traditional Edomae sushi, with fish flown in daily from Tokyo’s Tsukiji fish market, and a strict adherence to sushi etiquette is expected, including consuming the sushi within thirty seconds of it touching the plate. Expect dishes such as egg custard with cod milt, hay-smoked mackerel finished on charcoal, and steamed abalone served with a umami-packed abalone liver sauce.

Price of omakase: HK$3,500 per person

Sushi Shikon, The Mercer Hotel, 29 Jervois Street, Sheung Wan, Hong Kong, +852 9697 6800, sushi-shikon.com

Hanabi

If you’re looking for world-class Japanese dining on the Kowloon side, look no further than Hanabi, Privé Group’s Japanese omakase bar which has rightfully taken its place amongst Hong Kong’s collection of fine sushi restaurants. Offering omakase sets for lunch and dinner, the elegant space will whisk you straight to Tokyo, with light wood and oak creating a zen-like ambience, and a long sushi counter seating 18 guests per night.

Prices are comparatively more affordable than some of the other entries on this list, with two omakase menus available. The Tsubomi menu, priced at HK$1,188, includes appetisers, sashimi and six kinds of sushi, with the addition of “smoked dishes” including Kagoshima wagyu tataki with kinome miso sauce, and a mizuna Japanese herb salad. Meanwhile, the Mankai menu is priced at HK$1,200, which includes a selection of thinly sliced white fish and “creative sashimi” such as seared fatty tuna topped with caviar and Hokkaido oyster, in addition to an array of appetisers, sashimi and sushi. While the menu is mostly traditional, a few modern tricks and twists make for an exciting experience that’s well worth a return trip.

Price of omakase: Tsubomi menu, HK$1,188; Mankai menu, HK$1,200

Hanabi, 4/F, 6 Knutsford Terrace, Tsim Sha Tsui; +852 2723-2568, hanabi.knutsfordbyprivegroup.hk

Sushi Masataka

Sushi Rozan has been re-branded to Sushi Masataka following an upgrade in the menu.

Formerly Sushi Rozan, the exemplary sushi restaurant from Lai Sun Dining has re-branded as Sushi Masataka, set to open its doors to the public any day now, introducing a renewed emphasis on fresh, premium, seasonal fish served at precise temperatures and with artistic flair, demonstrating an ardent respect for rigorous, age-old sushi traditions. Head chef Masataka Fujisawa will serve eight guests nightly in the serene, 1,200-sq.-ft. space in Wan Chai. In addition to elevating the overall dining experience, the sake and wine lists have been expanded to expertly pair with the omakase menu.

Sitting at the sleek sushi counter, guests become immersed in a menu that builds in flavour and excitement, starting from delicate, more mellow fish such as flounder and sea bream, and moving on to richer bites such as otoro, uni, abalone and fatty yellowtail. Whatever is served for the day, expect only top-notch ingredients and a strict attention-to-detail in every bite.

Sushi Masataka, Shop 2, G/F, The Oakhill, 18 Wood Road, Wan Chai, Hong Kong, +852 2574 1333, facebook.com