There's nothing Jon and I love more than a really, really good Japanese yakiniku, and while we usually frequent Great or Futago on weekends, Ishidaya might just become our new spot after this experience! The setting is a lot more intimate, with ample space between booths and enough privacy to feel like a private room in itself. That and the impressive array of high-grade cuts of wagyu to choose from the menu makes this experience feel a lot more elevated than other yakiniku joints around town.
The first overseas outpost of Kobe's beloved Yakiniku Ishidaya, YAKINIKU ISHIDAYA HONG KONG boasts the finest Japanese wagyu from the owner's hand-selected cattle feeding farms in Hyogo Prefecture. The restaurant has replaced what was previously Ippudo (or Ichiran, I can't remember oops) in Century Square, which is conveniently located opposite Cotton On in LKF.
We started with an appetizing Ishidaya Salad (HK$98), bursting with fresh greens, crispy shallots, onions and the flavours of a bright and citrusy ponzu dressing. I'd take this kind of wa-fu salad any day over a western salad! This came with a Roasted Wagyu (HK$158) presented carpaccio-style with a mound of veg in the middle. The meat was infused with a strong truffle oil, but we both felt it could do without the veg + truffle oil as the meat by itself was so tender and delicious.
Then the raw wagyu for grilling arrived en masse. We had an insane A5 Wagyu Chateaubriand (HK$488/120g) which was beautifully marbled & melted in our mouths, and had fun grilling the Premium Omakase Platter (HK$388) together which includes pre-marinated Karubi, Lean Meat, Chuck Roll. I would have just loved to have this with a bowl of seaweed-topped Japanese rice, pickles and miso soup!
The fattier platter of A5 Kobe Ribeye (HK$688) was an absolute stunner, and paired well with the freshly grated wasabi, which cut through the richness. The perfect ending to our meal was the Wagyu Cold Noodles (HK$138) - which is a must-order regardless of how full you feel! The cold and super bouncy noodles soak up the broth over time, becoming totally inundated with flavor and offering a refreshing palate cleanser to the end of a rich, meaty meal.
Our seams were practically bursting by the end! For a casual lunch or dinner, I would go for two rounds of the premium omakase (I like that they're pre-marinated and full of flavour!) with some rice and the wagyu cold noodles - and save the fancy chateaubriand for date night ;)
YAKINIKU ISHIDAYA Address: 3/F Century Square, 1-13 D'Aguilar Street, Central