Whenever I feel like I deserve a treat I head over to Itamae Sushi in Causeway Bay. Located opposite of World Trade Center, it’s naturally busy all the time.
On a very hectic night, the wait after getting your ticket is usually about half an hour. But, despite this, the lure of fast, efficient service and a decent, fairly priced commercial sushi meal makes it worth the wait.
On my most recent visit, Salmon was the theme of the night. Below are my thoughts on each dish…
– Salmon Sashimi: always delicious, but this time sliced about 1/3 too thick for my liking. Having said that, this was the first time I found something to complain about with the salmon sashimi…
– Salmon Roe + Sea Urchin: instead of ordering salmon roe on a “warship” style sushi, I decided this time to get it on plain rice in the above cute wooden bowl. This style makes it much easier to eat, as the warship usually has me dropping half the eggs all over the place before it reaches my mouth. Sea urchin is a hit-or-miss taste for me: it often goes terribly wrong when I try it. This time it did and the only way I can describe the taste was this: a public toilet. YUCK!
– Deep-fried Soft Shell Crab: served with mayonnaise, this fried dish is always a pleaser. No pieces scuttling away from my plate this time! In a more “refined” (i.e. expensive) version, I would have expected the batter to be less thick, but considering the reasonable price, it was just right.
Next, to fulfill my dinner’s carbohydrate quota, I split udon with my companion’s green tea soba for a delightful in-between break. Each comes with “accessories”, namely a light sauce (soba tsuyu), puréed radish, wasabi, seaweed paper and thinly sliced onion.
Before dessert, two more salmon sushis to try. Both of these were not raw.
– Smoked Salmon with Herb: a refreshing texture in between leather and butter: a bit elastic and soft at the same time. Topped with herbs, it had a Norwegian/dill sauce taste which made this feel a bit like Norway meets Japan.
– Roasted Salmon (w/ mayonnaise): despite appearances, this is properly roasted. It was nice to get that roasted flavour without having to eat something charred – after all, burned foods are carcinogenic so this is a healthy way to get that awesome taste. Although I believe mayonnaise can accompany almost any food, one of its best matches is salmon, so the thin squiggle of mayo on the top was just perfect.
On the menu, Itamae’s cheesecake looks inviting in its simplicity. There are no blueberries or other decorations to distract from the cake itself. When it comes, you may be disappointed by its surprisingly small size – but once you try you’ll realise that any larger and it would lose its special quality.
Served in a convenient plastic cup, this cheesecake actually tastes like cheese. In a good, sweet, and rich way. After scooping out a teaspoonful the aerated and fluffy texture is visible to the naked eye. It takes a while to melt on your tongue and I, who usually eats much too fast, took my time to slowly enjoy each bite of the small and sweet end to my meal.
Next time I go to Itamae I will try some of the more exotic options on offer, but this time I hope you’ve enjoyed reading about some of my personal favorites.