Sleek, small, and intimate — those are the first impressions you get as you enter Takumi by Daisuke Mori, a Michelin-starred restaurant tucked away on a side street in Wan Chai. It’s one of those open kitchen affairs, where watching the chefs in action during dinner service is a key draw for eating here in the first place.
The maximum seating capacity is just 12 people, so whether it’s for business or for pleasure, it’s a great spot for feeling like a hot shot. No trying to flag down wait staff or trying to speak above the noise of the crowd here.
On to the food. Takumi by Daisuke Mori is known for serving dishes using great seasonal Japanese ingredients that are prepared using classic French culinary techniques. We can’t speak to what it’s like to dine here on a regular night of dinner service, since we were there to try the restaurant’s new “interactive dining” experience with executive chef Mori.
Basically, the chef walks you through the preparation of each dish, explaining the defining qualities and origins of the ingredients, how best to cook or prepare them, and why those flavors work so well together. It’s like a culinary workshop, lite. A lot of it is demo (on the chef’s part) and observation (on your part) — but you do get to learn quite a bit about the creative process for chefs, as well as plating in classic fine dining styles.
First, he made his Okinawa Sangen pork tenderloin cutlet sandwich — this one is not on the regular menu, but is available by special request.
The pork cutlet sandwich is made up of one juicy pork cutlet, done tonkatsu-style. It’s sandwiched, along with a bit of cabbage, in between two slices of bread with Dijon mustard and mayonnaise spread on very thinly.
The outer edges of the sandwich are then trimmed off, and it is then finished off with a bit of tonkastu sauce and a small spoonful of Takumi’s homemade tomato salsa. It was simple but perfectly executed — the pork was tender and juicy, and we particularly liked the tomato salsa, which added a nice bit of sharpness to the sandwich.
Next up, chef Mori served us the Shiro Ika, a white squid tartare with Hokkaido white corn soup. This was a cold soup, light in texture, and surprisingly refreshing for a creamy soup. The squid tartare was fine, but we would have happily just had the white corn soup on its own — that was the real highlight of this dish.
The Ormeau, a dish of black abalone paired with homemade tagliolini with kimo (abalone liver) sauce, was a small but hearty, deeply savory dish. Juicy slices of abalone on a perfect bite of pasta paired with that unusually umami sauce — it blew us away. We wished we could have had more.
Then, we tried the Avant Dessert, which is made up of Hokkaido melon marinade with sauternes, and served with melon sorbet. It’s a solid melon-based dessert, and we were fans of the melon sorbet which was thick but not too heavy or sweet. This is one of the things we plated ourselves. Key takeaway here: It’s a lot harder to make a scoop of sorbet look pretty than you’d think.
Moving onto the price tag — a spot for one of these “interactive” three-course lunches (an appetizer, a main, and a dessert) will run you HK$480 per person, while a four-course lunch (two appetizers, a main with the choice of Wagyu beef, and a dessert) is HK$880.
If you’re thinking of having dinner, there’s a nine and six-course tasting menu available at HK$2,080 and HK$1,680, respectively. Steep, to be sure — but hey, this is like the F&B version of courtside seating. Of course it’s going to be pricey.
Since seating is so limited, reservations are pretty necessary here. And, heads up: If you’re making a booking, then be prepared to provide details on minimum spend and any dietary restrictions. The staffers will also fill you in on any further requirements or information required from guests. All of this is meant for the restaurant to get back to you with a custom-made proposal for what you’ll be eating (and sort-of making) during your visit.
Takumi by Daisuke Mori is at Shop 1, The Oakhill, 16 Wood Road, Wan Chai
+852 2574 1299
MTR: Wan Chai, approx. 10 minute walk