Shoku is a fun date night destination that promises great food and drinks!
With its relaxed and trendy setting by the beach, The Pulse is quickly becoming one of the hottest dining and shopping destinations in the Repulse Bay area, and recent newcomer Shoku is an elegant and sophisticated addition to the growing repertoire of restaurants along the block.
The sister restaurant of Kishoku in Causeway Bay, the 4,000 sq.-ft. Shoku embraces the same concept of high quality contemporary Japanese fare, along with one of the city’s largest “binchotan” charcoal grills for cooking fresh seafood fireside.
We found the atmosphere comfortable and cozy, with a more cheerful décor than you regular Japanese restaurants, which tend toward darker hues and dim lighting. With light wood paneling, funky green and white geometric tiles and of course the sizzling grill taking centre stage, Shoku fits in seamlessly to its beachside surroundings. We felt quite welcome to kick back and settle in for a long and relaxing evening with plenty of people-watching and a few cocktails involved.
A great date night dinner is just as much about the drinks as it is about the food, and thankfully Shoku’s offerings are on point, with a focus on traditional Japanese spirits crafted into innovative, refreshing cocktails. My dining companion opted for the Chado, a unique matcha old-fashioned which was smooth and cleansing despite its somewhat murky presentation. My drink of choice was much more presentable – the Clover Club made with a refreshing blend of Tanqueray gin, lemon, raspberry, sugar and foamed egg white. This is the perfect “girly” drink which still packs a hard punch!
We ordered the recommended tasting menu ($680/person), which comes out to 10 dishes combined for two people, so be prepared to tackle this with a strong appetite! Our menu started off with a small dish of fried baby Japanese shrimp to snack on, followed by a bowl of spinach salad dressed in a moreish sweet sesame sauce. The veggies were crisp and fresh, and a good indication of the quality of ingredients to come.
We had a front-row view of the chef in charge of preparing salads, and it was a mouthwatering treat to watch him expertly slice wafer-thin avocados and pile on mounds of fresh crab atop beautiful, bountiful salads.
We opted for the tofu salad, which was again dressed in that beautiful sesame dressing. I love the bite-sized pieces to add variation to the thick tofu slices, along with the fresh pop of cherry tomatoes.
The prawn and sweet potato tempura that followed was delicious, fried to a crispy golden colour with large chunks of juicy prawn nestled between julienned sweet potato slices.
My companion, an oyster fanatic, easily shot back two fresh oysters, prepared at Shoku with a minced garlic and scallion topic. Not big on oysters (although they got rave reviews from my partner), I turned my attention to a giant grilled Hokkaido scallop with the same savoury garlic topping, which was tender and flavourful.
A meal at Shoku wouldn’t be complete without ordering robatayaki skewers, and I would highly recommend the ox tongue skewers for adventurous eaters – a less fatty bite that still packs tons of flavour. Another must-try is the Kurobuta Pork stuffed with scallions. The pork is juicy and marbled in fat, and the slivers of scallions inside add a fresh and crisp component. The grilled mushrooms were decent as a complement to the meaty skewers, but lacked seasoning.
The star of the show was definitely the wagyu beef that followed, beautifully presented with a juicy, caramelised exterior giving way to perfectly medium-rare meat inside. The dish was generous in portion-size, meaning we each had more than our fill of the tender, robust beef.
Simple yet aromatic and flavourful, the bowl of fried rice that came at the end at the end of the meal was perfectly set off with a teaspoon of truffle on top, adding richness to the bacon, egg and shrimp stir fry.
Our set meal ended with a dessert platter of red bean cake, fried green tea milk pudding and green tea panna cotta, of which the latter was my favourite. The luscious, creamy dessert was not overpoweringly sweet, and the ideal palate-cleanser to end a night celebrating Japanese flavours and fine ingredients flown in straight from the motherland.
With its casual yet energetic atmosphere featuring the flaming binchotan grill as the focal point, Shoku is a fun date night destination that promises great food and drinks along with theatrics as you watch your food cooking before your eyes. The restaurant also brings in live DJs at sunset, making it a great night-time dining destination for getting your groove on beachside.