The Place Located around the corner from The Chairman, Ronin is a modern Japanese Izakaya restaurant by the same team behind the highly raved Yardbird. The small and cosy fine casual restaurant is also consistently listed on the Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants at the Number 45 spot in 2018 (although it is missing from the 2019 list), where you need to reserve well ahead for a table. The setting of the restaurant feels more like a bar, which are characterised by its high tables and chairs. I am guessing this is a way to make their diners more relaxed?
The Food The one page menu is split into small and big plates, along with raw ingredients like oysters and sashimi. There is strong focus on seafood at Ronin, as evident from its menu. I asked from the staff for some recommendations, and decided to go along with a few dishes from each section.
Starting from the raw section, I tried both the Kanpachi Amberjack Sashimi (HK$90) and the Tai Sea Bream Sashimi (HK$90). Both sashimi orders come with two thick slices. The Amberjack is has a distinct sesame and negi soy marination, while the Sea Bream has that refreshing yuzu zest to complement its fresh flavour.
From the small plates, the Grilled Ika Squid (HK$160) has bits of yuzu element. I like the texture of the Grilled squid here, which is not too tough and chewy. The yuzu bit provides a nice zest as well.
The other grilled dish I tried was the Grilled Aka Isaki Red Grunt Fish (HK$180). The marination of the grills here at Ronin is on point, where the flavour is robust without compromising on the freshness of the fish.
The last small plate I had was the Ebi Shrimp, Hotate Scallop with Shiso Leaf Tempura (HK$170). Tempura is one of my favourites and the batter here is light and crisp, though I wished that the portion is more generous.
Moving on to the big plates, the highlight for me is the Kagoshima Beef with Sukiyaki Egg (HK$480). You get thinly sliced wagyu beef here which is very tender and well-marbled, along with an egg yolk in the middle where you are supposed to have it like Sukiyaki style. This dish is delicious and my favourite for the meal.
Rants The dishes are generally not cheap and portions are not that big either. Be prepared to splurge.
Will I Return Again? While I enjoyed the food at Ronin, I do not find the dining experience value for money. The service could definitely be more personalised, while it would be good if portions are a little bigger with its price tag. And while bar seats are a nice idea, but packing two rows of bar seats back-to-back in a narrow restaurant may not be.
Taste bud: 3.5/5
Hole in the pocket: 4.5/5
Overall Experience: 3.5/5
G/F, 8 On Wo Lane, Sheung Wan, Hong Kong
Tel: +852 2547 5263
Monday to Saturday: 6pm to Midnight
Closed on Sunday
Ranted by The Ranter