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Capturing Kappou Cuisine

Kappou Mu has opened as Hong Kong’s newest Japanese gourmet experience, one that reflects the essence of traditional kappou cuisine. The newly opened dining haven occupies one-third of a vibrant 3,000 sq. ft dual-concept Japanese dining-and-imbibing destination located within Tsim Sha Tsui’s stylish H Zentre, sharing the space with sister venue gastrobar room 3.

Divided into various intimate aesthetic spaces, Kappou Mu and room 3 share an entrance and reception area distinguished by a coal black stoned pathway across a dark-green floor. Bamboo reflections and a Japanese pendant lamp invite contemplation.  

Within the new restaurant, the central attraction is the serene kappou counter, crafted from Japanese cypress – a wood traditionally used for shrines and valued for its natural fragrance and antibacterial quality – where up to 14 diners and the chef bond over the culinary art of kappou. 

The word ‘kappou’ means ‘to cut and to cook’, and simplicity and beauty abound in the preparation and serving of a one-of-a-kind meal featuring the freshest produce from the seas and grasslands of Japan. The kappou master is also a skilled communicator and a showman, transforming a multicourse meal of seasonal specialities into a relaxing gastronomic adventure that sates the palate and soothes the soul.

At Kappou Mu, the culinary indulgence spans nine or 12-course lunchtime set menus and a lavish 15-course dinner menu. Dishes vary according to the season and are guided by the weather and the chef’s instinct. Diners may expect an appetiser, sashimi selection, a succession of dishes highlighting different Japanese cooking techniques – from stewed and simmered to grilled and deep-fried – then tempura, a rice course and dessert. The culinary team’s artful skills in niru (simmering), yaku (grilling), musu (steaming) and ageru (deep-frying) as well as nama (cutting) underline their kappou prowess.  

Current winter specialities include sought-after fish, crab, shrimp and other shellfish such as hoshigatsuo (star bonito), kinmedai (splendid alfonsino), Himi kanburi (winter yellowtail), buri (Japanese amberjack), ankō (angler), Ise ebi (spiny lobster), kobako (snow crab) and Akasaki oyster, while Omi beef from Shiga Prefecture is the meaty highlight.

Seafood is flown in fresh from the famed fish markets of Japan. Aside from toro (tuna) and luscious Hokkaido Aka and Shiro sea urchin, sashimi lovers can expect a rare feast of seasonal delicacies. The rare catch of hoshigatsuo (star bonito) hails from the Kanto region and is regaled for its black-dotted belly, pale red flesh, and a chewy texture and taste reminiscent of fatty tuna from the same fish family. 

Omi beef, the pride of the imperial capital, is also presented in various ways including the house signature of deep-fried Omi rib-eye cutlet whose special preparation renders the top-grade A5 rib-eye meat delightfully crispy and succulent. Unique among Japanese black cattle, the cows bred in Shiga Prefecture, east of Kyoto, enjoy free-grazing in a tradition that extends back more than 400 years. Once enjoyed by the shoguns of ancient Edo, Omi beef is now among the country’s top three wagyu, with beef exports rationed to 6,000 head per year to maintain exclusivity and sustainable supply. Infused with umami goodness, the sweet meat boasts a high amount of healthy monounsaturated fat. 

The nightly dining ritual is heightened by an extensive yet carefully curated collection of sake from top breweries. The in-house team of sake sommeliers is adept at recommending the best pours to pair with seasonal delicacies served at the counter. Labels from Juyondai, the premium brand by Yamagata producer Takagi Shuzo whose brewing technique has been honed over more than 400 years, are a particular treat. These include N by Hidetoshi Nakata – the acclaimed collaboration between Juyondai and the renowned footballer – Shichitare Nijikkan, Gold, Black and Red Label.

Another highlight on the hand-picked sake list is Shinshu Kirei Junmai Daiginjo Silver 39%, a top-grade Nagano sake made with Miyama Nishiki rice polished down to 39%. Its clean, light finish and fruity aromas pair well with the sashimi course. Kudoki Jouzu Jr Shizuku Daiginjo Namazume, an elegant shizuku sake from Aichi Prefecture in which the unpressed liquid drips naturally through a hanging cloth bag, is a fragrant must-try with a soft texture and a smooth finish.

HK$320.00

PER YEAR

(including delivery)

Mainland China, Hong Kong & Macao

US$58.00

PER YEAR

(including delivery)

Asia, North America, Africa and Europe

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