Katiga Street – Super Kitsch Japanese Dining
Went to Katiga Street with a bunch of friends tonight and had the smaller of the street-front tatami rooms – it sat 10 and the minimum spend was the bargain price of HK$1250 in total (!)
It was a fun night and it will stay up in my Candy category because of the sheer daft uniqueness of it all, but I do have a couple of gripes:
1) The lighting was so frikkin bright that it took away the cosy, fun feel of the room and showed it up in all it’s slightly faded and shabby glory (and us after a hard night on the sake).
2) Each item of sushi and sashimi is so damn big that after a few you do start getting raw fish fatigue. These bits of fish are steak sized, I kid you not, and it gets a bit nauseating after a while.
It still was a lot of fun, and I’d go back again, I just think they could increase their profit margins by slashing sushi and sashimi to half the size, and their patrons would mostly be thankful for it.
Look at their mascot! How cool is he? You know you are in for a treat when you see a 5ft sumo wrestler squatting outside the front door…
I can’t thank my esteemed colleague enough for introducing me to Katiga Street in Hung Hom one lunchtime. The owners of this restaurant have, over the years, taken control of all the ground level shops in this alley and turned them into Japanese restaurants, so you walk around with a real feeling that you are in some Osakan back street – it’s brilliant.
It’s not the best sushi you’re ever going to eat, but the portions are huge, the price very reasonable and it’s still 100 times better than Genki.
For dinner, I like to take one of the private dining tatami rooms. Ask for one of the special street-front ones. There are two with one seating about 8 and the other up to 14 or so. There is a minimum spend for these, but it’s ridiculously low – the bigger one about HK$2,500 if I remember rightly. They serve loads of different sake, shouju and Japanese beers, and it’s just a fantastically kitsch themed experience to go with a group of friends for a jaunt somewhere a bit different.
After dinner the best place to head is Minden Avenue for some buckets of beer and Karaoke to round off your evening on the Dark Side.
Food: Standard Japanese fare, huge slabs of fish for sashimi, and sushi that you need to hold in two hands, you feel like you’re eating giant’s food. Beware the Deluxe Sushi Boat unless you have at least 10 people in your crew. I’d put it slap in the middle of the ingredient quality range for Japanese in HK.
Drinks: Decent if basic range of sake and beer etc very reasonably priced. Usually have promotions on.
Ambience: More kitsch than Disney.
Service: Swift and friendly, sometimes need to find a waitress who speaks English. Resist playing too much with the buzzers to call the waitresses in the Tatami rooms when you get a bit squiffy, the poor loves are in kimonos and have to take their shoes off and enter on their knees – they are not yoyos.
Cost: Really reasonably priced. Dinner $250-$500 a head depending on how much sake you can down and how much raw fish you can stomach. Or you can have a rice set for as little as $70. Bargain.
Location: 37 Sung Kit Street, Hung Hom tel 2764 6436. If you are a daft gweimui like me then just ring and get them to explain their location to the taxi driver. It’s a bitch to get to if you aren’t a Canto speaker. www.katiga.com.hk