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Tucked away down Minden Avenue, a small side street off Mody Road just a short walk from Tsim Sha Tsui station is Arashiyama, one of Hong Kong’s best ambassadors for Japanese omakase dining. Omakase means I'll leave it up to you, and in the gastronomic context this translates to a restaurant where diners entrust themselves – and their meal – to the talented chefs in the kitchen. Naturally, an a la carte menu is on offer as well, but for the best Arashiyama experience, leave it to the knife-wielding dude in the big white hat.
The scene is immediately set for some superlative Japanese dining the moment you step inside Arashiyama’s restaurant down Minden Avenue. The interior has a distinct Japanese look, as befits a restaurant that proposes to offer Hong Kong diners an peerlessly authentic evening out, yet there’s a spacious and relaxed atmosphere at work that takes things down a notch, thankfully, from the more austere traditions embodied by formal kaiseki restaurants. Either way, busy Tsim Sha Tsui falls away the moment you shoelessly tread the tatami.
Arashiyama is ideal for those in Hong Kong who are simply seeking out a sashimi selection that is guaranteed to be of the highest quality. A few pieces of this Japanese restaurant’s beautifully plated works of ichthyological art accompanied by a small pot of premium cold sake is a meal in itself. However, if you’re up in this quarter of Tsim Sha Tsui looking for something a little heartier, you won’t be disappointed with a table at Arashiyama. There are plenty of Japanese barbecued dishes on offer, with meat, seafood and vegetables grilled to perfection on a traditional smokeless white charcoal grill. Our final and firmest recommendation is, though, to go omakase all the way.