IPPOH tempura restaurant, Hong Kong


🌏 No.39 Aberdeen Street, Central, Hong Kong China (View map)

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Location / Nearby IPPOH tempura restaurant, Hong Kong

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Peter C
πŸ‘† Web ⏳ 31-10-2020

A very good tempura restaurant

This Japanese tempura restaurant is located on Aberdeen Street, Central, near PMQ. The restaurant originates in Osaka, and then opened outlets in Tokyo and another one in Osaka, and in 2014 started this first overseas branch in HK. The restaurant is small, with only 8 seats around the counter, plus another booth seats accommodating up to 4 persons. Seated right in front of the chef and seeing how he prepares each of the tempura pieces is a real treat. The decor is pretty rudimentary, but overall it gives a familiar ambiance like we are in Japan, with the serving lady dressed in kimono. We ordered the Omakase Menu ($1,680 each) and also a half bottle of Isojiman Junmai Daiginjo ($780). The chef first prepares all the ingredients, taking out the different foodstuff from the boxes and laying them down on a tray. We were first served the Chawanmushi, which was great in look and taste, with the egg creamy and infused with wonderful flavors, also having a piece of rice cake at the bottom to give a nice chewy bite to complement. One of the best chawanmushi I tasted in HK. We were then served the different seasonings and sauce, with the first tempura being the Shrimp Heads. Deep-frying to perfection, there is no lumpy flour attached with the thin tempura coated the crispy shrimp heads, very good in taste as well. Then we were served the body of the two Shrimps, one being the original style with a sweet taste coming from the fresh shrimp meat. And even for the tail we could eat it whole. The other shrimp is wrapped with shiso so there is an additional fragrance coming from the leaf, which I like also. Next was Kisu, or Japanese Whiting, a small fish that has very little fat and one of the most loved tempura ingredients. Dipping in the tempura sauce mixed with lots of mashed radish, the delicate taste of the fish is amplified by the slight sweetness of the sauce, really amazing! The Sweet Potato has the right level of sweetness, and the texture is also very good, not too soft and not too hard. The chef reminded us not to use any condiments to experience the original and true taste of the sweet potato, and I totally agree that this way is the best to enjoy. Another prized ingredient is Maitake. The mushroom is recognized and famous for its healing ability, and quite a large piece is being served to us. Eating it made us feel both satisfied in terms of sensory enjoyment because of the taste, and also feel happy knowing the food is good for our health. The next dish is the one I like most for this dinner. On the appearance this white rectangular piece is initially puzzling, and only upon biting we knew it was Squid. But the texture was very soft, without any hint of rubbery, and able to bite off easily. The flavors are also amazing, intense with great taste and every bite was a pure pleasure. A must try! Then it was something seasonal. The Shirako, or fish milt, is wrapped in a shiso before deep-frying, with creamy texture and rich flavors, and I found this way to prepare shirako is superior than other styles I tasted in sushi or kaiseki restaurant. Next it was a piece of Corn. It was crunchy, with the corn kernels sweet and tender, and again the technique of deep-frying the vegetable without totally drying out the ingredient, ensure it was cooked through, and having the batter of the right thickness and viscosity, is a testimony of the skills of the chef. The following is something I believe might have adopted locally. Using two pieces of bread and with some chopped shrimp meat in between, the Shrimp Toast looked similar, and I was impressed on how the toast was able to be crisp but not oily. Seeing the chef took out two boxes of Sea Urchin, he used a piece of dried seaweed to wrap around the two types of sea urchin, and then quickly deep-frying it for a short while. Taking it out, he added a bit of wasabi on top and I found the flavors were more intense than just having the sea urchin raw. Very good indeed. Then it was Abalone. I believe the chef had braised the abalone beforehand, infusing it with more flavors before cutting in half and then deep-fried. The texture was very good, with the abalone soft and not chewy. For this one though, I thought how the sushi chef had used the liver to prepare a paste to accompany the abalone was a better way to enjoy. Next tempura was Scallop, with the chef first coated the scallops with a thin layer of flour before putting into the batter. After deep-frying the scallop is cut in halves, with the fresh and sweet taste permeated throughout. Adding a bit of peppercorn paste further enriches the complexity of flavors. Then it was Anago, a salt-water eel, with the large piece of eel after deep-frying, sprinkled with some peppercorn powder and adding a lot of chives on top. A rewarding treat, the eel has a wonderful soft bite and is another prized ingredient for tempura. Another must-try in my opinion. Finishing on the tempura we were served a small ball, and the chef told us it was Red Beans, with dough wrapping some red bean paste. It was sweet and flavorful, and prompted me to wonder was this part of the dessert but then the staff asked us what type of rice we would like. I went for the Ten Don, with the chef mixing some ingredients in a bowl of shredded vegetables, pieces of shrimp, and some other ingredients, then adding the batter together, before putting to deep-fry. The rice was served steaming hot, and the chef adding the tempura on top along with a piece of deep-fried seaweed, then adding some sauce on top. A great dish to fill out stomach and concluding a wonderful tempura meal. My wife opted for the Chazuke and she enjoyed it as well. On the dessert there were some Seasonal Fruit, including pear, grape and melon, all sweet and juicy. There was also Matcha Ice-cream inside a wafer shaped like an owl. The matcha ice-cream was rich and intense in the note, creating a happy and satisfied finish to our meal. Service was good, with the friendly and cheerful Japanese chef able to talk to us in English and also showed us how to use the right condiments to accompany the different tempura. Obviously he was much more talkative to the Japanese customers in his native language. The bill on the night was $4,554 which was reasonable. If you like tempura and want to go for a good restaurant here in HK, I would highly recommend this one.
πŸ‘† Mobile ⏳ 07-01-2019

The fifth generation of IPPOH Tempura after 180 years

It is fascinating that a family alone could sustain the IPPOH for more than 180 years. Seki San, the Tempura master, told us that he did not need his father to discipline him to excel in tempura art because he simply loves the art naturally. IPPOH is headquartered in Osaka. It has three branches and Seki San felt that it is his mission to pioneer the first branch outside Japan. Bravo! Osaka tempura is characteristized by its light tempura coating, compared to those in Tokyo. IPPOH’s tempura is skillfully lighter than those typical in Osaka. This time we were six FINE-DINERS. We decided to order the Omakase, the most seasonal dishes chosen by the Chef. The Tempura master stood all night and prepared with so much heart all the dishes. He answered to every question we have with his good English and tried to be as informative as possible. It is note that the Seki San uses a shallow WOT rather than a deep fry container to prepare the tempura. According to Seki San, if one knows to control the temperature of the boiling oil and timing of picking up the tempura from the boiling oil, a shallow WOT is much better than a deep container. I tend to agree because at the end of the dinner, I saw that the oil in the WOT is still very clear because all the small pieces falling off from the tempura β€œflour” could be filtered completely from the WOT. Most of the ingredients are chosen in the area neighboring to Kobe. They are freshly delivered to Hong Kong. For five years the menu price remains mostly the same so we were so fortunate to taste the best ingredients wrapped in almost transparent tempura coating at a very reasonable price. The Omakase menu per person is HKD1500 plus another 10 percent service charge.
πŸ‘† Mobile ⏳ 11-06-2018

Still as good as ever

This is our second visit since about two years ago as we have been thinking about the wonderful tempura here since the last visit. Every tempura meal elsewhere ever since the first meal here did not fail to disappoint, hence our determination to make time to visit on this trip to Hong Kong. Everything from the chef and the waitress to the every piece of tempura/ rice / soup/ dessert was simply best in class! We now look forward to returning soon !
πŸ‘† Mobile ⏳ 14-12-2017

Fine And Pleasant Tempura Place

Notice the Ippo stands on the Aberdeen Street for many years, it was an afternoon I visited for lunch. There is less than ten seats all around the cooking counter. Japanese chef was standing in front of a shallow frying pan full of light golden oil. Between two set menu I ordered an ordinary set. Fresh ingredients through fine skills are cooked to nice appearance and taste deliciously. The chef speaks good english, explained every steps in details. Including a sobert I finished the meal by 45 minutes. A pleasant place suitable for small group business or couple event.
πŸ‘† Mobile ⏳ 31-08-2017

Tempura prepared by authentic Japanese Master Chef

Only three choices of tempura menu to choose from using the best and freshest ingredients. Also excellent choices of sake along a good price range.
πŸ‘† Web ⏳ 19-07-2017

An authentic Jap tempura restaurant

Second time to this restaurant and still very very impressed. A very authentic Japanese tempura restaurant run by Chef Toyoichiro. Delicious food served with high quality of ingredients from Tsukiji market daily. A must try for those who fancy Japanese tempura and does not have time to travel to Japan daily.

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