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Originally published by Doris Lam. Last updated by Annette Chan.
Sea urchin, also known as uni (うに) in Japanese, is a delicacy that has taken Hong Kong by storm over the last few years—and we’re not complaining. To celebrate our love for this creamy, buttery seafood, we’ve rounded up the best sea urchin dishes in town. From conventional sushi rolls to more creative dishes like an 18-layer sashimi cup, here are some of our favourite sea urchin dishes in Hong Kong.
Tucked away in Jordan is Raku Teppanyaki, a renovated and rebranded reincarnation of S2 Teppanyaki. Thankfully, S2’s signatures have made it over to Raku, including the staggering 18-layer sea urchin cup ($398). While only four layers of this signature dish are actually sea urchin, the other 14 go hand-in-hand with the Hokkaido uni. Get ready to dive into layers of sashimi, caviar, crab meat, scallop, shrimp, and more for a feast to remember.
If you prefer the depth of
flavour from seared seafood, the flame-grilled uni in crab shell ($288)
comprises sea urchin, black flying fish roe, ikura, piled on top of a crab
shell, which is then torched to intensify the flavours.
Raku Teppanyaki, Shop 6, 29–37 Wai Ching Street, Jordan | (+852) 2885 8955
Tired of being served minuscule portions of sea urchin? Head to Fujiyama 55 for their sea urchin tsukemen ($198). Not only do you get a plentiful portion of sea urchin and salmon roe, but the dipping ramen soup is also infused with creamy uni—perfect for days when you want to indulge in a hearty meal. Order a bowl of cheesy Japanese rice ($20) afterwards to soak up the leftover broth so nothing goes to waste—or go the whole hog with the two-colour sea urchin tsukemen ($298).
Fujiyama 55, Shop 7 & 8, South Seas Centre, 75 Mody Road, Tsim Sha Tsui | (+852) 2723 7737
Located in Tsim Sha Tsui, the clean, Japanese-inspired wooden décor at Towada Sushi will draw you in at first glance. Using fresh produce flown in daily from Japan, the restaurant is famous for its authentic flavours and reasonable prices. Although they do have regular sea urchin nigiri sushi on offer, it’s the sea urchin steamed egg custard ($38) that has captured our hearts (and stomachs). It features a silky-smooth egg custard with fresh sea urchin delicately placed on top. Another creative bestseller featuring uni is the Heisei roll ($148), a sushi roll made with minced fatty tuna, sea urchin, and ikura (いくら; salmon roe).
Towada Sushi, Chinachem Cameron Centre, 42 Cameron Road, Tsim Sha Tsui | (+852) 2668 8791
K-Town’s modern Mexican restaurant, Chino, incorporates Japanese influences into their food and cooking, creating a slew of unique dishes and combinations. Taste the ocean with their scallop & uni tostada ($90) on a toasted tortilla, where you’ll find stacked layers of textural seafood, with diced tomatoes and shredded seaweed sprinkled on top. These addictive tostadas are so delicious, you’ll be ordering seconds in no time.
Chino, 1B New Praya Kennedy Town, Kennedy Town | (+852) 2606 0588
Sea urchin risotto may be the match made in heaven that we’ve been waiting for. The buttery texture of uni blends seamlessly with risotto’s creamy consistency, creating the most mouth-watering fusion. Locanda dell’ Angelo’s Hokkaido sea urchin risotto ($368) has a secret ingredient to it as well—freshly grated wasabi. While the wasabi is not overpowering, you’ll be savouring every bite just to feel the subtle, spicy burn.
Locanda dell’ Angelo, 12 Yuen Yuen Street, Happy Valley | (+852) 3709 2788
Two-Michelin-starred French restaurant, Amber, may have stopped serving the popular Hokkaido sea urchin in langoustine jello, but their new sea urchin dish might be even better. Assembled with Aka uni, cauliflower, lobster jello, and a generous dollop of caviar, the dish resembles an art piece that mirrors the elegance and beauty of the restaurant’s interior. The dish is part of the Amber Experience tasting menu ($1,788 per person) for dinner.
Amber, The Landmark Mandarin Oriental, 15 Queen’s Road Central, Central | (+852) 2132 0066
Calling all fried rice fans—make your way over to Arashiyama Japanese Restaurant in Tsim Sha Tsui to try the sea urchin fried rice ($138). Unlike some fried rice dishes where the rice is the dominant ingredient, here the sea urchin flavour is prominent with every bite. The scallions are a welcoming touch to the dish, adding little bursts of sweet onion flavour to counter the greasiness of the fried rice. If you’re there during wintertime, you can also try Arashiyama’s seasonal black truffle, uni & scallop roll.
Arashiyama Japanese Restaurant, 11 Minden Avenue, Tsim Sha Tsui | (+852) 2622 2095
Despite what its name may suggest, Tipsy Restaurant & Bar is not just a place to enjoy drinks—though theirs are pretty darn good, especially when you can snag a seat on the outdoor terrace. The food menu, which includes snacks, light bites, and well-thought-out mains, includes a popular sea urchin pasta with flying fish roe ($288). Presented as an artful twist of black roe- and uni-topped noodles lying in a bed of flower-studded fennel foam, this is a dish that tastes as good as it looks.
Tipsy Restaurant & Bar, 1/F, Little Tai Hang, 98 Tung Lo Wan Road, Tai Hang | (+852) 2818 8807
While Silencio’s Wagyu katsu sando is already plenty luxurious on its own, the contemporary jazz izakaya offers patrons the opportunity to amp things up with an alternative that is even more opulent. The boujee sando, which sees each quarter of the signature Wagyu sando upgraded with a “boujee” ingredient—truffles, caviar, uni, and foie gras—can be ordered à la carte for $588 or added to the dinner tasting menu ($978) as an upgrade ($288).
Silencio, 6/F, LKF Tower, 33 Wyndham Street, Central | (+852) 2480
Though Xuân is best known for its delicious beef and chicken phởs (starting from $148), this modern northern Vietnamese restaurant also offers a sumptuous bún uni ($198) experience. Available only at dinner time, this luxe take on the humble rice noodle dish is served in a 12-hour fish broth, with cherry tomatoes, pickled garlic, quail egg, a runny egg, and lightly charred uni. Served with the customary herbs, beansprouts, and lime, this is a fresher and zingier take on uni dishes than you can typically find on the market.
Xuân, 18 Luen Fat Street, Wan Chai | (+852) 2891 1177
By now, we’ve covered uni dishes in Japanese, Italian, French, and even Vietnamese cuisine—but how about dim sum, the crown jewel of Cantonese cuisine? Modern dim sum restaurant Dim Sum Library utilises the decadent ingredient as a counterpoint to the crispy, crunchy textures found in their Hokkaido king crab & sea urchin spring roll ($92). It’s an inspired move, but don’t take too long to gawk at it—the heat from the spring roll will melt the sea urchin even faster than normal.
If 18 layers of seafood is a little too fussy for your tastes, try the sea urchin cup from Yuen Long sushi-ya Sushi Man instead. Featuring a small mound of vinegared sushi rice heaped with what seems to be dozens of buttery golden uni tongues and crowned with a single peony shrimp, this is about as indulgent as it gets. Try the prized cup as part of the restaurant’s eight-course omakase menu ($1,900).
Sushi Man, Shop 5, Lee Fat House, 5 Yan Lok Square, Yuen Long | (+852) 2285 9477