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Lung Fu Pao

 
This recently opened Japanese restaurant in upper Soho is destined to attract attention in more ways than one. Firstly, the name of the restaurant, Lung Fu Pao is familiar to many a local resident. Lung Fu Pao, which means dragon, tiger, and panther or leopard, alludes to an adult magazine popular in the 1980s and 90s, since discontinued. The restaurant's décor as well as some of its serving plates depict frank photos from past magazine issues, offering an interesting diversion for diners.
 
None of that takes away from the food it serves, which is quite good. The restaurant serves contemporary Japanese eats that include sashimi, sushi, maki (rolls), temaki, kushiyaki (skewers) and shared plates, plus a large collection of sake, Japanese beer, highballs, wines, whiskies and more.
 
An open kitchen dominates the restaurant space; diners can eat and drink sitting either along the long kitchen counter or at the tables beside it. The outlet is busy and lively, and food is quickly prepared and served.
For our meal, we had a generous sampling of the menu items. They included a tasty plate of Dried Codfish w/ Jalapeno Mayo ($448), Snapper Carpaccio ($148), Scallop Sashimi ($148/3 pieces), Fatty Tuna Sashimi ($128 /3 pieces). Sushi items we tried included Salmon ($38/2 pieces) and Halibut ($58/2 pieces).
 
The skewers that followed included Shishito Pepper ($28), Egg Plant ($18), Mushroom ($18), Ox Tongue ($58) and Pork Belly ($48). We then wrapped up our meal with maki rolls, which are sushi and raw vegetables wrapped in seaweed. Both the Dragon Roll ($158) – tempura prawn, spicy tuna, snow crab and flying fish roe, and Tiger Roll ($138) – soft shell crab, cucumber, salmon, flying fish roe are good and come in nice portions .
 
We also tried a couple of cocktails, which included Kitty Juice ($130) – mezcal, pineapple and shiso, and Kabuki Mule ($125) – roku gin, cucumber and ginger ale – both are intriguing.
 
Lung Fu Pao is probably the city’s first self-described raunchy- themed restaurant with audacious interior design. It’s a lively gathering place serving good casual Japanese food and drinks, and highly worth a visit. Give it a try.
 
 
47B Elgin Street, Central, Hong Kong

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