Hong Kong loves Japanese food. Japanese ramen, sushi, BBQ, teppanyaki you name it! Everywhere you go, you are bound to find a Japanese restaurant nearby.
Recently I've fallen in love with Futago, it's my go to restaurant for Japanese BBQ!
Shop B, 1-5 Irving St, Causeway Bay, Hong Kong
I've been to Futago three times, once for lunch and twice for dinner. I'd advise you to make a booking a few days in advance as I tried to make a booking one day beforehand but was told that they were already fully booked. It's also very unlikely you'll get a spot if you walk in on the day. When you make a booking they'll ask if you want to reserve a Hamideru Karubi (picture above), you should definitely at least try it once (trust me you won't regret it)!
The first time we went was for lunch. During lunch Futago serves a la carte as well as lunch sets such as pork belly on rice or other types of meat for the BBQ. We ordered the pork belly on rice and when we took our first bite of the pork belly it was juicy, tender and went very well with the Japanese rice. The other lunch set we ordered, the Prime Karubi set, came with three small pieces of beef to be cooked on the BBQ. Each table in the restaurant has a mini stove, not as big as Korean BBQ stoves, for waiters to cook the meat right in front of you.
The waiters cooked the Prime Karubi for us, they are taught how to cook different types of meat. The waiters are trained to cook each type of meat. The meat was so good, however the downside was that the serving was really small which left us wanting more!
The second time we went to Futago was for dinner and that time we reserved the Hamideru Karubi. Other than the Hamideru Karubi we also ordered outside skirt and Futago style pork belly. With the outside skirt we were given a choice to have it with sauce or salt, we chose salt. We also ordered a salad as well as rice for the meal.
The pork belly was juicy but it definitely wasn't as tender as the beef that the restaurant serves.
The highlight was definitely the Hamideru Karubi. When the meat was brought out it looked quite stiff and frozen. The portion was huge but very thin and it took up most of the stove.
This meat is "the star" of the restaurant and everyone is involved in the process of cooking the meat. What I mean by "involved" is when the waiter is about to place the meat on-to the stove he or she will give you a pep talk. The waiter will let you know that he or she will say "Se no" (which apparently means "ready set" in Japanese) then you, the customers, will be required to respond "Yo sho" (I think it means "it's good"). I was rather nervous having to say this especially with other tables sitting close to us.
So when we were ready, the waiter yelled out something really loud in Japanese and continued with "Se no" and then we went "Yo sho!" all the other waiters in the restaurant all yelled "Yo sho" as well! As soon as we said "Yo sho" the waiter proceeded to put the meat on to the stove. All the staff were really enthusiastic about this. I later heard "Yo sho" coming from other tables through out the night and the waiters were just as enthusiastic every time, I even yelled "Yo sho" with the waiters at times!
The Hamideru Karubi was left on the stove to cook for a little while before the waiter cuts it into smaller pieces for us to eat. The meat was really good and very easy to eat, it wasn't tough and the flavour was just right. It seems like Futago doesn't really marinate the meat other than using the sauce or putting salt, however when you taste the meat it's full of flavour! This serving was perfect for the two of us however if you have more than two people I'd recommend you reserve two.
Once we were done with our mains Futago served complimentary Japanese tea and yogurt, I think this is to clean out all the oils and flavours in your mouth. Despite being served complimentary yogurt and tea we also ordered ice cream for dessert.
Futago is a great choice when you're after a BBQ with quality meat. The staff are helpful and enthusiastic. I would say Futago is not exactly cheap but I personally think you get what you pay for which is quality delicious meat.