Sunday, December 6, 2009

Takeya: Foodie Friends

Dinner with foodie friends always = good times. Nothing beats chatting about good food while eating good food… and it’s also nice to have someone who doesn’t think you’re a complete freak show when you whip out your digicam to document every detail of your dinner.

IL chose the place this time and with the directions he gave me, I found myself in some nondescript alley in Hung Hom, faced with a wooden Japanese slide door with the kanji characters for Takeya hanging over it. I walked into the restaurant and fell in love. Such a cute space – very very small, granted (probably seats 15 people at a time) but so wonderfully warm and cozy. It seemed more like a friend’s house than anything. I plunked myself down on a seat and, as always, let IL decide on our dinner choices. If there’s one person I trust with my food, it’d be him.

(Clockwise from top left: potato salad, daikon, chicken neck, cheese with guts)

(Chicken skin and chicken neck)

But before any of our orders, the super-friendly/mumsy waitress, Dodo (wife of one half of Takeya’s older brother-younger brother team) brought over the plate of complimentary purple taro to start. So winter-appropriate. Sighhhh…lovely. Following the taro, the first two dishes to came in the form of a small plate of pickled daikon and a giant mound o’ potato salad ($42). The salad was flecked with bits of bacon and sliced cucumber for a nice bit of crunch, it was a hearty starter and a very easy-eating dish that I kept going back to throughout the night.

And here, can I please mention how good Takeya’s yakitori items are? Please? Because it’s definitely worth mentioning. We went with the chicken skin ($23/skewer) – cooked to crispy perfection and absolutely delish when grilled with a few flecks of salt. The ($23/skewer) was another winner with its slight crunchy mouthfeel. And being an innards person, I absolutely loved the chicken neckgrilled pig intestine ($24/skewer). Fragrant, chewy without being rubbery and so deliciously flavored.

(Cooked pig's intestine)

And following the yakitori-ed version of the pig’s innards, we also ordered a cooked-in-broth version of pig’s intestine ($58). Again, chewy and full-flavored in all the right places. But while everything up to this point was good, it all had to give way when I tried the stellar dish of the night – cheese topped with fish intestine ($48). OMG SOOOO not appetizing-sounding, I know...but SO EFFIN' GOOD!!! This dish + beer = a very good time. The intense savory flavor of the intestine pairs so beautifully with the strong taste of the cheese – the flavor combination just begs to be washed down with an ice cold beer. D-e-l-i-cious.

(Tamago: just like comfort food)

(Grilled mochi)

This high was followed by the most comforting dishes of the night – the grilled tamago ($45). Thick and fluffily light… warm and actually just a tad still-runny on the inside. The tamago felt like a pillow of eggy goodness on the tongue. Both of us were so super impressed. We rounded off the meal with a few pieces of grilled mochi ($25), which were beautiful chewy and messy on the inside but crisp golden on the outside.

And after downing two big mugs of beer each with our meal, the two of us were feeling more than satisfied and more than well-fed. Like I said, dinner with foodie friends always = good times.

FOOD: 3.75/5

TAKEYA ($$$)
31C1 Tak Man Street
Whampoa Estate
Hung Hom

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