Today is going to be a restaurant review of one of my absolute favourite restaurants in Hong Kong: Agehan (you can click here if you want to read more). It’s is a Japanese restaurant famous for its tempura dish.
I love Japanese food. It’s one of my favourite cuisines of all time.
Agehan has been a place I’ve visited since I was young but I haven’t had the chance to eat here since I’ve moved back to the city. The last time I ate here was more than 4 years ago so as you can imagine, I was quite excited.
I first got to know this place through my mom. She discovered Agehan when she was working in Central, the financial district in Hong Kong. This was a place she and her coworkers like to eat at because it was close to their office and the food is good.
Since Agehan is in the financial district, it gets really busy during lunchtime. I recommend booking a reservation a few days before in advance. You could try your luck by going right when the restaurant opens at 11:30 am. Don’t think you can pop into the restaurant at whatever time you’d like though because they do close in the afternoon. They are open on Mondays to Saturdays from 11:30 am – 2:45 pm for lunch and 6 pm – 10 pm for dinner.
This time around, we went on a Saturday at 6 pm, right when it opened for dinnertime. We’ve never eaten dinner here before. We were around the area and it was a last-minute decision. She was worried that we couldn’t get a table but we did. The restaurant was empty when we went. It was less than 25% full. It’s probably because there’s hardly anybody in the financial district area on the weekends. Also, people in Hong Kong like to eat dinner at a later time whereas we both like to eat early.
The restaurant interior is very Japanese-like. Even after years, the restaurant interior didn’t change.
It was as if time stood still. There’s the sense of familiarity which is nice especially in a time where everything is uncertain.
Agehan Food Selection/Menu
Agehan has a vast menu selection but my mom and I didn’t spend much time looking at the options. Since we are familiar with this restaurant, we basically knew what we want. We made our decisions fairly quickly compared to when going to Fini’s Italian American. It took a long time to decide because I’ve never been there before.
Unfortunately, they do not have a menu online or else I would have linked it to my blog post for those who want to see it. I would be annoyed if I’ve never eaten here before. I’m a picky eater so I always look at menus online beforehand. It’s frustrating when a restaurant doesn’t put up its menu on its website.
I recommend going on Openrice. Openrice is a platform for customers to review restaurants (it’s like Yelp) and on Openrice’s Agehan page, there are a few pictures of the menu. It’s not complete but at least you have an idea of what they serve.
Tamagoyaki (Japanese Egg Roll)
I had a strong craving for tamagoyaki, a Japanese egg roll that came out of nowhere. I wasn’t sure if Agehan made it. They did which is great because I love eating this.
I even tried to look for an online recipe because I like eating it so much. Why not make tamagoyaki myself and satisfy my craving whenever I want? I still haven’t tried making it yet but I plan to do it soon.
After ordering, my mom and I were chatting. The tamagoyaki was the first item that came out. It was so quick too. I took one look at it and it wasn’t a good first impression. Why? Because there were grey parts. Is this even edible?
Looks aren’t everything when it comes to food but you have to admit, it is important. I took a bite and the taste was meh. It was bland and I also cannot get over the grey parts. There were 4 egg rolls in total. We split the dish evenly but we weren’t eager to finish it. It was only because we were hungry and didn’t want to waste food. The tamagoyaki wasn’t anything fantastic. I will not be ordering this again the next time I come here. I will also not recommend anyone else order this.
I love eating miso salmon so when I saw it on the menu, I told my mom I wanted one. I expected a little tiny piece of fish. To my surprise, it was a generous portion. It looked yummy too. Definitely better looking than the previous dish.
…except the fish was dry. I also could barely taste the miso. It’s miso salmon. The taste of miso is strong so shouldn’t I be able to taste it?
My mom also scrunched up her face in agreement when she had her first bite. At this point, I was disappointed. That’s two dishes in a row that wasn’t good. Should I only stick with ordering the one dish I know I like from now on?
Miso Black Cod
We also ordered another fish – miso black cod. Do you see the pattern here? I love miso-flavoured fish. The miso salmon came out first and since I felt iffy about the dish, I wasn’t sure how good the miso black cod would be.
My mom likes to eat miso black cod with a side of mayo. Most of the restaurants I usually go to does serve the dish with this condiment. Agehan didn’t so my mom asked for a side of mayo. Miso black cod is still delicious without the mayo but the mayo adds extra flavour to the fish. It brings the miso cod to the next level of yumminess. If you haven’t already, I recommend you to try miso black cod with mayo at least once. It’s really good.
The codfish is very soft, smooth, and melts in your mouth. We loved it. Finally, there’s something we ordered that came out that was actually delicious. We were about to eat it up very quickly but I stopped myself in time. At that point, our main dish didn’t even come out yet! I wanted to wait for our rice so I can eat the black cod with it.
Does anyone do this too? If it’s an appetizer or side dish, I’ll eat some but I’m willing to wait for the main dish so I can eat everything at once. Buffet style. Especially if the main dish contains rice and the side dish/appetizer is salty. You bet I’m going to wait. Salty dishes go best with plain rice. It balances out the flavour.
The only thing I have to warn you about the black cod is to be careful while eating it. The fish does contain bones. Most of them are pretty small too so you can easily miss them. I could hardly see the bones but could definitely feel them as I ate the fish. I would have much rather eaten a boneless codfish.
Tempura Seafood Rice
The last dish I will be talking about today is the tempura seafood rice. This is what my mom and I would order every single time we come here. We usually get our own but we collectively agreed that we wanted to try other dishes so let’s share this time.
Big mistake. The lunch portion had a good amount of rice but less tempura. The dinner portion had more tempura (we ordered the larger size since we were going to share) and less rice. We ended up having to order a separate bowl of rice because there wasn’t enough rice.
We split the tempura pieces well. She prefers the tempura shrimp and vegetables where I basically like everything else. I like the tempura crab, mushroom, fish, and shrimp. Me and my love for seafood. It will never go away, I swear.
There were already many tempura pieces but I wanted MORE. The food is very fresh.
There’s also something about their tempura batter. Most of the Japanese places I go to has a light-coloured tempura batter but Agehan makes the tempura batter darker. I don’t know how they do that. The colour alone could be deceiving me but it tastes sooo much better in my opinion.
For this dish, you might be full on the tempura pieces but there’s not enough rice to go with it. That’s the only complaint I have about this one. There’s a reason why we were both looking forward to eating this the most. We learned our lesson. No more sharing this dish because we were both still unsatisfied after we finished.
Final Notes on Agehan
As I’m writing this restaurant review, I realized I do like shrimp quite a bit. I thought I didn’t because when I think of what shrimp dishes I like, only tempura shrimps come to mind. But then at the dim sum restaurant, Summer Palace, I was down to eat shrimp toast and shrimp rolls and I also ate shrimp at Pica Pica. I’m a shrimp fan I guess, especially fried shrimp.
This is an expensive restaurant. I treated my mom and was surprised at the final amount. My heart and wallet hurt a little but it’s been 4 years since I’ve eaten here. I can brush it off this time. It’s not often that we come here to eat. I also should treat my mom out more. Given the dishes and location, I can understand they charge a premium price but it would be nice if the restaurant was more affordable.
If you’re looking for an authentic Japanese restaurant that serves good tempura and is willing to spend some money, you should definitely visit Agehan. We always see Japanese people eating here as well. That should be a pretty good indicator that the food is authentic or not.
Just thinking back on my experience at Agehan is making my mouth water. Writing this blog post is making me hungry. I want to go eat at the restaurant again very soon.
What do you like to eat at Japanese restaurants?
Check out my other restaurant blog posts: