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Restaurant review: Nabe-Dokoro Sessyu serves quality hotpot and sukiyaki

The restaurant space that used to house Okinawa Dining Bridges has given way to Nabe-Dokoro Sessyu, which specialises in Japanese hotpot – steamed, shabu-shabu (although on the menu it’s spelled shiya-bu shiya-bu) and sukiyaki. It’s a relaxing, convivial way to eat, as diners sit around the steaming pot dipping the ingredients into the broth, which (with shabu-shabu, anyway) can be drunk at the end of the meal.

We were a little confused at first when we were trying to decide what to order: some of the main ingredients were listed in separate parts of the menu, with different prices. The waitress explained that we had to order one “set” meat or seafood, which came with starter, broth, vegetables and noodles or congee; while any additional items could be ordered separately.

We started with a few non-hotpot dishes. Japanese fruit tomato (HK$50) was cold, sweet and palate-cleansing. Grilled ox tongue skewer (HK$50) had tender, moist meat, and the sea urchin nigiri (HK$100 per piece) was generously sized and creamy, although not the prettiest version we’ve been served.

The quality of the meats for the hotpot is excellent. We ordered the Kumamoto pork chuck roll set (HK$480 for 130 grams) with miso broth (the other options are soy sauce or chicken broth). Thinly sliced streaked with fat, the meat was fine and tender. Kobe beef sirloin (HK$680 for 100 grams) was beautiful, well marbled and delicate. Both meats needed only a quick swish through the bubbling broth. The meats were served with an acidic bottled ponzu sauce, and a light sesame dipping sauce that we preferred.

The vegetable selection was generous and varied, and included fu (Japanese gluten), three types of mushrooms, cabbage and chrysanthemum leaves. By the end of the meal, the broth had a deep, complex flavour.

Nabe-Dokoro Sessyu, 6/F Cubus, 1 Hoi Ping Road, Causeway Bay, tel:3188 3350. About HK$700 without drinks or the service charge.