The newest IT restaurant in Hong Kong is Yardbird. Opened in the summer, this gastropub/yakitori restuarant garnered raving reviews from CNN GO, Wall Street Journal, Luxe City Guides, Time Out and more.
The decor at Yardbird is sleek and minimalistic, more like a chic restaurant than a yakitori restaurant. Everyone there is attractive: the crowd’s mostly young, trendy professionals and some of the staff even look like models! We felt so out of place with our casual campus-style attires.. I was even carrying a textbook! We actually got stared at when we entered.. no kidding.
The guy in white (who’s grilling the skewers) is Matt Abergel, owner and chef of Yardbird. He’s only 29 but has already worked at Masa, the famous New York sushi restaurant and at Zuma in Hong Kong, where he was an executive chef.
Given that this is more of a gastropub, we ordered drinks. I had the El Chonie (a mix of beer and tequila).
The food portions are quite small and kind of expensive. Since we’re on a “student budget,” we decided to try a couple dishes and then go elsewhere for cheaper and more filling food.. pizza!
corn tempura ball… At $23 per ball, this is the most expensive kernels of corn I’ve ever had but also the most tasty! The batter was thin and the corn kernels bursted with sweetness when bitten into. My friends and I were all blown away by this incredible ball that we had temporarily forgotten the price of this!
KFC (Korean Fried Cauliflower)….This dish was innovative and it tastes good! Despite frying it, the cauliflower maintained its moisture and the spicy sauce was a good kick!
seared yellowtail salad…. This was the first “seafood salad” I had in which there’s more fish than veggies!
special of the day: clams… expensive ($50 each) but oh so delicious! The clam is mixed with potatoes.. onions? I’ve never had this combination before!
yakitori – gizzard…. It was my first time trying this.. surprising, the texture was chewy!
yakitori – oyster … Chef Matt made a joke saying how he made a deal with the restaurant next door (which was an oyster bar) that he couldn’t sell oysters! It’s called oyster because the part of chicken used is the thigh, but near the hip area, is really smooth and tender.
yakitori – special of the day: inner thigh…. The sauce was very flavourful but the meat wasn’t as tender as the oyster.
rice cakes (furikake, sesame)…. This was the first time I had fried rice cakes! The rice cake was chewy and the fried furikake/sesame crust was crispy! However, I could taste a lot of MSG.
The bill came with little packets of spices we used to sprinkle our yakitori with. So cute! There’s no service charge..such a rarity in Hong Kong! The bill turned out to be around $240 per person, which actually wasn’t too expensive, but then again, we weren’t full.
Yardbird certainly lives up to its hype… the staff were friendly, charming, patient, helpful and good-looking hehe and the food were innovative and tasty. I’ll probably come back again and next time, I’ll dress more fashionably!
FAIM? OUI OUI!!
33-35 Bridges Street, Sheung Wan, Hong Kong
Tel: 2547 9273