Lower Ground Floor, Henry House, 42 Yun Ping Road, Causeway Bay
Tel: 2895 4111
Grub: Japanese-style breaded, deep-fried pork cutlets, or tonkatsu.
Vibe: Nestled in the basement of Henry House in Causeway Bay, Saboten is a relatively spacious restaurant with a relaxed and calming atmosphere. Traditional Japanese wood beams and subtle red and green padded chairs give the place a homely, zen feel.
Who to take: Great for lunch or dinner with a small group of friends if you can manage to snag a table during peak restaurant hours in Causeway Bay. They don’t take reservations so be prepared to queue if you happen to be in the area at the same time as the hungry lunchtime crowd. Do note that they are closed every day between 3pm and 6pm.
What’s hot: Saboten belongs to one of the largest tonkatsu chains in Japan, and the chefs have pretty much perfected the art of frying up breaded pork cutlets – you will not be disappointed with their Japanese premium pork sets.
Even though three quarters of the items on the menu are deep-fried, you won’t be left with a greasy aftertaste. The batter is light, and the cutlets are tender and juicy. For the authentic Japanese tonkatsu experience, grind some sesame seeds with the provided pestle and mortar, and combine it with their special plum sauce, then dip your slices of pork into it. We were also extremely pleased with the free-flow shredded cabbage, seasoned pickles and cucumber slices, rice, and miso soup. In fact, the refillables themselves could have made up an actual decent meal on their own.
What’s not: Vegetarians should probably give Saboten a miss. Almost all the items on the menu include either a variant of pork or chicken. There are also not many options if you’re not a fan of their speciality.
We tried the mushroom and fish cake bowl and found it rather bland, and the fish cake slices were quite rubbery.
Cost: The premium twin combo set costs HK$348, and set meals range from HK$88 to HK$198. Appetisers range from HK$28 to HK$68. All sets come with hot green tea and those delish refillables.