22 Ashley Rd, Tsim Sha Tsui
Visited 26th January 2010 I've got a pretty standard pro-forma for writing up restaurants and if you look closely you’ll usually find half a sentence that mentions the setting/design/atmosphere at the bottom of the first paragraph. Hachiouji, a little Japanese place on Ashley Road, however deserves a little more than that, as honestly it resembles a toyshop more than a restaurant. The big elephant at the door gives a hint of things to come and inside the walls are chocked full of Japanese nostalgia. It’s stuffed with models, toys, games, posters and adverts from yesteryear; all very cool.
The menu is really just your generic Japanese with selections of everything ranging from teriyaki and tempura to soba and sushi. We decided to share a bowl of udon, mixed tempura, grilled chicken wings, and a sushi roll with pork. We also had a last minute order of barbecued ox tongue after watching our neighbours devour a serve. The small bowl of udon came simply served with a seaweed garnish, but they were well cooked and tasty. The tempura consisted of a single prawn, mushroom, chilli and piece of sweet potato; it was OK, but could have been a tad crisper. The four tiny chicken wings were pretty average and lacked flavour, both from the marinade and the grilling. Stuffed with plenty of grilled pork and lettuce the sushi was pretty good, as was the well seasoned, tasty ox-tongue. To drink I made the most of happy hour and enjoyed a big bottles of Asahi, while Joey stuck to tea.
I enjoyed most of the food at Hachiouji, especially the udon and ox-tongue, however the dishes were tiny and I left feeling a bit ripped off. Just because the walls are covered in toys it doesn't mean that you should be given children's sized serves. Our bill was $286 and I thought $55 especially expensive for four pieces of tempura and the tiny bowl of udon a joke at $62. The service was OK, though when paying I had to remind them that my drink should have been at the happy hour price. For those with nostalgic memories of a Japanese childhood Hachiouji is worth it for a walk down memory lane, but for you average Aussie kid who dreams of fishing and footy there's better value to be had elsewhere.