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Inaniwa Udon & Robata Grill Japanese Restaurant in Hung Hom Residential District of HK

Robata Inaniwa Udon - Inaniwa Yosuke, a restaurant specializing in Inaniwa udon and robata grill fare, opened on September 16 in the Whampoa district of Hung Hom, Hong Kong, home to a large percentage of the territory's Japanese population. The address is Shop A1, 27 Man Tai Street, Whampoa Estate, Hung Hom, Kowloon.

The streetside restaurant has a very Japanese design: the entrance is fitted with a Japanese-style "noren" curtain and sliding door, while pedestrians can see inside the restaurant through small openings in the wall. The tranquil interior, featuring a heavy dose of brown tones, has seating for 44, including a table area plus a robata grill with a counter surrounded by eight chairs. The grill seats have considerate touches like an armrest on one side to help diners enjoy a relaxing meal.

Robata Inaniwa Udon sells numerous fried and skewered side dishes like Arabesque greenling and barbequed whole squid, as well as many dishes from the northeastern Tohoku region of Japan, which includes Akita, the home of Inaniwa udon. Other Tohoku specialties on the menu include Togarashi Miso (peppered miso paste) from Sendai, Hotategai no Tsukudani (preserved Japanese scallop boiled in soy) from Aomori and Iburi-gakko (smoked and pickled daikon radish) from Akita, each priced at HK$58.

The Inaniwa Udon can be served hot or cold, and in bowls both large and small. There are ten or so varieties of hot and cold udon, with toppings such as grated daikon radish, grated yam, natto (fermented soy beans), shrimp tempura and fried chicken. Prices are HK$68 for a small bowl and HK$88 for a large one.

The restaurant's manager, Tsuyoshi Yamanobe, says, "In the future I want to spread Inaniwa udon across Hong Kong, starting at this restaurant." Business hours are 12:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. for lunch and 6:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. for dinner.

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