Matthew Abergel (pictured) and sous chef Lam Siu Fung
Modern Japanese seafood
Flower crab, Hokkaido uni, mitsuba
8 On Wo Lane, Central, Hong Kong
Seafood and whisky - what’s not to like?
What’s it all about? Seafood and excellent libations are the twin pillars of Matt Abergel's trendy izakaya-style dining bar, which has been wowing Hong Kong crowds since it opened in 2013.
On the menu: Signatures include crab shells piled with crab meat, mitsuba (wild parsley) and fresh sea urchin or smoky, seared eel and sushi rice blended with kinome (a spicy Japanese herb). The drinks list has been designed to match the food, featuring more than 100 Japanese whiskies, umeshu, shochu and sake, plus craft beer, wine and cocktails.
About the chef: Before transplanting from Canada to Hong Kong, Abergel spent some time in high-end Japanese restaurants around the world, including Masa in New York. Before launching Ronin, he opened Yardbird, a yakitori restaurant, in 2011 to critical acclaim.
How to get a stool: With only 14 places at the bar, you’ll want to book up to two weeks in advance by email or phone. Walk-ins are also accepted for 12 spaces along the wall counters.
Hit the floor: Ronin's floorboards and bar are made from Japanese keyaki wood – a fitting choice considering Abergel's father and grandfather were both carpenters.