Rei 礼 is a Japanese restaurant at IFC Mall in Central. It is seldom that one would find a really good Japanese restaurant in a large shop shopping mall in Hong Kong and certainly not owned and operated by a large catering group. In general, I would not expect these restaurants to be really good and authentic, but this pre-conception can certainly be proven wrong, and Rei is a prime example.
Rei is definitely not like a typical good sushi restaurant (straightly speaking Rei is not a sushi restaurant, it is a sushi and teppanyaki restaurant). Not only is it located in a large shopping mall. The decor is also very modern and not of typical traditional Japanese style. It is also very rare for a good sushi restaurant to have spectacular sea view overlooking the Victoria Habour. In fact it is rare to find a sushi restaurant with any view at all.
Of course it is not the view or decor or the location that makes Rei a very good sushi restaurant. It is the sushi chef Mr Sasaki Takayuki and the sushi and sashimi that he served. Unlike most Japanese sushi chef, Mr Sasaki speaks quite fluent English, although with an interesting mix of heavy Japanese and Singaporean accent. He is a very talkative and entertaining person and you will certainly not be bored sitting at the sushi bar. Before coming to Hong Kong, he has worked in Singapore and Jakarta. For non-native Japanese customer, it is rare to be able to converse so much with an authentic Japanese sushi chef.
I would rate the sashimi and sushi served by Mr Sasaki as first rate. The seafood are fresh and of the top quality and all very well prepared. Overall, I had a great dinner at Rei, probably one of the best sushi meal I had in Hong Kong.
All photos were taken with Canon EOS 5D Mark II with EF 50mm f/1.4 USM. All photos were shot in RAW and processed with Capture One Pro and Photoshop CS5.