March 14th, 2012
The infectious exuberance of the Japanese dining style of “robatayaki” has proven very popular in recent years in Hong Kong – catered for by an increasing number of impressive restaurants. One of the stand-out examples of the robatayaki restaurant trend has been Busy Suzie which opened in late 2009 within the prestigious 1881 Heritage redevelopment near the Tsim Sha Tsui waterfront. Occupying a large circular space within the restored lighthouse building of the old Marine Police Headquarters, the modern, chic design of the Busy Suzie interior is an interesting juxtaposition within the heritage building complex.
The concept for Busy Suzie is to offer guests an entertaining dining experience of high quality, authentic Japanese cuisine, accompanied by the boisterous theatrics of the robata chefs, packaged in a sleek and stylish setting. Diners can interact directly with the robata chefs close up at the seating around the long, curving robata counters, or observe at a more discrete separation from table settings in the main dining room, private rooms, or on the outdoor balcony. In addition to the robata grill menu, the Japanese chefs at Busy Suzie also feature fresh seafood at the Sushi counter and other contemporary Japanese dishes. The curved bar section is complimented by a large outdoor terrace area with lounge seating and views over the Kowloon skyline and harbour front. Since opening, Busy Suzie has become a popular destination for both locals and tourists, seeking a fun night out of fine Japanese cuisine, in a uniquely lively and entertaining environment. Lunch is also served daily- a large selection of set lunches offer value and variety of dishes, and the weekend brunch buffet provides a leisurely opportunity to sample a wide range of the culinary options.
Street facade of Busy Suzie
Entrance into robata grill and dining room
The stylish interiors of Busy Suzie were created by French design firm Gilles & Bossier Studio Paris- acclaimed for their work on renowned international restaurants such as Cha Cha Moon in London, Buddakan in New York, and Hakkasan in Istanbul. The design incorporates traditional Japanese building materials such as bamboo and dark timbers in a sleek contemporary design. Paper lanterns hanging overhead provide a soft, subdued lighting effect in the evenings. The curving robata grill counter is the centre stage of the interior- the chefs cook from behind the counter and serve the grilled dishes to the seated guests with the long timber boat paddles. Continuing around the central core of the building, the Sushi counter extends from the Robata counter, and beyond the end of the counter, passing through sliding screens is the bar and lounge area. To complete the circumference back to the entrance, a number of private dining rooms open off the passageway.
Directly adjacent to the bar is an expansive timber decked outdoor terrace- a popular space for either pre-dinner cocktails, or chilling out after dinner on the comfortable lounge seating and taking in the night lights of Kowloon.
An eclectic collection of original contemporary art works are prominently displayed- contributing an urban Japanese thematic element to the interior.
The main robata grill counter
The sushi counter
Private dining room
The bar at Busy Suzie- extends around from the sushi counter
Original works of Oriental themed art – “POP STAR GOLD”- sculpture in fibreglass by UK artist Colin Graham
The culinary highlight of Busy Suzie are the robata grilled dishes- featuring fresh seafoods, prime meats, and daily flown-in fresh Japanese vegetables. Robata is a traditional style of cooking that evolved in the coastal fishing villages of northern Japan, where the fishes caught at day were cooked over charcoal on the beaches- and served out of the fires on the end of the long boat oars. Contemporary robatayaki combines the culinary heritage with a more rambunctious element of drinking and shouted greetings and orders to the chefs from the serving staff.
In addition to the robata grills, the authentic Japanese cuisine includes large selections of sashimi and sushi; maki rolls and tempura.
Signature dishes include Miyazaki A5 Beef Sirloin Skewers; Sea Bass with Creamy Sea Urchin Sauce; Chicken Skewer from Yamaguchi; Sumire Sashimi Platter; and King Crab Tempura. Desserts are also a highlight- including the beautifully presented Sake Jelly with Orange Sauce.
The bar at Busy Suzie takes pride in the quality of their selection of sake and shochu on offer. Additionally a large range of both classic and signature cocktails are served- plus mocktails and premium spirits. Wines by the glass or bottle ( including a special selection of fine vintage wines- mostly from famous French wineries) , and a good selection of champagnes- vintage and NV , are available from the drinks menu.
Sumire Sashimi Platter- features Chef selection of 7 varieties
Sea Bass with Creamy Sea Urchin Sauce
Grilled Australian Wagyu Beef Tenderloin
Dessert- Sake Jelly with Orange Sauce
Outdoor terrace area ( photo courtesy of venue)
Busy Suzie – Japanese Robatayaki Restaurant & Bar
Address: Shop 209, 1881 Heritage, 2A Canton Road, Tsim Sha Tsui. Kowloon. Hong Kong
MTR: TST Exit E 5 minutes walk East TST – Exit L6- 2 minutes
Reservations: +852. 2369 0077
Lunch : 12:00 noon ~ 3:00 pm Weekend Brunch Buffet– Saturday & Sunday 11:00 am ~ 3:00 pm
Dinner: 6:00 pm ~ 01:00 am ( last kitchen order 10:30 pm)