Review: Nadaman at the Island Shangri-la

For this year’s birthday dinner with Patrick I had picked Japanese and suggested we’ll try the Nadaman restaurant in the Island Shangri-la, given that we like the brunch experience at the Shangri-la very much. I had also read good reviews (like here on ExpatGourmand) and was curious to try the first Nadaman outside of Japan, which is famous for its kaiseki cuisine (a traditional multi-course Japanese dinner). So we booked a table and went one evening this week.

The setting at Nadaman is elegant and refined. There are floor-to-ceiling windows lining the walls in the open area of the restaurant, where we sat. You could also choose to sit at the sushi counter of book a separate private room, but we opted for the open area.

The menu is very detailed and there is a special seasonal menu too – we felt so overwhelmed that we just picked one of the special dinner sets each. We first had each a seasonal appetiser, which was a fresh radish salad with sesame dressing and some spinach aside.

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Next was some very nice sashimi – it was just a shame that the waitress did not explain to us what each fish was. I knew I had tuna in front of me, but not what kind of tuna it was or what the other, very tasty fish was.

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Then Patrick had some mixed tempura, while I tried the steamed egg custard (called chawanmushi) – I often feel let down by this dish, but I actually enjoyed it this time. The taste was more subtle and not overpowering. There was also a nice shitake mushroom and a shrimp in the custard.

The main courses followed. We both had steak – but Patrick’s was cut into stripes and grilled, while mine was sliced. He had terriyaki sauce and mustard, I only had mustard. I preferred his version! The dining ware was gorgeous and so far the dishes were nice, but the steak was a little let down. It was not hot enough anymore and a little bland, it needed mustard.

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The dessert was vanilla ice cream – basic and fine, but nothing special. I would have preferred a green tea ice cream or something more Japanese. But still, it was a nice way to clean the palate.

The staff was very friendly and professional, but the service was a little bit slot – we had to waive to make the waitress notice us and take our order, and later an extra drink order. That felt a little bit silly given the restaurant is not that big and there are quite a few waitresses around.

Will I go there again? Maybe. The atmosphere is nice and relaxed, food presentation is great, but I felt the dinner to be overpriced for the food quality – paying 1,700 HKD for two dinner sets and one beer (no wine or other alcohol) felt steep, given that we’ve not even ordered the famous kaiseki dinners. Maybe on hindsight we should have done, the main courses were a let down and I felt the other dishes were all nice, but not extraordinary or outstanding. So if I were to go again, I’d order a la carte or the kaiseki dinner. Lesson learnt.

Nadaman (Island Shangri-La)
7th Floor
Island Shangri-La Hong Kong
Pacific Place
Supreme Court Road
Admiralty, Hong Kong
Tel. +85 2 2820 8570

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