Sustainable Seafood: A new seafood restaurant hidden away in Sai Ying Pun, Fish School is a creative collaboration between JIA Group’s Yenn Wong and homegrown chef David Lai. The dream team augurs well for this new addition, which promises to be a locavore’s dream.
Look & Feel: You can thank Hong Kong designers Paola Sinisterra and Ignacio Garcia for the fresh look. It’s not exactly an under-the-sea theme, but there are some subtle hints: a fish tank by the open kitchen, teal walls and furniture, a fish mural on one wall, topographic maps in the private dining room, and light fixtures that kinda resemble bubbles.
Meet the Chef: Hong Kong-born chef David Lai, also behind Neighborhood, has been a pioneer of sustainable dining, a passion that’s apparent in his fresh menu. Executive Chef Chris Ma, most recently of NUR, is also in the house helming the kitchen day to day.
On the Menu: Seasonal ingredients are the name of the game — every dish on the menu may be slightly different day in and day out, depending on what’s freshest. The bulk of the menu, unsurprisingly, comprises seafood in imaginative dishes such as monkfish liver foie gras ($165) and cuttlefish tagliatelle ($130). Also look for Hong Kong-inspired cocktails, like the Wet Market martini ($120) and the Third Street Spritz ($75).
Service: Our drinks never ran dry…
Jeng: For starters, the enormous mantis shrimp popcorn ($175) are fried heaven, balancing sweet honey and savory shrimp. The wagyu tartare with trout roe ($150) is another good first impression, and the catch of the day — an enormous sole — is one of the most tender, flavorful fish dishes we’ve had in Hong Kong. We didn’t expect to like the stewed sea cucumber and oxtail ($225) but the creamy porcini sauce and complementary textures are pretty original.
Not so Jeng: For $115, we expect more from charcoal grilled shrimp — they have a tasty charcoal flavor, but not much going on otherwise. Likewise, we’ll skip the marinated raw crab with sea urchin and rice ($185) next visit. And then there’s dessert… the menu includes four options of fancy ice creams/sorbets ($75 each) and if you want something else, you’re shit out of luck.
Great For: Big groups, dates, special occasions without all the fuss.
FYI: You might think twice when you hear “local seafood” — after all, the waters around Victoria Harbour aren’t exactly appetizing. David Lai actually sources his fish from family-owned fishing boats who go about four hours away in cleaner seas.
This writeup was based on a complimentary media tasting. The Loop doesn’t guarantee/sell restaurant review coverage. See our editorial policy here.