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Restaurant Review: Fish School in Sai Ying Pun

By: Sarah Richard

There’s a new restaurant in Hong Kong and it’s set to be a completely different kettle of fish (pun intended!).

Fish School, the latest venture from the JIA Group (Aberdeen Street Social, 22 Ships, Ham & Sherry to name a few) and David Lai, opened this month in Sai Ying Pun.

 

where to eat in Hong Kong
Something fishy is going on..

 

In a bid to sustain and support the Hong Kong fishing industry while bringing fresh and exciting seafood to the residents of the city, the restaurant will be sourcing their fish from small, family-owned fishing boats from our local harbour.

Tucked away on Third Street, not visible from the road, Fish School isn’t the sort of place you might spontaneously pop in to try. This gives it somewhat of a mysterious feel, so I wasn’t expecting to be greeted by such a cool, lively atmosphere. The staff were immediately attentive, dressed in hip chef jackets, and with a refreshingly laid-back style.

On the menu you’ll find fish, fish and more fish, with the added extra of some meat for those of us who just can’t resist! Dishes are served in smaller portions – almost tapas-style – but are packed with flavour. One that immediately caught my eye (and the only dish I’ve ordered both times I’ve been to the restaurant) was the cuttlefish tagliatelle with shrimp paste and ficoide leaves ($145); the tagliatelle isn’t pasta at all, but actually the cuttlefish itself. From that point I felt more adventurous than I usually would, so I ordered the sea cucumber with oxtail and porcini mijoté ($250). It was tender, with the tones of mushroom and beef ensuring the taste of the sea cucumber didn’t overwhelm the dish.

Cuttlefish tagliatelle, shrimp paste, ficoide leaves

Perhaps controversially, my favourite of the night wasn’t seafood at all, but rather the Spanish “Casina Asturianarib roast ($1,200 for two people), perfectly cooked from the charcoal grill, with a side of crispy potatoes. Although all the fish dishes were good, the ribeye really stood out for me, and came out on top.

The desserts thankfully steer clear of the fish theme, and came out looking almost too well presented to eat. A highlight is the mango ice cream with burnt coconut and hints of coffee ($85).

One of the things I really enjoyed about Fish School was the way the staff inspired us to order dishes we wouldn’t normally try. Their knowledge of seafood is impeccable, and they have a fun way of delivering information. It’s not cheap, but I wouldn’t say that it’s overpriced. In any case, you’re paying for an ethical way of cooking and buying fish, delivered by chefs that know the industry and staff that are excited to be a part of the restaurant.

Fish School

100 Third Street, Sai Ying Pun

2361 2966 | fishschool.hk

Sarah Richard

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