A good meal often involves learning new things. Fish School, tucked away on Sai Ying Pun’s Third Street, is a collaboration between Yenn Wong of JIA Group (see Chachawan, Mak Mak, Aberdeen Street Social and Rhoda) and Hong Kong-born chef David Lai. The concept is inspired by Hong Kong’s humble beginnings as a fishing village and the fact that seafood still forms a strong part of its culture.
I know Hong Kong is good for its seafood, but, before eating at Fish School, I didn’t appreciate quite how many varieties of seafood Hong Kong has to offer. The back of the menu lists some fun “fish facts” detailing some lesser known marine species that reside right here in Hong Kong! The restaurant works with small, family-owned fishing boats to find the best catch every day sourced from local waters.
The restaurant itself is small and intimate, with almost a third of its 50 seats surrounding the open kitchen and fish tanks so diners can observe the action. The décor features raw materials and bold fish graphics, setting the scene for a casual seafood adventure.
I never actually tried the old menu, so can’t make any comparisons, but Fish School has recently introduced a new menu that’s split into four sections: chargrilled, cold, hot and Fish School specialities. Obviously we had to try something from each section!
The chargrilled local squid was perfectly cooked and carried a delicious yet not overpowering charred flavour that paired beautifully with the salsa verde.
Our friendly waitress recommended we try the Cantonese Amberjack crudo – her favourite dish – and I can understand why. Here, thick slices of raw amberjack fish were meddled with peanuts, carrots, coriander and soy vinegar, creating a perfect harmony of flavours.
From the ‘hot’ section, we tried the lobster popcorn which comprised of generous chunks of battered lobster meat, topped with salted duck egg yolk – a deliciously satisfying dish that I could definitely eat again and again.
The star of the night was the pan-fried dover sole from the specials board. The fish was presented whole, served very simply with capers, croutons, herbs and boiled fingerling potatoes.
For dessert, the ricotta with honeycomb and figs was lovely and light with a pleasing array of delicate flavours.
I loved the burnt coconut ice cream and the chunks of dried coconut, but I wasn’t too fond of the mango and coffee puree, or the ground coffee alongside it. Then again, I don’t like coffee at the best of times!
Most smaller dishes are between $95 and $175, whilst the larger dishes range from $350 to a whopping $995 if you choose the striploin – but why would you come to a seafood restaurant and order steak?! Yenn Wong has yet again succeeded to impress us; Fish School is a unique, well thought out concept with delicious food and great service. There are even some sea-themed cocktails, such as the Wet Market Martini, made with kelp-infused vermouth – it’s actually a lot nicer than it sounds!
100 Third Street
Sai Ying Pun
Tel: +852 2361 2966