Known for iconic restaurants such as 22 Ships, Chachawan and Duddell’s, Yenn Wong has now teamed up with David Lai (the celebrated chef behind On Lot 10 and Neighborhood) to create Fish School. With a mission to source the freshest seafood from local sources, the restauranteurs are reinterpreting how local produce is prepared and staging it in a contemporary style and setting.
The entrance is actually tucked away in an alleyway on Third Street in Sai Ying Pun. The modern interior features dark-toned walls and three fish tanks – the same type you see in Chinese seafood restaurants – behind the counter, where part of our dinner is no doubt housed.
We kick off our evening with a mantis shrimp popcorn ($175), which is crisply fried and the flesh within possesses the unmistakable sweetness that only freshly caught shellfish embodies. A strong start. Next is the chiu chow marinated raw crab with sea urchin and rice ($225). Raw crab is always a gamble to consume for fear of bacteria, but when it’s eaten extremely fresh and from clean waters, these worries can fall to the wayside. Ours arrives on top of some sticky rice and a generous portion of uni on top. We’re instructed to mix everything together to bring out the flavours of the ingredients. Combined with the light marinade, the fresh umami aroma of the shellfish is divine.
We arrive early on the restaurant’s opening night and already, two of the four fish choices of fishes on the blackboard are already sold out. Among five styles of preparation on offer, we choose the yellow bream ($650), baked in sea salt, to share. It arrives cracked open with the salt-bake crust lining the plate for presentation. The fish is soft, supple and fresh. It’s a bit bony, but this is to be expected with bream. The ginger milk curd and Chinese kimchi radicchio on the side have an exotic pan-Asian flavour, which draws out the ocean flavours of the seafood and goes beyond the usual Chinese-style soy, ginger and spring onion mixture.
The dessert menu is populated by Western-style dishes with Asian influences, such as the burnt coconut ice cream with mango and coffee. To coincide with the autumnal weather, we select a pumpkin ice cream served alongside persimmon and melon. It’s exactly what we were expecting; garnished with pumpkin seeds, the peeled persimmon flesh combines with the ice cream to create a rich caramelised aroma.
With the team behind this restaurant we had high hopes for Fish School, and the offerings here certainly give local seafood a innovative twist and deserve praise. We suspect a tide of seafood enthusiasts to make their way to Sai Ying Pun to check it out and they’ll be taken by the quality here – hook, line and sinker.
|Venue name:||Fish School||Contact:|
100 Third St, Sai Ying Pun
|Opening hours:||Tue-Sun: 6.00pm-11.00pm; Closed on Mondays|