Fish school- delights from the sea or just fishy?

The very mixed reviews drew us to this SYP restaurant. Run by the people who brought you Chachawan, I was expecting the food to be of the same caliber.  Tucked in an alley right next to the bustling Potato Head, Fish school has a lot of competition.

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One thing I should say right off the bat, despite some abysmal reviews with regards to the ‘inflexible’ staff, I was pleasantly surprised with the service. From the time I made the reservation to the time we were leaving, staff were courteous, attentive, friendly and best of all they didn’t recommend the most expensive dishes on the menu! Don’t forget to tip (if you feel necessary) as there is no service charge.

The menu can be quite overwhelming at first with all the different varieties of fish and seafood on offer, but as the name suggests we were schooled on fish with a handy guide of the Hong Kong sourced fish on offer, just check the back of the menu. Unfortunately, they do not mention any of their imported fish, but their staff are quite knowledgeable if you want to know more.

First of all, the cocktails, small but pack a punch! The ice on one of them had the fish school stamped logo on it, very nice touch! We ordered the ‘Ocean Air’ and ‘Beetroot Negroni’. Interesting, but we didn’t order any more…

Starving, our first two plates thankfully arrived quite promptly- the raw crab on a bed of plain rice with sea urchin and a new dish cured garoupa with dill and yoghurt. The two dishes have huge potential but unfortunately the overly generous amounts of sea salt made them both almost unpalatable.

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After drinking what felt like a litre of water each after the first two dishes, we moved on to the squid with jet black ink sauce. Again, we were quite let down with this one. Both of us being squid lovers, we found this one almost completely flavourless.

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The main dish thankfully redeemed the last 3. We ordered the Hamachi head (imported from Japan) and the seaweed rice. Each ‘Fresh catch of the day’ is cooked differently, so be sure to ask the waiter how each will be served to suit your needs. The Hamachi head was quite sizeable, served with tomatoes and a thickened fish sauce- delicious with the seaweed rice!

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Lobster popcorn was something we were quite curious to taste. The batter was perfect, just wish there was some dipping sauce to compliment it.

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The snapper ceviche had an extremely pungent taste, so much so I had to put gum in my mouth for the aftertaste was getting too much for me.

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Verdict: Great concept and pleasant atmosphere, unfortunately too generous with salt with most of the dishes- I felt truly in the sea. Given the cost per head at 500 HKD, I felt it wasn’t worth it and sorry to say I will not be coming again, despite the attentive service.

Nisha

100 Third St, Sai Ying Pun, Hong Kong Ph: +852 2361 2966 http://www.fishschool.hk

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