Thursday, May 5, 2016

Seafood Room (Hong Kong, CHINA) ★★★★☆

My buddy V was in charge of our dinner venue tonight and after much deep thought and careful consideration, he came back with Ta Vie 旅, Seafood Room, G7 and Esmé (Maison Eight) for the boys to choose from. All of us tended to agree that Ta Vie 旅 would have been a real good choice for our gathering but everyone including me was a little cash strapped these days so we happily picked Seafood Room at the newly opened Tower 535 instead.

Seafood Room is a member of the Bulldozer Group, a Russian-owned hospitality and nightlife group based in the Middle East that owns more than 80 upscale restaurants and bars in the world. This is their first foray into Asia and obviously they're very keen in making this one of the hippest restaurant and bar in the city.

Perched on the 26th floor of the new Tower 535, the restaurant has a jaw-dropping harbour view that is simply too good to be true.

I really like the delicately decorated dining room with floor-to-ceiling windows allowing diners to enjoy the panoramic view of harbour and nearby Causeway Bay area.

Amazing harbour view, exciting food menu and oh yes, those gorgeous hostesses. They should be in the Bond movies!

The space is absolutely huge here. I took some time to circle around the premise and from the open kitchen, I spotted Executive Chef James Cornwall, the former head chef of J Sheekey (a famous fish and seafood restaurant in Covent Garden) working hard with his team.

They've got a real exciting seafood-oriented menu that includes fresh oysters, sashimi, tartare, carpaccio and ceviche coming from different corners of the world. There are also Chinese and Western style hot dishes covering a wide range of fresh seafood ingredients available.

First up for us was octopus carpaccio served with rocket leaves, tomato and lemon dressing ($195), This was a dish highly recommended by our server and one that was getting pretty good reviews from a few of us. The octopus was really nicely textured and even a simple lemon dressing was enough to bring out the best of it. I like the combination of small cherry tomatoes, rocket leaves and pine nuts providing the carpaccio an interesting texture and bite.

I was expecting this beetroot salad to be very small because it's one of the cheapest item on the menu ($155) but turns out it can easily accommodate 2-3 of us grown men. I'm a big beet freak so I was really happy with this. The large chunks of beets were very refreshing to go with the watermelon, endive and a dash of feta. Very nice.

Slightly less successful was our final starter - salmon tataki with jalapeño and avocado cream ($215). I thought the salmon was fresh but the sauce with jalapeño has gotta be a little more exotic.

Serving as our first main dish was slow-cooked salmon with lime and a miso glaze ($350). The lovely fragrance from the miso was one of the few bright spots for an otherwise average salmon dish.

We were saving the best for last, deliberately saving the Alaska king crab leg ($495) as the final savory dish of the night. I was trying to measure up the size of this thing and not surprisingly, it had the length of my forearm! This was very very meaty with lots of crab meat. Again, they did a simple glaze with wasabi on top while keeping the natural sweetness of the crab meat intact. Well, that was really delish and I certainly won't mind having this again in the very near future (and I did!!!).

After two bottles of wine and five really good dishes, we were all set to go straight for the bill but V wanted something sweet for his sweet tooth. Following a long discussion, we decided to just get a single dessert, a yuzu tart ($130) where we can share a bite together. For whatever reason, I had trouble finding any yuzu flavors from the tart and instead, it tasted utterly similar to the lemon meringue tart I had just a few hours ago. Is that weird or what!?

I was really happy with the decoration and atmosphere around this place. In terms of food, we could tell the ingredients were very fresh although personally, I was expecting Chef Cornwall to dazzle me more with an unusual but exciting mix of ingredients. But as it turns out, there's nothing I haven't tried anywhere else before. 

Food Rating: 6/10
Price: $$$$
Address: 26/F, Tower 535, 535 Jaffe Road, Causeway Bay, Hong Kong
Closest Metro Station: Causeway Bay
Tel: +852 3708-9668

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