G/F, 238 Hollywood Road,
Tel: 2517 8322
Open: Tuesday-Sunday 5pm-midnight
Cuisine: Western and seafood
Price: about HK$380-HK$500 without drinks and the service charge.
Ambience: situated on a quiet block of Sheung Wan across from Hollywood Road Park, the 20-seat eatery is low-lit and modern, with a wine wall lining one side of the space, and a small counter in the back towards the kitchen displaying the day's seafood offerings.
Pros: service was friendly and accommodating. My request for a sampling of three oyster shooters (seasonal price) instead of the half a dozen listed on the menu was readily met. The night we visited, there were about six oyster varieties, including Gillardeau and white pearl from France, and Irish rock.
Cons: the tight space, acoustics of the room and closeness of the tables made it hard to tune out conversations from nearby diners; to avoid being overheard, we had to speak at just above a whisper. We had no major complaints about the food, which was consistently fresh and well-presented. The only thing my guest brought up was the under-seasoning of his pork chop (HK$268), which was otherwise moist, lean and cooked to rosy perfection.
Recommended dishes: my oyster shooters (HK$42-HK$62 each, depending on variety) came in a clear sake 'cocktail sauce' with a hint of fresh horseradish and topped with quick melting champagne jelly, which added a refreshing, slightly acid edge. My guest enjoyed his steamed French blue mussels (HK$138), which were plump and sweet, served in a caramelised onion jus and with crisp garlic bread. My squid ink spaghetti with Scottish razor clams (HK$168) was al dente and coated in sauce made with spicy tomato confit, which balanced beautifully the springy sweetness of the clam slices.
What else? The seasonal seafood selection, which includes Australian snow crab (in season next month), Boston lobster, Shanghai hairy crab and Alaskan king crab, is priced per 100 grams; some require ordering about two days in advance.