Restaurant review: The Seafood Room in Causeway Bay – large portions in a huge dining area
Generous servings of seafood in big, brash surroundings, but accompaniments aren’t included, and some of the flavours and techniques need some fine-tuning
The Seafood Room had a lot of hype when it first opened a few months ago in the new Tower 535 in Causeway Bay. Much was made of the size of the space – a whopping 8,000 sq ft dining room, the “interactive seafood dining experience”, and the fact that actor Adrien Brody came for the opening (he did some of the artwork). It’s the first Hong Kong venture by the Russian-based Bulldozer Group.
The place is big, bright and brash: the artwork is large and colourful, huge chandeliers hang from the ceilings, glass domes along a passageway hold displays of shells and fish. There are tanks holding live fish and shellfish near the entrance. The menu lists seafood prepared in many ways: raw (carpaccio, sashimi, tartare), platters for two, four and six, a “market” section priced per 100 grams, Cantonese-style dishes, and “hot dishes”.
And the food? Come hungry: portion sizes are large. We would have preferred smaller portions, and for the mains to come with the correct accompaniments, rather than having to order side dishes.
My favourite dish of the night was the salad of warm octopus with potatoes, capers and smoked paprika (HK$240). It was generous enough to have made a light meal, but so delicious that I finished all of it. The dish had well-seasoned, tender octopus, firm and flavourful potatoes and a balanced dressing.
A main course of prawns with chilli jam and coriander (HK$350) was a huge portion: there were at least nine of them, possibly more. I couldn’t detect any chilli or coriander in the chilli jam; instead, the main flavours were clove and ginger. The shell-on prawns weren’t that flavourful or sweet, and were slightly overcooked so they were rubbery. Miso salmon served in a hoba leaf (HK$350) was moist, but so big my guest took home half of it.
These mains were mostly unadorned, except for half a grilled lime on each, and a paltry amount of salad with the prawns. Of the side dishes, the grilled vegetables with salsa verde (HK$100) had too much bell pepper, that like the rest of the vegetables, were soggy and oily, with no taste of the grill. Chunky fries with sea salt (HK$100) were hot and delicious, with a delicately crusty exterior.
Yuzu tart with toasted meringue (HK$130) had soggy pastry, and there was so much meringue that it overwhelmed the delicacy of the yuzu filling. A quenelle of green tea ice cream – the only small thing served that evening – was not in proportion to the tart, and its flavour seemed out of place.
The Seafood Room, 26/F, Tower 535, 535 Jaffe Road, Causeway Bay, tel: 3708 9668. About HK$700 without drinks or the service charge.