Food Review: Petite Oyster
44 Sai Street, Sheung Wan
Tel: 2549 0808
Price: about HK$300 for a two-course meal without drinks or service charge
Ambience: with its white and pale green walls, high ceilings and hard (slightly uncomfortable) wooden chairs, Petite Oyster is a pretty, understated place that makes you really want to like it, hoping that it's a hidden gem.
Pros: it has a brief list of dishes that sound tempting, although the section labelled "light menu", with items such as grilled ox tongue, grilled chicken soft bones and Spanish chorizo with gizzard, seems out of place.
Cons: several things need to improve. First off, five of the eight red wines were out of stock, and when we asked the waitress if we could bring in wine, we were told there would be a HK$200 corkage fee. But after we had finished our appetisers, a waiter brought us a list from a wine shop next door and told us if we ordered from that shop, there wouldn't be a corkage charge. By that time, however, we had already ordered our drinks and no longer wanted wine.
Furthermore, my guest had French onion soup (HK$58) which was served long after I received my starter, and it was almost saccharine. His main course, the New Zealand lamb rack (HK$168), which he requested to be medium-well, was undercooked and the meat was rather rough and tough. There was a long wait between our appetisers and mains.
Recommended dishes: I fared better in my selections. The whole French brown crab (HK$198) was cool, but not cold, which would mute the sweetness of the meat. The best part about the crab was the plentiful amount of soft, gooey tomalley in the shell. The bone-in Iberico pork loin with roasted garlic and side chips (HK$185), meanwhile, was moist and tender.
What else? As you would expect from the restaurant's name, there's an extensive selection of oysters on offer, including from France, Ireland, Scotland, South Africa, Spain and Japan.