Diner’s Diary

New, cosier Cafe Deco with views of The Peak has gone big on fresh seafood

Tsim Sha Tsui restaurant only one-third its former size, but it’s fitted in a lobster tank and oyster bar and refreshed its menu

PUBLISHED : Friday, 04 November, 2016, 1:17pm
UPDATED : Friday, 04 November, 2016, 1:17pm

Now that Café Deco has settled into its new digs in The One in Tsim Sha Tsui, we thought we’d take up an invitation to have a look and sample some new items on the menu.

Executive chef Martin Kniss tells us the space is one-third the size of its original location at Peak Galleria, and it’s definitely cosier. But it has the same art deco look as before, and views of Hong Kong island and The Peak. There’s a small balcony where people can have drinks outside.

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As you walk in there’s an open kitchen on the left, a mini oyster bar and, new at The One, a lobster tank to ensure a fresh supply of the crustaceans, which are sourced from Canada. The oyster selection rotates according to the seasons; one of the ones we sampled is from Gillardeau, considered the finest of French oysters.

Kniss says some competitors tried to pass off their oysters as being from Gillardeau so the company came up with a way to tell the real thing from the fakes – laser-engraving the company logo on the bottom of each shell.

Café Deco chef Martin Kniss gets nostalgic about pioneering oyster craze in Hong Kong

The menu has retained popular items from the restaurant’s days on The Peak and a few new dishes have been added.

We enjoyed the grilled lobster with black truffle hollandaise and mashed potatoes (HK$488). It was sliced lengthwise and perfectly cooked. It was so good, with a slight crunch to indicate its freshness, that it didn’t need the sauce or even a squeeze of lemon for flavour.

Another good choice is the “moules mariniere” (HK$188 for 1lb, HK$288 for 2lb). They are cooked in olive oil, white wine, garlic and thyme, and though the blue mussels are small, they are meaty and plump. We also found it hard to stop eating the fries, which come with mayonnaise.

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New to the menu is a thali (from HK$248 to HK$318) – a round plate featuring portions of chutney and dal, yogurt, pappadum, and curry, to which diners can add one or more items from a seclection of tandoori and grilled items such as asparagus, Himalayan chicken, and sea bass. We chose tandoori chicken (HK$286) and lamb shoulder chop (HK$302), which came with two large fresh naan breads. This is a good plate to share – or for someone who is very hungry.

To finish off the meal, we followed Kniss’ suggestions. A dramatic treat is called homemade chocolate heaven (HK$128) – warm salted caramel poured over a chocolate sphere that melts to reveal a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream and Valrhona chocolate cake surrounded by popcorn.

A more subtle, and less sweet, option is the no-bake cheesecake, which is very light, like a mousse, sits on top of a German layered ring cake called baumkuchen (HK$58), and is topped with dark cherries.

Café Deco, 20/F, The One, 100 Nathan Road, Tsim Sha Tsui. Tel: 2849 5111