Restaurant review: Fisher & Farmer, Tsim Sha Tsui - spicy Chinese classics
Peking duck, roast fish, spicy crab and claypot rice among the standout dishes - make sure you bring a few friends
Price: about HK$210 without drinks or the service charge.
Ambience: the entrance and dining area have a good view into the glass-fronted open kitchens, which show ducks air-drying and cooks preparing grilled and roasted dishes.
Recommended dishes: Peking duck (HK$288 for whole; no half-ducks are offered) had crisp skin, with well-rendered fat. It came with the usual accompaniments of cucumber, spring onions and hoisin sauce, and there was a sufficient number of pancakes (many restaurants serve only a few, and if you want more, they charge for them).
We had no problem with the heat level of the signature hot chicken clay pot (HK$168), even though we ordered it extra-spicy. The chunks of bone-in meat had plenty of flavour from the spices, which included cinnamon, cloves, Sichuan pepper and chillies.
Another speciality is the roast fish. They were out of the flat fish, so we had the Japanese sea bass (HK$258). After picking the fish (there are four types), you choose the preparation method (from five options). We went for the fresh garlic version. The whole fish came butterflied, which made it easier to get the meat from the bones, and was served on a hot plate with dried bean curd puffs, spring onions, mild chillies, fresh coriander and undercooked whole garlic cloves.
Changsha spicy crab (HK$268) looked fiery hot – it came buried under a heap of dried chillies, along with sliced celtuce, wood ear mushrooms and crisp pieces of fried dough – but the spice level was mild enough that you could still taste the sweet fresh crabmeat.
We ended the meal with Beijing-style noodles with fermented soybean and spring onion oil (HK$60), which, although a little too sweet, was refreshing because of the plentiful amounts of fresh and pickled vegetables.
Pros: several of the dishes are served on burners, which keeps them hot.
Cons: it would be a bad place to come for two people – you wouldn’t be able to order more than one main dish and a bowl of noodles. Because the food is prepared at different stations, all the large dishes came at once. While the skin on the Peking duck was excellent, the meat had been sliced in advance, and had dried out.
What else? The restaurant offers a lot of options to go with the larger dishes: you can have the clay pot chicken made into hot pot (they add broth to the gravy left in the pot, and you order the usual raw ingredients); you can add other ingredients to the fish dish, and leftover Peking duck can be made into another dish at an additional cost.
Fisher & Farmer, 2/F Carnarvon Plaza, 20 Carnarvon Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, tel: 2529 8383. Open: 11.30am-3pm, 5.30pm-midnight