Hong Kong restaurant reviews

Restaurant review: Charcoal Fish, North Point – dress to grill on a chilly night

The sides and fish dishes are delicious and the meal is a warming experience

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 16 March, 2016, 2:03pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 16 March, 2016, 2:33pm

Cuisine: Chinese

Price: about HK$200 without drinks or the service charge

Ambience: casual

Pros: the signature dish and a couple of others are cooked at the table over charcoal. It’s lovely on a cold night, because the heat of the fire will warm you up.

Cons: with the food simmering on the table in front of you, you’ll probably end up smelling like whatever you ordered, so wear clothes that don’t need dry-cleaning.

Recommended dishes: the dish that gives the restaurant its name comes with three options for fish – freshwater grouper (HK$338 for about 900 grams), catfish (HK$268 for about 1.3kg) and grass carp (HK$238 for about 1.3kg). The price also includes a choice of sauce and three or four garnishes from a list of 16. We chose hot and mild spicy, dried bean curd sheets, asparagus lettuce and frozen bean curd.

The fish was mild and tender, and although the sauce looked fiery with its pile of dried chillies, the heat level was reasonable. Our only complaint was that the garnishes we chose were rather paltry. We also had the chicken casserole hot pot (HK$158 for a small portion). While good, it wasn’t as complex or delicious as the fish dish. The side dishes we tried were excellent: preserved egg in a mildly spicy sauce (HK$38), refreshing, crunchy cucumbers (HK$38) and thin, tender slices of spicy beef (HK$58).

What else? Because the main course dishes are quite large, it’s best to come with a group of at least four, so you can try more.

Charcoal Fish Tung Po Building, 483-497 King’s Road, North Point, tel: 2769 0168. Open: 11.30am-11.30pm

Three other restaurants to try nearby

Sooo Vegi - filling vegetarian fare

Camper’s, Quarry Bay - wholesome Japanese fare

InnoVeggie - anything but bland