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Hong Kong restaurant reviews

Restaurant review: La Mer in Tsim Sha Tsui – meat dish is the highlight despite nautical name

The confit duck leg was fantastic, but the flaming king fish tasted of fuel and the lobster in the risotto was undercooked. The dessert was a winner, though

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 25 January, 2018, 12:49pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 25 January, 2018, 12:49pm

You would expect an establishment called La Mer to specialise in seafood, although that is not really the case with this new restaurant in Tsim Sha Tsui. While it does have a lot of seafood on the menu, la terre is equally represented, and to our surprise, those were the dishes we preferred.

We visited when the restaurant was very new, and most of the other customers seemed to be friends of the chef or owners. We considered one of the set menus – six courses for HK$688, eight for HK$1,280 or a four-course seafood set for HK$588 – but decided to order à la carte.

Hokkaido scallop with uni and caviar (HK$138) wasn’t exciting; even though it contained several of my favourite ingredients, the sum was less than the individual parts. The scallop was fresh and meaty, but the uni was paltry, the caviar didn’t taste of much, and the oyster emulsion was too mild.

Flaming king fish with mango salsa, pink peppercorns and olive oil pearl (HK$198) had been torched and my first bite of it tasted of the butane fuel. Subsequent bites were better, though.

We liked the main courses. Earl Grey duck leg confit (HK$238) was just fantastic. The duck leg was moist, tender and flavourful and the accompaniments – sour cherries, potato confit and micro greens – really enhanced the richness of the meat.

For the lobster risotto (HK$348), the lobster meat was undercooked and tough, but the risotto was rich, buttery, slightly runny (how I like it) and delicious.

For dessert, we tried the hot crêpe with orange sauce and vanilla ice cream (HK$90). The tender crêpe was flambéed by our friendly waiter at the table, and the sauce – flavoured with orange and vanilla bean – was light but intense.

La Mer Restaurant and Lounge, 1/F China Insurance Building, 48 Cameron Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, tel: 2382 6688. About HK$500 without drinks or the service charge.

While you’re in the area …

New & noted: Hoi Wan Heen, Tsim Sha Tsui – traditional Chinese fare at its finest

Newly opened Paper Moon in Tsim Sha Tsui – food doesn’t come close to matching the view

‘Beauty hotpot’ the draw as newly opened Tsukada Noju in Tsim Sha Tsui makes play for women diners with collagen-rich stew