Seafood restaurants have always been a thing in my family – almost all of us are in love with every single type of seafood. So we used to go regularly to Sing Kee in Sai Kung, our favourite restaurant for a lobster feast. But since its quality of service rapidly deteriorated, I have been itching to find another place for epic seafood meals.
Table is not a new restaurant but because it’s tucked into the 8th floor of The Pemberton in Sheung Wan, it has definitely gone unnoticed for longer than it should’ve been. They specialise in depurated seafood. This means they take imported seafood and place them in clean water (in Hong Kong), to get rid of impurities. For the regular seafood-loving person, the magic of depuration is most evident in the oysters. But to say Table only focuses on depurated seafood would be selling it short, because the general execution of food also lives up to very high standards here.
Having been spoilt by fresh-outta-the-farm oysters in Tasmania, I’m rarely impressed by the imported ones in Hong Kong. The depurated oysters here were still was not close to the super fresh tasting oyster I’ve had; they just evidently lacked the hint of fresh sea water taste. Nonetheless, they were very pure and refreshing. It definitely didn’t have the fishy seafood smell/after taste to it – I find that many of the oysters served in Hong Kong do. We were also instructed to smell our hands afterwards. And I was immensely surprised that there was seriously not one hint of seafood water smell on my fingers! That is how clean the oyster was.
French Beef Carpaccio (HK$328)
The beef in the carpaccio was evidently good quality – true to the restaurant’s tag line: an Ingredient based cuisine. It also showed that Table offers more than just seafood. It was tasty; it was cleanly and simply paired with vinegar and rocket leaves. Everything worked, although I have to admit that it just wasn’t the most wow-worthy dish on offer here.
63° Egg, Scampi, Truffled Parsnip (HK$188) *must order*
They had a whole section on their menu featuring their signature slow cooked egg and I highly urge you to order a combination on that list that piques your interest. The egg yolk was extremely deep blood orange in colour and was heavenly gelatinous in texture. It was served on a bed of truffled parsnip which was aromatic and very smooth. In fact, the use of parsnip made the dish less heavy (compared with potato puree) and more unique. It was then sided with an addictive portion of scampi tartare which was super fresh as well.
Lobster Espresso (HK$148) *must order*
Our expectations of the Lobster Espresso, which essentially is a lobster bisque, was extremely high because the Chef claimed that previous patrons had said it was ‘better than sex’. Of course, we all pretended that that would not be true for any of us personally, but it’s safe to say that the bisque nonetheless exceeded expectations.
The bisque was extremely thick yet super creamy in texture, with a slightly frothy top layer. It was intensely flavourful, living up to its daring metaphor of being an espresso. Although the price tag seems a bit high for a very small cup of lobster bisque, it did come with a side of juicy lobster meat, and was also no question the best lobster bisque I’ve had to date.
HK Typhoon Shelter Angel Hair (HK$168)
Up until this course, the food we had was very Western: the carpaccio, the bisque… Then I was pleasantly surprised by this spicy angel hair dish, which had Hong Kong all over it. In a way, it tasted simple, but you just know that a lot of work went into creating the layers of flavours. The pasta had a good bite to it and the relatively dry texture really worked.
Mud Crab Meat & Roe on Garlic Rice (HK$1,680) *must order*
Now this is really the monument to visit for. Mud crabs are notoriously loaded with roe, which is why they were purposely chosen for this dish. Once brought to our table, our server scraped the runny and gooey roe over a bed of paella-style Japanese rice and mixed it in front of us. We all drooled on our cameras as we tried to take the perfect shot of this epic moment to share; we know all our seafood or crab loving friends would be severely and painfully jealous. And yes, it was as good as it sounds and looks.
(It’s recommended to share this dish between 4-6 people.)
Seafood Feast to Splurge For
Seafood is an expensive commodity. Table focuses on good quality ingredients and depurated seafood, so it’s a no brainer that this meal is not going to be cheap, unless you strictly stick with the carb options. At the end of our meal, it was hands down the lobster espresso which was the most unforgettable – I can still imagine the exact thick texture at this moment. Do try to round up a group of people so you can sample the mud crab paella, as I think the meal would’ve been 30% less impressive without it.
Table – Ingredient Based Cuisine
8/F The Pemberton,
22-26 Bonham Road
Phone: 2815 2367
Spend per person: HK$600-800