Oh, Fishsteria Waterside. Your cutesy name. Your pier-side location in the hipster neighborhood of Kennedy Town. Your upcycled and repurposed furniture (that wall made of wine boxes is prettay, prettay cool). And, rumors of a delicious lobster pasta…
We’ve not been to your original outpost in Wan Chai. But when this new location in Kennedy Town opened up, we gave in to the buzz. Time to head in and dig into this seafood cornucopia, for, like, journalism and stuff.
A little bit of background: this seafood restaurant is a laid-back offshoot of the popular Fishsteria outpost in Wan Chai — and apparently, it offers everything you can get at the original. It’s just the setting that’s different.
And, importantly — one of Fishteria’s main selling points is that every item on its menu is created using fresh ingredients that come from sustainable sources.
On to the food. We started off light, with an amuse bouche of ricotta cow cheese cream with lemon and lime zest and juice topped with bottarga. Nice, crispy, and creamy. Our tongues are properly amused. What’s next?
Ah, the famed seafood platter! It’s a decent platter made up of cold seafood: raw oysters, clams, red shrimp, langoustine, scallop and cooked whelk, perfect for a table of maybe four to six people and plenty to go around. The oysters weren’t too over-washed as well, which is a bonus. The platters go for HK$588, and are super fresh. No complaints here.
And then the starters came in thick and fast: a Caesar salad (HK$158), scallops and apple ceviche (HK$198), salmon tartare (HK$188), cioppino (HK$458) (Editor’s Note: gasp), and an octopus hummus (HK$208).
All five appetizers were fine, but the dish stood out was the cioppino; a warm and hearty Italian seafood stew with prawns, mussels, clams, and fish that have been slowly cooked in a tomato and seafood broth. The tomato wasn’t too overwhelmingly sweet or creamy, and the earthiness and saltiness of the seafood broth really made this an enjoyable dish, and the individual bits of seafood were really juicy and tender, and there was a generous amount of fish here.
The octopus hummus here deserves another shoutout, a nice savory dip with a generous portion of octopus and hummus.
The dish that we weren’t particularly keen on, however, was the scallops and apple ceviche, which was served with lime and green apple in vanilla dressing.
We were initially taken aback by how sweet this was, and weren’t quite sure if this was a combination that should be allowed. After a few more bites, we decided that while the individual components were great on their own, together they just didn’t work for us.
The other dish that we were slightly less keen on was the salmon tartare; made with sustainable Atlantic salmon with mustard dressing and crispy capers, there felt like a little bit too much sauce holding this thing together, and there was a slightly more creamy than mustard taste.
The salad? Solid stuff, but we’d go with the other more distinctive appetizer offerings next time.
Next up we had some risotto and pastas: the black squid-ink risotto (HK$188), crab meat and prawn fregola (HK$188), the giant macaroni lobster (HK$548) (Editor’s Note: GASP), and the 450g Orbtello seabass (HK$208).
The star of the show was, of course, the lobster, which was served on a giant sharing platter with the lobster placed on top of a plate of macaroni (well, the menu says “macaroni,” but we think the noodles are actually closer to mezzi rigatoni) cooked with brandy, white wine, and Italian cherry tomatoes.
All-in-all a delicious pasta dish; fresh juicy lobster with really flavorful meat, and a sweet and juicy tomato sauce mixed in with chunky pasta.
The seabass was also excellent. Salt-baked and served with sautéed vegetables, it was simple fare, and proof that fresh fish can taste this wonderful with just a tad of seasoning and the right cooking method.
There is also a sharing version of this (a 1kg fish) for HK$688, but the price may vary depending on market price.
Both risotto dishes were really good — rich, savory, saucy. Definitely more ideal for sharing than as a single-person dish.
The squid ink risotto deserves a special mention, a generous portion of baby calamari mixed and a very buttery tasting risotto. It also has a hint of gin in there, and it’s perfect with a glass of wine.
And the crab meat and prawn fregola was a nice and hearty dish with that cosy saffron aroma.
In desserts, we tried a roasted pineapple (HK$88), and Fishsteria Waterside’s homemade lemon sorbet (HK$38 per scoop).
The lemon sorbet was refreshing, light and not too heavy, a nice dessert to round off an otherwise overly-indulgent meal.
The roasted pineapple came to us drowning on a plate of chantilly cream and chili caramel sauce. We were kinda expecting more of a kick in the from the chili, but otherwise the cream and pineapple tasted good together.
With sustainable sources being the key word here, everything is on the pricier side, but that’s also to be expected when you’re eating fresh seafood. Be prepared to fork out a couple of hundreds per person for a meal here.
Fishsteria does serve up quite good meal — and while not everything on the menu blew us away, there are some pretty distinctive dishes here that are worth trying. The macaroni lobster, sea bass, and the cioppino, however, are without question, dishes that we would go out of our way to come have again and again.
Fishsteria Waterside is at New Fortune House, 2-5A New Praya, Kennedy Town
Reservations: +852 2796 6004
Mon-Fri, 4pm-midnight; Sat-Sun 11am-midnight
MTR: Kennedy Town (approx. 5 minute walk)