Saturday, 31 January 2015

Dot Cod Seafood Restaurant and Oyster Bar - Our first HK meal

Wow, it seems like an age since I've sat down at my computer to share some of my latest foodie adventures. In fact, when I sit back and reflect, it's probably been a month since my last update, which for me is a lifetime!

I guess a lot has happened in the last month and it's taken me a while to settle down and find the time to write about my food escapades. While I haven't been writing, you can be sure that there has been eating!

Where do I start, well, to begin with, I'm sitting in a serviced apartment in my new home of Hong Kong - yep, that's right, if you didn't know it, I've moved to Hong Kong.  New year, new job and new country.  Exciting.  But what does that mean for my blog?  Well, FoodMeUpScotty has always been about my food adventures, so now they're just a little more exotic than they used to be.  International food blogger has a nice ring to it :)

Right, down to business.  Our flight to HK was awesome and our QANTAS flight produced some pretty decent food by Rockpool head, Neil Perry.  While the food was OK, by the time we landed in Hong Kong, we were still pretty hungry. So, after the ride from the airport to our apartment and a quick test walk to my new place of work, we found ourselves on the hunt for a late dinner.

We were in Central Hong Kong, with absolutely no idea where to find food, where to find much that was open and just a little tired and cranky from the flight.  We'd spied a set of steps leading down to a little restaurant called Dot Cod and while we didn't necessarily feel like seafood for dinner, our hunger got the better of us and we found ourselves gravitating towards the entrance of the restaurant.

Knowing absolutely nothing about Dot Cod, I was surprised to learn that the restaurant was owned by the Hong Kong Cricket Club and had picked up a swag of awards since opening in 2000.  As we walked into the restaurant, I noted a couple of awards proudly on display, including the Hong Kong Tatler's Best Restaurant list from 2014.  Promising!

We were warmly greeted at the front door and ushered into the restaurant without a reservation, then shown to a table at the back of the restaurant.  Being complete newbies to Hong Kong, we had no idea what to expect but were soon put at ease by the normal ritual of being offered a menu and having our drinks order taken.

Looking over the menu, we were impressed with the wide selection of seafood on offer, which ran from fresh oysters, right the way through to whole fish and a selection of pasta and non fish options. There were a couple of items that caught my eye straight away and with fond memories of my time in New York (see post here), I had no hesitation in ordering the lobster bisque with cognac and cream as my starter.  

The large bowl of creamy red lobster bisque was presented and I could see a couple of floaty bits of lobster meat, so I thought I was in for a treat.  The bisque had that sweet, yet bitter taste that good bisque has, but I found that it lacked just a little depth when compared to some of the lobster bisque I'd tried in NYC.  I definitely enjoyed the chunks of lobster flesh that popped up from time to time like little surprise packets of goodness.

SC had skipped a starter, so she had to sit around impatiently while I finished off my bisque.  It wasn't long before I'd finished and our mains were presented.  Feeling like a carb hit, SC had ordered the angel hair pasta with Australian Blue Swimmer crab, olives, sun dried tomatoes and basil (but had asked for no olives).  It was a huge bowl of perfectly al dente pasta, piled high and packed with loads of crab and sun dried tomato.  The subtle flavours of the crab were not lost in the dish, which had some strong flavours competing for attention.  It was a lovely piece of cooking to balance the dish as it would have been a shame to detract from the star of the show, the Australian Blue Swimmer crab.

Sticking with the lobster theme for the night, I'd chosen the risotto of Boston lobster with chives, summer truffle and broad beans.  I mean, how could I go wrong with lobster and truffle?  The dish was presented with a huge lobster claw prominent in the centre of the risotto, with smatterings of green broad beans contrasting from the pale yellow of the risotto.  It was an impressive looking dish with expertly cooked risotto that had a beautifully creamy texture and wonderfully rich and complex flavour.  The lobster flesh was expertly cooked and tasted great, however, the was a huge problem... The lobster claw still had the cartilage through the middle and I almost choked on it.  With the possibility of a disaster, I managed to separate it from the flesh and set it aside on my place and finish the dish.  If only the cartilage was not present, it would have been a fantastic first meal in Hong Kong. 

It was time for dessert and SC again opted out, so it was down to me to finish off the meal in style... And what better way to finish off a meal than with a passion fruit souffle!!  With the obligatory fifteen minute wait over, I spied my perfectly formed souffle coming from the kitchen area and started to get excited.  I'd have to say that there are few greater pleasures than a souffle done well. My spoon easily slid into the dessert and the lightness was apparent even before the first mouthful dissolved lightly on my tongue.  The passion fruit flavour came through strongly and before I knew it, my ramekin was empty and I was left begging for more.  My only minor quibble was that the top of the souffle seemed a little burnt, and possibly could have benefited from a dusting of icing sugar to hide.

I was pretty happy with our first meal in Hong Kong and while I didn't know it at the time, we were only metres from about a dozen Michelin Starred restaurants (including about three or four 3 starred restaurants).  Dot Cod's head chef Aron had done a great job in ensuring a quality of food that while not quite Michelin standard, it was good enough to remain relevant in a very competitive environment.

The service on the night was excellent, with a number of waiters looking after us on the night and attending to our every need. Our water was topped up regularly (although it was warm, something we will have to get used to here) and they were attentive, without being over the top.

We were pretty exhausted after our flight and quite sated after our meal.  We stumbled out of the restaurant and back up to our Apartment for a well earned rest after what had been a huge and exciting day.  We needed rest and sleep, knowing that there were to be many huge days ahead, we only had one day to orient ourselves before I kicked off my new job just two days after landing.

While we had a good start, I suspect that there are many great meals still to be had (which I know know to be true).  Let the adventure begin!!

** FoodMeUpScotty's regular dining buddy and partner in life will now be joining the writing team (well, it will be a team now) and writing about her foodie adventures with me.  Look out for posts by SC (@essandsea).

Some fresh warm bread was a lovely way to start the meal 
The bisque was lovely, with chunks of lobster, but it could have been a little richer 

There was a lot of lobster with my risotto, pity about the cartilage 
White linen tables and  silver on the table - nice
A dusting of icing sugar would have really finished off the souffle
The lighted stairs down to Dot Cod


  1. nice blog! hmm might try this restaurant soon! you can also check Limewood Restaurant in Repulse Bay Area in Hongkong, they are one of the best seafood restaurant in that area.

    1. Thanks, if I'm ever over Repulse Bay way, I will check it out



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