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Fish School: Hong Kong’s newest eatery

Yenn Wong, pioneering entrepreneur and founder of the hospitality based JIA Group, has collaborated with seafood enthusiast and award-winning Hong Kong-born chef David Lai to bring a fresh and unique concept to Hong Kong.
Fish School, set to open in early October 2015, is an intimate 50 seater restaurant tucked away in Sai Ying Pun’s Third St that promises to redefine local cuisine.
The concept of Fish School grew from Chef David Lai’s lifetime love of seafood and vast knowledge of local produce.
“Hong Kong began as a fishing village and seafood continues to be a unique pillar of its local culture,” says Lai.
“From multi-generation small-boat fishermen families, to the markets, to the dried seafood industry and to our dinner plates, we are truly fortunate as a modern metropolis to be still receiving food from our immediate surroundings as nature intended. As a chef there is no better inspiration than these pristine gifts from nature.”
Yenn says Fish School was “inspired by the here and now of Hong Kong” and “aspires to redefine what is Hong Kong food today”.
“We bring modern, contemporary Hong Kong culture to the plate with a cuisine that reflects the local culture and our resources, but doesn’t necessarily fit into one particular culinary category.”
As stars of the modern dining scene, David Lai and Yenn Wong bring decades of culinary experience to the table. The duo’s trendsetting successes spawned On Lot 10 and Neighborhood by Lai and 22 Ships, Aberdeen Street Social, Chachawan and Duddell’s, among others, by Wong.
With nearly a third of the restaurant’s seating surrounding the open kitchen, guests can casually share freshly prepared dishes while watching executive chef Chris Ma at work. Ma, who has spent his most recent years working at Michelin-starred NUR, has worked in kitchens in New Zealand, Sweden, Australia and Hong Kong.
Hong Kong designers Paola Sinisterra and Ignacio Garcia bring the fish market to life at Fish School, using raw materials and graphic elements to render a laid-back yet sophisticated atmosphere. As with many of Hong Kong’s treasures, guests must find the almost hidden destination by traversing a side alley leading to an inconspicuous door that opens up to a buzzy, dynamic environment.
The focal point of the room is a fish tank that houses the day’s menu of fish, shrimp, lobster and crabs, served up on earth-toned ceramics that make the food the star of the show. Oak finishes will cover many of the walls throughout the restaurant, a reference to the boxes that house freshly-caught fish as well as a backdrop for local artists to draw their favoured sea creatures. In the private dining room, which seats up to 20, topographic maps of Hong Kong’s fishing areas line the walls, a nod to those who sourced the evening’s meal.

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