The problem with having an amazing experience the first time you visit a restaurant is that the second time will never be as good (First Experience). This unfortunately proved true at Oyster C. The key problem was really that they were so busy that they couldn't cope - we waited 30 minutes before our drinks order was taken, wine glasses remained empty for long periods and it was very difficult to get the waiters' attention. The other impact of the over-stretched waiters was that they didn't offer the tom yum soup with the tiger prawn sashimi (and I didn't realise that they had to be ordered separately because on my last, less crowded visit - and indeed on a friend's separate visit - they had offered it as a done deal). Without the tom yum soup, the sashimi has significantly less wow factor.
On the plus side, the clam pasta was excellent - the same creamy white wine sauce threatening to cause a coronary at any moment. The staff were helpful when it came to the oysters P.G. and C.O. chose and with 16 varieties on offer, even the pickiest oyster aficionados are likely to be satisfied. To their credit, they were working really hard to try and manage all the tables but perhaps they should have staggered the diners a little bit so that they could keep everyone happy.
My first experience of Oyster C is still at the forefront of my mind so I'm clearly going to have to give it another shot but for HK$500 a head with wine, it should really polish its act.
Simply fantastic. Without a doubt, one of the best meals I've had in Hong Kong.
Tin Hau as an area doesn't feature very highly on my radar. Causeway Bay is normally about as far as I go yet I've been told repeatedly that the restaurants in Tin Hau are some of the most interesting and best in Hong Kong. Based on my first experience, I'll be back to try more. Having said that, I suspect it's one of those places where you've really got to know where you're going before you head there. That is certainly the case with Oyster C which you would never stumble into by accident. The opaque windows and shut door prevent anyone from peering in and their interior design policy of giving customers a felt-tip pen and telling them to go forth has resulted in it looking rather like a youth club from the outside! Never judge a book by its cover...
The restaurant, which is cosy to say the least, was heaving and despite that, the staff were consistently friendly and helpful. Even more importantly for a restaurant called Oyster C, they seemed to know an awful lot about oysters and how the flavours were effected by the changing seasons etc... To be honest, I hadn't got a clue and P.G. and I went with a combination of their suggestions and a childish pleasure from some of the names - Bald Eagle and Coffin Bay, for example. They had 12 different types of oyster available from every part of the globe, each clearly priced. The oysters arrived with a selection of sauces including a shallot vinagrette and a mint vinagrette. We chose the US Bald Eagle, the Aussie Coffin Bay and the French Fines de Claire (conforming to stereotype, the Bald Eagle was about twice the size of of the other two!). They were all incredibly fresh and delicious with my vote going to the Coffin Bay and P.G.'s going to the Bald Eagle.
Next we tried the tiger prawn sashimi which was beautifully fresh
and sweet. We were offered three different options for the head and chose to have it in a tom yum soup - one of the best I've had, hot enough for it to tickle your tongue but fragrant rather than overpowering. Quite delicious!
With determination rather than hunger powering us on at this point, we ordered pasta as a main course with my Canadian savory clams in a white wine sauce being the star of the show. Although a veritable heart-attack on a plate, it was worth it - the pasta was perfectly al dente and the white wine sauce stunning. P.G.'s grilled goose liver and king prawn with lobster butter
was good but, in my opinion, not quite as nice.
The only thing that was slightly below par was the chocolate pudding which P.G. had - good but not amazing. Still, can't complain. The rest was simply stunning and all, including a bottle of white, for $500 a head which is really not bad at all for the quality (and quantity)! Fantastic!