Green Queen Foodie: Fish & Meat – Farm to Table Pioneer

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5 Mins Read

What is the farm to table concept? In the most basic sense,  it’s about eating locally: growing your own produce then cooking it at home.  Or if you are a restaurant, connecting your clients with locally-sourced produce and artisan producers. Sourcing is key: finding the finest ingredients both regionally and from around the world whilst demonstrating a commitment to sustainability. At a time when every savvy Hong Kong eater is asking: ‘where is my food from?’ it’s a simple yet effective approach, showcasing the best of seasonal and sustainable ingredients. Uber trendy Maximal Concept’s Fish & Meat takes this new eating philosophy very seriously. Open for a year now, they are much loved for their modern takes on pan-European fare, allowing culinary heights to be reached by allowing the quality of their ingredients to wow our palettes with their simplicity. 

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Upon entering the restaurant, you’re greeted with a flight of charcoal stairs and exposed yellow light bulbs.  This scene is a contrast to the dining room, a bright, airy, and absolutely welcoming space. The stark white walls with empty photo frames and naked pipe works, polished concrete floors, undressed tables made of reclaimed wood, black chairs and the statement mason jars as light fittings all scream Scandinavian farmhouse- only the Scands can mix minimalism with country warmth so effortlessly.  There are two private rooms should you need more intimacy.  The bar is set up for diners, as is the chef’s table where you can see the fervour of activity happening in the kitchen. Just next to it, a cute little nook with all things cool like a foozball table and a chess board. Finally, there’s an inviting outdoor terrace with whitewashed picnic tables and chairs, no doubt would look stunning when set up with crockery during the cooler months. The interior design is chic; it feels relaxed, rustic yet refined; this is a perfect complement to the menu offerings, the dishes of which are both equal parts pared down and luxurious. 

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We started with the homemade Sicilian lemonade with blueberry jam & thyme, for example. So many times we’ve had these same ingredients readily available at home but never would we have thought to combine them to create a visually appealing and tasty refreshment. The bubbly freshness, subtle jammy sweetness and heady fragrance of the thyme are subtly yet refreshingly luxurious, an ideal thirst quencher to open your palette.  

The menu fall in to “small” and “large” plate offerings, leaning towards an Italian influence, designed for sharing.  As the joint’s name suggests, Fish & Meat are the stars of the show, all from certified sources that practice sustainability. It’s tuna and salmon from the waters of the Philippines and Norway respectively, meat and lobsters from Australia, prawns from Indonesia, fruit and vegetables from organic farms- the sourcing illustrates their passion and commitment for freshness and quality. Fish & Meat also use one of Green Queen’s favorite local fruit and vegetable purveyors, Homegrown Foods, so you’ll be happy to know you’re eating organic, locally grown produce. Beyond the ingredients, they have a passion for artisanal creations: most of all things you’ll eat at Fish & Meat from the fluffy, soft, organic pastas to purees and jams used in their cocktails are handmade in-house.

Now let’s talk food! Our smartly dressed and zealous waiters gradually brought us a selection of delectable dishes. In the fish department, we had a salmon tartar cured with carrot and gin on a bed of corn puree, overlaid by salmon roe and braised baby asparagus, carrots and fennel, all topped with perfectly poached egg. The sashimi grade salmon was melt-in-your-mouth plump. The explosion of saltiness from the roe was counterbalanced by the even flavor of the poached egg & crunchy bites of spring vegetables. During our visit, Fish  Meat were running a socially responsible campaign whereby for every dish purchased that month, 50% of the profits went directly to Skeena Wild Conservation for wild Salmon Habitat rehabilitation! As the menus change seasonally, so do their  the same can be said about various charity initiatives. 

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On to the meats. We are not ashamed to say that we are drooling over the thought of having another of their moist Spanish Teruel pork belly porchetta snuggled in a ciabatta with a pork and fennel stuffing, the flavors punctuated by a herby gremolata. And don’t even get us started on the perfect crackling! Next was the meatballs – hand-ground veal and pork, pesto marinated tomatoes, mozzarella and arugula. Big, juicy balls of meat, the sauce sweet from the organic tomato sugo yet made savoury from the delicate cheese and peppery aragula kick! And finally, deliciously lean, grass-fed beef tartare, the quality meat imported from the green meadows of Australia’s O’Connor Farm, served with pickled jalapeno, a vibrant orange duck yolk sprinkled with parmesan and some fries to mop up the dribbled yolk! Some very noteworthy sides – sweet corn polenta was reminiscent of a creamy rice pudding (is that even possible?) and a maple syrup hue of roasted potatoes & rosemary, was somewhat sweet and buttery, two words you generally wouldn’t describe a potato…is that because they were organic spuds? 

 

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Let us not forget the dessert! First off, we tried the Sicilian lemon tart. Exquisite! We’ve made a lemon tart before but it sure as hell didn’t taste like this! We put it down to the chef’s pastry prowess and lemons direct from Sicily where they are renowned for all things citrus. Must be their sunshine! A whipped mascarpone ‘cheesecake’ with raspberry and shortbread crumble was also on offer. Turns out berry + mascarpone is a match made in dessert heaven. Suffice to say,   our sweet cravings were extremely well satiated. 

The farm-to-table movement has fast become a buzzword around town and Fish & Meat is a huge part of that conversation.  No longer are consumers happy to eat highly processed foods, there’s awareness and excitement amongst foodies: they want to know which farm, which ranch, which region. Every avid locavore should be jumping at every opportunity to visit restaurants like Fish & Meat where delicious, responsibly sourced food is not just part of the meal, it is the whole point. 

 

 

Fish & Meat is located at 32 Wyndham Mansions, Central and is open daily from 11AM until late. For reservations, call +852 2565 6788 or email reservations@fishandmeat.hk. 

 

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