An eerie silence permeates the night.
As I walk down the muddy path from the edge of the forest where our cab left us, I look up into the clear sky and see stars. My awe is shortlived as suddenly, something dashes across our path into the bushes just to the left. I curse under my breathe and strain my eyes looking for the sign. Any sign. To be honest, at that time of the night, a sign of another human being would be a welcome sight.
If this sounds like a scene from Indiana Jones, I don’t blame you. I feel like one. I am at a God-forsaken village in the middle of nowhere in Sai Kung, where bus stops running and only cabs can reach. Street lights are far and few in between, and as the night deepens I am eager to reach my destination.
Where’s that, you ask? Why, a food place, of course. A seafood private kitchen, to be exact. Only that I am armed only with an address (in Chinese!) and Google Map isn’t of much help.
It is hard to believe that, half an hour after that dramatic scene, I am seated at a table for ten, sipping red wine and wishing the birthday boy the best of luck for the year ahead. The private kitchen we are at is quite elusive and known to a precious few.
I am told in no uncertain terms not to actively write about this place, and I can see why.
For this place is truly a gem of a find. The seafood platter, with its mountain of oysters, mussels, scallops and prawns, is an exception to the norm, and that is saying a lot coming from yours truly who live for seafood. The sheer amount of rawness may make even the most dedicated sashimi lovers nervous. Forgive me if I am a tad apprehensive as I take in my first shelled morsel. I have already marked my exit plan to the nearest washroom in case of emergency.
Well placed as my worry is, I shouldn’t have. This platter is living proof that truly fresh, sweet and succulent raw seafood exist, and I lived to tell the tale.
The remaining dishes for the night are no mere pushovers, either. A huge basket of warm, yeasty homebaked bread serves as starters, with some salted butter for the indulgent few. The medium rare steaks were a feast in its own right, standing tall on a table full of seafood dishes. Even the simple fruit salad, with its tantalising mix of peaches, kiwis and cucumber, does more than impress.
I do have a warning, though. If by a stroke of chance you discover the place and arranged for a dinner, starve yourself for the day and go with an empty stomach. For the amount of food served will fell even the greediest of gluttons.
Enquire within (or you can just utilise your Google skills).