Taylor Shellfish: Great All-around (8.5)

Taylor Shellfish Farms is a company that has been in the shellfish farming industry for five generations and when I found out that their focus is very specialized, I felt optimistic about giving them a shot. If you do visit, you will see that amenities and décor are fairly basic at their restaurants and that is in my view generally a good sign since they are essentially a supplier. As it turns out, live oysters and other shellfish we have had here (having been to several branches and having ordered delivery about a dozen times so far) were consistently good for our standard. Its restaurants have now become a part of our permanent rota whenever we felt like sweet, succulent and fresh shellfish and live oysters. One of the good things about oysters here is that you have a pretty diverse range to pick from and contrast, unlike at many other restaurants where oysters are often single-origin. Seafood lovers can give them a try.

Food Rundown

Oysters, $39-$108
These were some of the freshest oysters ever. On a weekend lunch oysters are 30% off, which offers quite a bargain. The oysters we had that I jotted brief notes for:
– US: Pacific Rock (Standard) $36 (each) – just a little fishy and salty, but creamy with a metallic aftertaste
– US: Kumamoto $33 – sweet and light, and more tropically flavored (really liked it, and all the great flavor was packed in a relatively small mass of an oyster)
– Ireland: Carlingford $49 – fleshy and super fresh with strong metallic flavors (one of my favorites)
– Ireland: Harty $49 – a plush mouthful, full-bodied and super sweet (one of my favorites)
– France: Tia Maraa $59 – clean and crisp taste
– France: Geay La Spéciale $59 – vibrant with nutty notes
– Australia: Smoky Bay $49 – a bit salty, otherwise fine
– Ireland: Majestic $49 – not quite the freshest – it needed a lemon squeeze
– France: Black Pearl $59 – great crunchy texture and mouthfeel, but flavors were more on the bitter side
– France: Gillardeau $59 – a nice crunch with a nutty aftertaste; all-rounded flavor
– France: Ostra Regal $69 – a gold selection and you can see the 22 carat edible gold flakes on the shells. It’s a meaty oyster and the flavor was well balanced (one of my favorites
– France: Belon $108 – bitter and a bit thin, not quite our cup of tea
– Japan: Hiroshima $59 – sweet and creamy (one of our favorites)
Kumamoto is our all-time favorite.

Mussels ($168) were fat and juicy. I ventured with an unconventional flavor—tom yum goong—and it turned out surprisingly good.

Raw scallops ($170) were less good compared to above average Japanese restaurants, lacking in that subtle creamy sweetness, but were still fine.

Boston lobster ($188), Canadian whelk ($98) and raw shrimp ($128) were fresh all around. The whelk was especially plump and fresh, although the raw shrimps were still a bit icy and hard when they were served.

Alaskan king crab leg ($438) was honestly quite decent even for a crabaholic like me. The flavors of the meat are rich and sweet and its texture and mouthfeel are more like lobster meat except more tender.

We also had stuff like fries, deep-fried chicken nuggets, squid ink spaghetti and smoked salmon salad. They were all standard and the kinds of food that would satisfy your innermost cravings once you have a bit too much to drink, so the option of having those was definitely welcome.

Taylor Shellfish Farms

$$, Seafood

80-86 High Street, Sai Ying Pun, Hong Kong

42 Sun Chun Street, Tai Hang