REVIEW

Forum

Forum is an iconic restaurant in Hong Kong, though not one that is frequented by tourists or expats very often. It has instead a clientele composed mainly of affluent regulars who come principally for its (extremely expensive) abalone. Founded in 1977 and located on Lockhart Road in a frenetic stretch of Causeway Bay, the restaurant hasn't changed much since and is hardly a tranquil respite from the chaos: it has a Spartan gold-hued decor and the service is perfunctory at best. We have a policy of not taking price into consideration when evaluating a restaurant's objective merit, but I must say that I was nevertheless dumbfounded at the amount we paid given the pedestrian atmosphere, lax service and quality of food we received. Despite only one other table being occupied, it took half an hour for any food at all to arrive. A box of Kleenex was placed on the table, instead of napkins being provided. In the last hour of the meal, staff stood behind our table folding napkins and tablecloths, washing dishes, and performing other unsightly tasks.

The cuisine was a mixture of good and poor, with no truly standout dishes. The deep-fried crispy chicken was excellent, although no better than that at Tung Po, at one tenth of the price. The "Famous 'Ah Yat' Noodles" were unjustly famous, and a braised barbecued duck was chewy and poorly cooked. A deep fried crab claw and pan-fried spicy squid stuffed with shrimp paste were good but no better than at two dozen other restaurants around town, yet double the price. What was perhaps most striking and surprising to me throughout this meal was how diametrically opposed my experience was at Yeung Koon Yat's other restaurant, Ah Yat Harbour View, which is one of the city's finest restaurants, with superb service, views and cuisine. If you have a hankering for abalone, go there, and abandon Forum to the tycoons.

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INFORMATION

Causeway Bay
485 Lockhart Road
+852 2869-8282
    Yeung Koon Yat, Chef

    TAGS

    • Hong Kong
    • Cantonese
    • Chinese
    • Dim Sum
    • BYOB Corkage Fee: $200HKD
    • Private Dining Room

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