All seems right in the world now that Cary Docherty is once again manning the kitchen at Island Shangri-La’s Lobster Bar and Grill, which has been serving drinkers and diners since 1991.

Canadian chef Cary polished his culinary craft at top restaurants in Vancouver and London, before making the move to Hong Kong in 2018 to strut his stuff at classic British diner Gough’s on Gough and then Lobster Bar and Grill, giving it a new lease of life. In mid-2022, he left Lobster Bar for a brief stint at The Upper House’s Salisterra, but now he’s back at Island Shangri-La’s beloved seafood-focused eatery, coming almost full circle.

There’s something for everyone at Lobster Bar and Grill – seafood lover or not – with more than half a dozen menus up for ordering, from freshly shucked oysters, to set lunch, to à la carte, even to a newly introduced dedicated gourmet burger menu (yes, the burgers cost a pretty penny).

We opted for a leisurely Friday lunch tasting and ordered from the popular set lunch menu (HKD598 pp for 3 courses; HKD698 pp for 4 courses), which is updated every two weeks. On Saturdays, you can upgrade your lunchtime feast to include a free-flow beverage package (from HKD108 pp)

On the subject of drinks, we are pleased to note that Lobster Bar and Grill offers unlimited Nordaq still and sparkling filtered water for just HKD20, forgoing the sky-high bottled water prices that have become one of the banes of dining out in Hong Kong.

Proving his reputation with diners, chef Cary was a steady presence in the dining room during our lunchtime visit, greeting and personally serving tables. 

Lobster Bar tuna
Tuna ceviche

The chef’s bread basket ranks amongst our favourites in Hong Kong – no small feat – especially the buttery pillows known as Parker House rolls and cheesy, herby, ultra-thin crostini. Alongside the dreamy bread, we sampled the beef tartare and tuna ceviche for our first course. Though we enjoyed the tartare’s acidic, pickled tones, we found its texture too soft and finely minced, preferring a chunkier tartare. The thick slices of tuna were complemented by a bright and tangy grapefruit marinade, alongside creamy avocado, making for a lovely contrast of flavours and textures.

Lobster Bar bisque
Lobster bisque (+HKD108)

The lobster bisque (+HKD108) is a staple at Lobster Bar for a reason, bursting with the savoury intensity of lobster accented with cognac and a dollop of tarragon cream. The velvety asparagus soup was equally delicious, with chef Cary incorporating matcha for a subtle bitterness. Both soups were served at the ideal Goldilocks temperature, neither too hot nor too cool.

Lobster Bar lobster
Lobster with fregola sarda (+HKD180)

We created our own surf-and-turf course with our main choices of lobster (+HKD180) and beef flat iron. Lean yet tender and meaty, the steak was served with a robust burnt onion jus that upped the umami factor. The lobster was the jewel in the crown of our meal, showcasing perfectly chargrilled lobster pieces atop a risotto-like mixture made with chewy, nutty fregola sarda. The eye-catching sage foam added a layer of aromatic freshness, whilst the lobster sauce was lusciously buttery.

Lobster Bar flat iron
Beef flat iron

We enjoyed the seasonal rhubarb tart for dessert. The poached rhubarb filling, delightfully tart, was a great match for the accompanying pistachio ice cream with its unique nutty earthiness.

Lobster Bar rhubarb tart
Rhubarb tart

Our verdict of Lobster Bar and Grill

Chef Cary seems right at home at Lobster Bar and Grill. Pleasing both long-time diners and newcomers, he delivers a classic hotel dining experience featuring well-executed premium meat and seafood dishes, displaying innovative touches here and there. 

On our next visit to the reliable Island Shangri-La restaurant – and we’re sure there will be many – we’re eager to check out chef Cary’s new Sunday brunch (from HKD898 pp), which includes a spread of sharing starters, roast beef, lamb, or pork (or grilled or poached whole Boston lobster) with all the trimmings, decadent desserts like triple-chocolate mud pie and banoffee pie, and a roving Blood Mary trolley.

Lobster Bar and Grill, 6/F, Island Shangri-La, Pacific Place, Supreme Court Road, Admiralty, 2820 8560, WhatsApp 9700 0647, book here

Order this: seafood tower, smoked and cured salmon with condiments, lobster bisque, sole à la meunière, beef Wellington
Menu: Lobster Bar and Grill à-la-carte menu
Price for two for lunch: around HKD1,500
Atmosphere: a quintessential five-star hotel restaurant, with the grand piano and live music set-up adding to the old-school ambience
Perfect for: not just for seafood connoisseurs, the menu at Lobster Bar offers something for every diner who appreciates the classics done right

This review is intended to offer an individual perspective on the dining experience and should not be considered as a definitive judgement of the restaurant’s overall quality or reputation. The views expressed in this review are solely the author’s and do not reflect the opinions of Foodie.

Stephanie Pliakas is the Digital Editor of Foodie. From Michelin-starred fine-dining to the local comfort-food eats dished out at cha chaan tengs, she has immersed herself in the 852’s ever-changing food scene since making Hong Kong her home more than a decade ago. When Stephanie is not devouring something delicious, she’s cooking and baking up a storm at home (whilst listening to true crime podcasts).

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