Why This Seafood Restaurant Hired a Marine Biologist

On a rainy Saturday in Hong Kong, chef Sandy Keung leads me through the kitchen at TABLE. Her team is putting the finishing touches on an elaborate menu for a private event. Among Hong Kong’s most respected seafood restaurants, the contemporary address is best known for its east-meets-west flavors, raw oysters, assorted shellfish, and hand-made pasta. But I’ve come to see the restaurant’s most prized possession.

We turn a corner and there it is—the depuration tank. It’s totally unassuming, boring even. It just looks like any old fish tank, except for one noticeable difference: the water is crystal clear. In a city where locals eat fish for breakfast, lunch, and dinner—cheeks, heads, eyeballs, and all—the depuration tank, and the resident marine biologist who constantly monitors the animals and adjusts the chemical levels, is what sets TABLE apart. Both are firsts in Hong Kong, and are in response to the they city’s increasing reliance on imported seafood.

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