Zafran is Aqua Group’s latest addition, which is hidden down a little alley off Wyndham Street. I love the modern stylish space, and was pleasantly surprised how large the space is. It was divided into three different segments – bar, dining room and late night lounge. I do love the open bar seating, especially as you can see the chef in action. Zafran is led by Spanish chef Marc Lores and offers diners delicious ‘classic tapas’ and ‘Zafran tapas’
I was here for lunch with the friend and was surprised at how reasonable it is – choice of 1 starter and 2 plates for HKD108. Between the two of us, we got to try 6 different dishes which were good.
We started with Spanish potato, tuna, carrot, olives ‘ensaladilla’ – it was beautifully plated and too pretty to eat!
The mixed leaves, Manchego cheese, Serrano ham and cherry tomato were definitely light and refreshing. I love the texture of the cheese, and the Serrano ham was excellent.
Next came the Iberico Bellota ham croquettes (4pcs). The balls were thin crispy and not oily. It was extremely smooth and absolutely delicious
I love baked Portobello mushroom, especially stuffed with ham, peppers and Mahon Cheese.
We definitely couldn’t go past the yellow miso and soy glazed pork rib with oregano and Spanish style potato (HKD28 supplement). This was definitely a winner for both of us! The pork was incredibly tender that it fell off the bone. The yellow miso and soy gave it that nice sweet taste which was just right and not too sickly.
The Spanish breakfast – panaderas potato, homemade sausage, fried egg and padron pepper (HKD28 supplement) was divine. I would happily eat this for breakfast every morning (not that my hips would thank me!), the soft potatoes, and the oozy yolk and not to mention the delicious homemade sausage.
We both enjoyed the food very much and I am very keen to try their dinner menu which has more options than the set lunch menu! Service was efficient and food came out relatively quickly.
GA’s ratings: 7.5 / 10
Basement, 43-55 Wyndham Street
Central, Hong Kong
Ph: +852 2116 8855
Fofo by El Willy has been around since 2010 following the popularity and success of ‘el Willy’ restaurant in Shanghai. It’s been a while since my last visit, maybe 3 years ago? Fofo offers both traditional and contemporary Spanish tapas and rice. I was here with a friend for lunch, and opt for their lunch menu which consists of tapas (two choices) and mains (one choice) which includes tea or coffee for HKD218 – not cheap for lunch but it is good!
V started with the foie gras mi-cuit with tomato chili jam which she enjoyed. She could have definitely used more bread.
We both couldn’t go past the slow cooked egg, pumpkin cream and pancetta. OMG! This dish was a definite winner. I loved the combination of the yolk and pumpkin – it was creamy and oh so delicious. I wanted more!
My second tapas were ‘coca de recapte’ catalan style flat bread with roast peppers and boquerones. After eating the slow cooked egg with pumpkin, this was disappointing. Had I eaten this first, I may have enjoyed it more. I do love roast peppers but that egg and pumpkin… oh my…
V couldn’t go past the grilled squid with sauté vegetables and potato cream. The grilled squid were tender, and the potato creamy and a wonderful complement.
I was craving steak – it definitely has been a while since I had beef and opt for the Argentinean beef sirloin with grilled vegetables and potatoes (additional HKD30). The beef was tender and cooked to perfection and the curly potato fries were excellent.
We thought about dessert – perused the dessert menu a couple of times but were just too full. Will definitely have to come back for dinner and try their other dishes. It was definitely an enjoyable meal, I am dreaming yet again about the slow cooked egg and pumpkin cream… delicious!
Ga’s ratings: 8 / 10
20/F M88 2-8 Wellington Street
Central, Hong Kong
Ph: +852 2900 2009
I have heard wonderful things about Iberico and Co which can be located in Soho on Shelley Street. Part of the popular Enoteca Group – Iberico and Co serves Spanish and Portuguese food. The menu features a wide range of dishes to share which includes snacks, little plates, family-style bigger plates and a ham bar with some of Spain’s best iberico hams.
I have tried making a reservation for dinner here many times and it is always fully booked! So finally decided to try for lunch and so glad that I did! The food certainly did not disappoint. There was a lunch set but we decided to go for a la-carte as I wanted to try a lot of things! We started with the salt rubbed crunchy pigs skin with smoked paprika mayonnaise – my goodness – these crunchy goodness were seriously sinful but fantastic! It was hard not to stop eating them.
The chargrilled asparagus, shallot, sherry vinegar dressing and shaved Iberico cheese looked a little sad but surprisingly tasty!
We really loved the mushrooms sautéed with cherry tomatoes and Jerez sherry vinegar. It was so full of flavour – the mushrooms were cooked to perfection.
G couldn’t go past the tartar of salmon, traditional garnishes, smoked paprika and quail egg. I didn’t have any of this but she did say that it was delicious. The salmon fresh and the garnishes a wonderful complement
I was getting a little bit full by now, however, there were two more large dishes to come. The lemon and paprika chicken with borlotti beans, coriander and garlic came in a little stone pot. The crispy skin, the tender meat – it was delicious.
Last but not least, the cracked black pepper hanger steak with madeira. OH MY! Tender and succulent meat, it was a little on the rare side for me but it was good!
We were both stuffed – dessert sounded good but we were just too full! Will definitely be back to try more food! Could be my fav tapas place in HK
GA’s ratings: 8 / 10
Iberico and Co
G/F, 18 Shelley’s Street,
Central, Hong Kong
Ph: +852 2752 8811
I have walked past this place many times – it is on the way to and fro gym. Apparently, Mesa 15 used to be here, which has now moved to Grand Progress Building on Lan Kwai Fong. Numero 15 is the younger sibling and offers diners tapas and wine.
Came here for lunch with a friend, you can never go wrong with Tapas right? I notice that there are a lot of them around Hong Kong – not all are great unfortunately! The set lunch – tapas and rice lunch for HKD138 is not a bad value. Diners get to choose two tapas, then rice / pasta as well as dessert! Not bad for a 3 course meal.
I started with the slow-cooked egg, smoked potato foam, chorizo and chorizo croquettes. Loved the chorizo croquettes, the croquettes were soft and pillowy.
The smoked potato foam weren’t very smoky, it was good but a little too creamy for my liking.
V had the deep fried calamari with aioli, and sautéed mixed mushrooms with baby asparagus. Loved the sautéed mixed mushrooms but then again, i am a huge fan of mushrooms. The calamari was pretty decent too I thought – light batter, and who can say no to aioli?
For mains, the clams and Iberico pork belly rice had my name on it. Asked for no clams and they were very accommodating. The rice was risotto like, the pork belly was succulent albeit not enough!
V opt for spicy mussels and prawns rice with chorizo which she enjoyed.
The banana-toffee, baileys, frappe and greek yogurt foam was again very creamy for my liking – probably should have picked the chocolate mousse. I may have read it wrong as I was expecting banana banoffee – obviously two very different things!
The 70% cocao chocolate mousse was decent, great with coffee or tea.
It wasn’t very busy at lunch when we went. Would be interesting to see what dinner is like. ‘The Mother’ is on the hunt for tapas places, might suggest this place next time he wants tapas.
GA’s ratings: 7 / 10
G/F, 15 Hollywood Road,
Central, Hong Kong
Ph: +852 2362 0881
Tapeo Bar De Tapas y Vino is located in Sai Wan Ho, which is a short walking distance from our place. We were going for a swim but forgot that the pool closed at noon so thought we would eat before taking a dip. The weather in Hong Kong has been a hit of a miss. Some days it is clear blue skies and stinking hot and some days it is wet and still stinking hot!
We have been here a couple of times now, ‘The Mother’ really likes this place. Tapeo offers diners set lunches at different prices and with these set lunches diners have the option to choose two different types of tapas and with it comes salad or soup and dessert. I knew exactly what I wanted, and so did ‘The Mother’.
We started with cauliflower soup – I quite like it, it was quite creamy and delicious.
The salad wasn’t too bad either. Dragon seemed to have enjoyed it.
Started with pork belly with quince aioli – oh my, I could seriously have licked the quince aioli off the plate. It was absolutely delicious. The pork belly had crispy skin and the meat was tender.
‘The Mother’ couldn’t go past the grilled sardines with romesco sauce. He really enjoyed it, ate both of them!
Dragon really enjoyed the grilled chicken with truffle aioli. The chicken was succulent and the truffle aioli a wonderful complement.
The beef meatballs with spicy tomato sauce were also wonderful.
On our next visit, we ordered the crispy shrimps with chili which came on a hot place. It sizzled when it arrived our table.
The crab tortilla I didn’t have but both ‘The Mother’ and our friend, M thoroughly enjoyed it.
They had a special the second time we were there, Spanish blood sausage and duck egg and oh my, this was the highlight for the day.
For dessert, churros with chocolate! YUM! ‘The Mother’ definitely enjoyed it.
I have heard that the service has been a hit and miss, but both visits, it was great. They even entertained Dragon and bought her lots and lots of ice! It was a never ending supply and Dragon was definitely a happy camper. Food I thought was also delicious. Perfect for lunch – not too heavy and not to light.
Will definitely be back, I am sure ‘The Mother’ will want to try everything on the menu!
GA’s ratings: 7.5 / 10
Tapeo Bar de Tapas
GA01-03 G/F, Lei King Wan,
55 Tai Hong Street,
Sai Wan Ho, Hong Kong
Ph: +852 2513 0199
Sal Curioso is the sister restaurant of Madam Sixty Ate – the food at Sal Curioso is Tapas style – to share. A couple of my dear friends from Sydney were in town and I suggested this place. The menu has a modern Spanish and South American themed. I have noticed that there are a lot more tapas like restaurants opening in Hong Kong, 22 ships, Chicha, to name a few.
Sal Curioso is headed by husband and wife duo Chris Woodyard and Browyn Cheung of Woolly Pig Concepts who are also the brains behind Madam Sixty-Ate. I didn’t really enjoy the food at Madam Sixty-Ate, not sure if it’s what I ordered but I recall everyone on the table did not think highly of their dish. Nevertheless, I was still keen to try their new establishment.
We left all the ordering to our foodie friend, IW, he owns a restaurant so I would expect him to order well and let’s just say he did not disappoint! We started with the Albondigas – saltbush lamb meatballs on walnut braised chickpeas and shaved foie gras. These were surprisingly tasty but a little on the lamb-y side (as you may recall I am not a huge fan of lamb!). However, the lamb was tender, and the foie gras was a little on the subtle side.
The Peruivan duck confit ceviche with orange tonic foam, duck jus was a hit. It was served with sweet potato chili gel and wafer. Not quite what I was expecting, as the ceviche was actually cooked. Nevertheless, the duck was tender and the orange a wonderful complement.
The Jumbalaya – a dry jumbalaya of puffed rice, seared squid, torched prawn, smoked chorizo, celery gel, pepper, onion rings and popcorn chicken was surprisingly tasty. I wasn’t sure what to expect, but the puffed rice was moist, and the seafood a wonderful complement.
IW and I share our love for pork, so the molasses suckling pig was a must! Six hour pig with pear, mustard fruit compote and oh my – this was mouth-watering. Tender pork meat, crunchy skin – what more can you ask for? This was definitely one of the highlights for me.
The buttermilk fried chicken – free range chicken, soft grits, corn ragout and fritters were excellent. The chicken meat was juicy and tender, the corn ragout complemented the chicken. Another favourite for the diners, including myself.
The blood pudding was interesting but good. I love blood pudding so really enjoyed this, however, if you are not a huge fan of blood pudding then this dish is not for you.
The beetroot salad with quinoa was wonderful. Fresh and light and I love the haloumi cheese which was served with it.
The arancini was surprisingly tasty – served with olives, it was slightly sour but not powering.
The potted key lime pie – lime marmalade coconut sorbet, and biscuits, coconut crisps was a little hard to photograph. Not quite what I expected as I had expected a slab of lime pie but instead, a somewhat deconstructed lime pie – it was sour but the coconut sorbet was a wonderful complement. Not my favourite dessert unfortunately.
The rocky road – marshmallow chocolate sundae I enjoyed, and the sorbet was a wonderful complement.
Last but not least – fried leche bread pudding – chili chocolate fudge, chocolate rosemary ice cream, soil and bourbon marshmallows – this I adored! It was sweet, there was a hint of spiciness in the chocolate, a mix of both. The fried bread pudding was definitely delightful! YUM!
Overall I thought food was tasty – I think also IW ordered extremely well! You can never go wrong when eating out with IW! He truly does love his food and knows how to order! It was lovely to see you both and hopefully we will have a meal together soon!
Definitely prefer this restaurant than Madam Sixty-Ate!
GA’s ratings: 7.5 / 10
2/F, 32 Wyndam Street
Central, Hong Kong
Ph: +852 2537 7555
Chicha is the new Peruvian restaurant from the Concept Creation’s Group which also owns Frites and Tapeo. I have never had Peruvian food before so wasn’t sure what to expect. All I knew is that the food was tapas like, i.e to share and that was pretty much it. Chicha can be found in the old location of Chez Patrick which is tucked away at the bottom of Peel Street just off Hollywood Road. It’s a rather small restaurant and can be extremely loud at times making it hard to hear the conversation with your fellow diners.
We were a little overwhelmed with the menu, so many choices we weren’t sure what to order so we decided to have the tasting plate and asked the chef to order for us.
We started with the sea bass ceviche – it was deliciously fresh and fragrant and the sauce was absolutely delightful that SK cleaned it right up. I am pretty sure if no one was looking, she would have picked up the plate and licked it! The colour is quite striking also!
Next came the seared scallops, cooked to perfection.
The fried chicken we absolutely adored! So much that we asked for another serving. Deliciously crunchy and tender and soft on the inside.
The miniature buns stuffed with pork belly was another favourite. Juicy, melt-in-your mouth pork perfectly ‘sandwiched’ between the soft buns, the tangy spicy sauce was a wonderful complement. I would have happily eaten half a dozen on my own.
The Japanese inspired skewers – chicken and cod. The grilled cod with ponzu and rocoto chili aioli was to die for! Silky smooth and incredible. The Chicken with aji panca was good but the cod was definitely the winner out of the two.
The crab claw I didn’t have, but I was told that it was a little underwhelming.
The tacos were probably one of the best tacos I have had in Hong Kong. Crispy light taco shells filled with lots of meat or fish with crunchy vegetables and spicy citrus y salsas – YUM!
Last but not least – the moment of truth – Spanish style roast suckling pig – OMG! Two serving of this and boy, we were stuffed! Some thought that the skin was really tough and hard to eat, but the pieces that I ate seemed ok and was actually quite tasty. The pork itself was good albeit FATTY! Some of the fat to meat ratio was just unbelievable – I had a mini heart attack just looking at it. With it came some lovely shredded cabbage and fried potato balls.
We were all too full for dessert – I would have liked some but my eyes would have been bigger than my stomach. The food overall I thought was delicious, especially the pork buns, loved the fish skewers and the roast suckling pig. I can see what all the fuss is about – readers of Timeout Hong Kong voted Chicha to be the ‘Best New Restaurant of 2012’. The food is good and tasty, what I don’t like about it is the tightness and cramp-ness of the restaurant, but I guess this is Hong Kong and the noise… the noise… it was so hard to hear peoples conversation without yelling at the same time!
It was fun and they had some yummy sounding cocktails which I can’t wait to try for next time. It was definitely lovely catching up with all of you – let’s do it again soon!
GA’s ratings: 7.5 / 10
G/F, 26 Peel Street
Central, Hong Kong
Ph; +852 2561 3336