REVIEW

Catalunya

Catalunya has of late taken Hong Kong by storm, becoming one of the most talked-about new restaurants in the city. Partly, this is the result of the pedigree of the team behind the venture: Alain Devahive Tolosa, the Group Executive Chef, worked alongside Ferran Adrià of elBulli for more than a decade, while other team members hail from storied restaurants like El Celler de Can Roca, Mugaritz, Arzak and Restaurante Martín Berasategui. The stylish, dramatic space, which straddles the line between rustic and trendy, was designed by the illustrious NYC design firm AvroKO. And it has a sister restaurant in Singapore that has become very successful and well-regarded. But, mostly, the hype is a result of the excellence of the contemporary Spanish cuisine based on classic Catalan recipes.

Somewhat incongruously with its location on a sleepy residential block of Morrison Hill in Wan Chai, the restaurant is a hive of activity in the evenings, with a popular bar area glimmering with illuminated liquor bottles and dangling vintage globes outfitted as chandeliers. There are red leather walls, wood paneling and a honeycomb ceiling. The main dining room has an incredible brass and glass chandelier inspired by the stained-glass ceiling of the Palau de la Música and is typically packed with both locals and expats. Upbeat music plays in the background.

There is a dauntingly lengthy list of worthy tapas to order: jamón ibérico croquettes that are insanely creamy and rich; wonderfully battered calamari Andalusian style; awesomely spicy patatas bravas; a tomato tartar with thin crisps that is almost sweet and resembles a beef tartar in texture; redoubtable cod fritters; sublime suckling pig tapas; the much-heralded Bikini, a ham, cheese and truffle sandwich; and the signature bombas from barceloneta, a meat and potato combination with a spicy sauce. The mains are equally daunting in both range and size: the Segovian style suckling pig, theatrically carved tableside, serves 3-4 persons as do dishes like seafood paella with scampi, prawns, mussels and clams. I thought the service could use some improvement, but this is an impressive restaurant likely to garner many accolades.

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INFORMATION

Wan Chai
Guardian House, Morrison Hill
32 Qi Kwan Road
+852 2866-7900
    Alain Devahive Tolosa, Chef
    Rafael Gil, Chef
    AvroKo, Designer
    Miquel Sabrià, Sommelier
    Dario Nocentini, Mixologist

    TAGS

    • Hong Kong
    • Spanish
    • Best Bars
    • Best Decor
    • Private Dining Room Private Dining Room: 16 seated

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