Lip-Smacking Spanish Brunch @The Optimist

Address: G/F, 239 Hennessy Road, Wan Chai, Hong Kong

Website: theoptimist.hk

front table

Hidden behind the streets of Hennessy Road is the Optimist. Decorated with green tiles that remind you of a florist, its organic and modern design stands out amongst the grey streets of Wan Chai.

Part of the Pirata group team, serving up northern Spanish delights, this newly opened establishment by Christian Talpo and Manuel Palacio greatly interested me.

Having had a somewhat disappointing experience at its sister restaurant Pirata, I was hopeful that The Optimist, like its name, will fair better.

coldcut buffet

We decided on a weekend Brunch, to sample as much food as we can! Brunch is a buffet style, with both hot and cold dishes. It includes a main and dessert, varying on price depending on the main you choose.

Drinks

strawberry deepsea

Strawberry latte: Minty sweet with basil, and fruity. Slightly to sweet for my liking but still a great option.

Deep sea: Like soda pop with added freshness, the perfect summer drink. Almost reminds you of a Mojito.

Buffet starters

Cold

bruchetta

From left to right;

Tomato basil and mozzarellaFresh tomato and basil oil, with crumbled Mozzarella. Good fresh Toasties; one of the best out of the buffet.

Spanish omelette with chorizo– Potato cubes set in the middle of a moist omelette, that is not too salty or soggy. Could do with more herbs and seasoning.

Ensaladilla tosta– Basically potato salad on toast. Meh, not worth mentioning.

Foie gras and strawberry, caramelised onions– If bread was toasted, it would have been much tastier. Meh but not bad.

Ham with salmorejaham and melon puree with tomato on toast. Good quality ham with toasted bread. Yum

Crab saladImitation crab, mayo, spring onion and egg shavings. Fresh Crab would have brought the toast to the next level. This was another mediocre dish.

octopussalad pasta

Seafood salad – can only taste salt. Bit like washed in salt water. Can give it a miss

Pasta (Pesto) salad and buck wheat salad – Pesto good tangy, with aldente Pasta hoops. Perfect for children. Tuna buck wheat salad is a very healthy option, that was tasty and not over cooked.

Hot (brought to you in trays)

shooter

Left to right

Beef Skewer with Chimicurri – good, well salted and tender. Chimicurri was nice and tangy.

Pumpkin soup–  very smooth and creamy. Could do with touch more pumpkin but still tasty.

Tempura Shrimp– Good batter, but otherwise ordinary. Not really a Spanish dish either.

Fried egg plant – very crispy and well salted. Highly addictive!

grillbeef chorizo

Seared beef with potato puree– Tender Beef, but tasteless puree. Meh.

Chorizo – very good and served with a crispy pepper. Quintessential Spanish tapas dish, that is well executed.

grilloctopus croquettas

Fried Octopus Toasties– Very good, tender octopus. Slightly spicy with potato cubes and puree underneath. Highly recommend!

Mushroom croquettes (left)– Great crispy coating with smooth mushroom and potato puree inside. Full of flavor and a heart warming dish!

Ham croquettes (right)– Slightly salty and lacks ham flavor, could be missed.

samosa sliders

Vegetable Samosa– Crispy parcels though definitely not Spanish. Pretty good and made with fresh vegetables.

Sliders with basil tomato spicy mayo and cheese – Patty was not dry but needs a lot more seasoning!

tuna

 

 

Tuna tataki with cream emulsion.

  • Good fresh tuna with slightly spicy cream. Yum

 

 

 

 

Mains

steak brokenegg

Steak chimicurri– Extremely tender with a chorizo marinade. Great portions and quality. Enough for 2!

Broken eggs with ham – Spicy chorizo flavors and again very generous portions. Potatoes underneath were rather greasy, soaking up the chorizo oil. Otherwise a good, hearty and filling dish.

Chef Desserts

cheesecake flan

Caramel flan with lemon cream and tuille- A very tasty and rich dessert. Smooth textured not too sweet. Dense and creamy; what a good flan should be!
Cheese cake with red berry coulis- A deconstructed, modern version of a cheesecake. Again, very tasty, rich and not too sweet. Tangy red berry coulis that help complement the cream cheese!

Verdict:

salami

The Optimist, has both great service and atmosphere that is perfect for a weekend Brunch or dinner. Generous portions and great variety at a reasonable price; a RARE find in Hong Kong! The Cold cuts (in the picture), as well as the sliders were immediately brought to us as we sat down!

Definitely need to come back and try out their dinner menu! Highly recommend!

 

Author: foodiejem

Yum Critic that currently resides in Hong Kong. Frequent traveller and foodie that also enjoys sampling dishes from the far reaches of the world!

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