Address: 189 Queen’s Rd West, Sai Ying Pun
Part of the El Willy group that already hosts an umbrella of successful eateries, including FoFo by el willy, La Paloma brings Spanish Tapas to Hong Kong.
Tapas, trending in Hong Kong, has mostly been upscale establishments like Catalunya and Boqueria. Often you hear complaints like ‘Tapas is an everyday thing in Spain, why is it so pricey here?’. This is where La Paloma comes in – Spanish that won’t break the bank.
Paloma sports a much more casual and family friendly environment, bringing us just as high quality Spanish as its posh counterparts. Sitting in an up and coming neighborhood, Sai Ying Pun, it fits Paloma’s image perfectly. Interior is a hip, industrial style space that reminds me of Nandos in the UK! Sporting an open kitchen and delivering the smells of Spain throughout the space. The Menu has both traditional Spanish dishes and more modern elements.
What we ate:
Passion fruit, white wine Sangria
- Fruity and no bad wine aftertaste. Slightly fizzy.
- Perfect light cocktail to pair with tapas and seafood dishes! Also extremely addictive!
Tortilla – left
Spanish Omelette with potatoes, onion and Chorizo $50
- Amazingly soft and well seasoned. Perfect ratio of filling and egg with cubes of Iberico and sweet sautéed onions through out. Just Heavenly!
Bacon con Queso – right
Bacon and cheese explosive air baguettes $85
- Parcels with salty bacon and explosive cheese in your mouth! YUM!
Smoked and Marinated Seafood plate $98 – special
- Great presentation and assortment of home cured fish, paired with tomato bread and toasties.
- Cured fish tangy and fresh. Smoked, salty and meaty. Great plate for sharing!
Ensalada de Espinacas $70
Spinach, raw mushrooms and Manchego cheese
- Lightly dressed salad with raisins, pine nuts and mushrooms, topped with salty and earthy Manchego.
- Meh, but not bad for a side salad, could do with more seasoning and dressing.
Ceviche de Lubina y Papaya $85
Seabass and papaya Ceviche
- Corn, cucumber and papaya mixed in with cubes of seabass. Sweet and fresh, topped with tortilla chips.
- Could do with more citrus and seasoning. Was rather bland.
Tuna tataki explosive airbag $25/piece
- The second installment of crispy explosions! Avocado cream with a crispy cushion, creamy sashimi grade Tuna and kick from onions, Dreamy!
- Well worth the price tag and highly addictive!
Calamari a la plancha with garlic and parsley sauce $98
- Garlicky, fresh, tender and herby. Pesto squid..hmmm.. yum!
Chorizo al tito pepe fried with Sherry wine $85
- Come as cute as its name, bitesize chorizo that is slightly spicy, juicy and fun of flavor without being too spicy. Yum!
Tartar de Ternera $108
Beef tartare with fresh jalapeños and latin style dressing
- Finely sliced beef mixed in with capers and jalapeños. Slight kick from the chilis, but definitely needs more citrus and layers of flavor. Rather flat, despite the crispy tortillas.
Secrets Iberia $240
Iberian pork neck with pumpkin cream, roasted beetroot and lime zest.
- Crispy on the outside, tender inside. Very good quality pork neck that is not fatty and rich in flavor.
- Unfortunately arrived cold and didn’t really go with the pineapple and mushrooms. Sauce also could be developed further. Certain pieces of Pork was also slightly over and chewy.
- Inconsistent but not a bad dish.
Showstoppers, and highlight of the evening! Definitely needs to be shared with at least 4 people!
Paella Valenciana $348
Traditional Paella with chicken, rosemary, green beans and artichokes
- Rice aldente and tender chicken, with a good ratio of rice to ingredients.
- Could do with more tomato or citrus element to lift dish.
- Not bad but not great, seemed one dimensional.
Arroz Negro $348 – right
Squid ink and prawn Paella
- Best Paella out of the 2.
- Full of seafood flavor with pops of squid and peppers running through. Topped with prawns and mussels, Salty but not fishy, silky and creamy.
- A must try!
- Brioche filled with nutella, dusted icing sugar
- Soft brioche buns with melted chocolate hazelnut inside, great for kids and adults.
- Good but nothing special.
‘Donetes’ Mini Chocolate donuts $58- specials
- Cute, bite size donuts but was basically chocolate dipped donuts.
- Doughy and hard, not worth trying.
Traditional fried crispy dough with chocolate and vanilla ice cream
- Generous cinnamon sugar coating, crispy outside but seemed refried.
- Warm chocolate sauce and very vanilla ice cream. Chocolate sauce could be thicker and more rich.
- Churros should be crispy outside and fluffy inside, this was half way there. Otherwise, a standard dessert that is not spectacular.
La Paloma is a great spot for Spanish that doesn’t break your wallet, also a good option for parties and family gatherings. Service was very efficient and friendly.
Overall, yummy affordable food that is authentic with whimsical elements, but poorly executed desserts. This can easily become a regular hangout for those residing in the Sheung Wan/ Sai Ying Pun areas!