Delicious food and cool vibes await
District: Central, Hong Kong
How much: Smaller plates start at about $180, Red Prawn and Squid Ink Classic Paella is $550 for regular, $650 for large.
The Best For: Family dinners or group outings
Must Order: Classic Tapas, Truffle Bombas, Classic Paella, The Perfect Egg
Amidst the never-ending maze of restaurants in the IFC, La Rambla is truly a gem. In keeping with Catalunya’s theme (Wan Chai), the new, sprawling Central restaurant serves authentic Spanish fare with a contemporary edge and is a welcome addition to Central’s foodie scene.
The restaurant itself is pleasant and inviting, presenting a more family-friendly vibe than Catalunya. The earthy palette and imported Spanish furnishings such as the wicker chairs and plush sofas were a particularly nice touch and amplified the overall ambiance of the restaurant. It would be impossible to dine here without mentioning the view at least once! Occupying such a prime location in the IFC inevitably comes with equally prime views – offering jaw-dropping vistas of Victoria Harbour, the restaurant’s floor-to-ceiling windows and outdoor seating allow guests to drink in the mesmerising views whilst feasting on some quality Spanish bites.
The Los Classicos tapas menu is proof that classics never go out of style. The Jamón Ibérico has to be tasted to be believed – it was a brilliant way to start the meal and admittedly outshone the Cantabrian Anchovies with Olive Oil and Espinaler it was served alongside.
The refreshing and light Avocado and Lobster Roll was the perfect dish to follow the strong flavours of the tapas, with the tangy ponzu sauce in particular highlighting the dish’s components. The Foie Gras and Eel Terrine with Strawberries in various forms wasn’t necessarily a highlight, but again a welcome, milder contrast to the sharp flavours of the tapas. As for the Steak Tartare, we loved how La Rambla riffed on an age-old classic in an exciting and refreshing way by replacing the traditional raw egg yolk with uni!
On the other end of the spectrum, the Truffle Bombas was a much heavier, more indulgent dish, but definitely one of the better items on the menu. The bombas is a proper food lover’s dream, consisting of deep fried potatoes and meat and topped with truffles, aioli and brava sauce (what dreams are made of, really). While it was disappointing that we couldn’t really taste the shaved truffles, this dish is a must-order item purely for the bombas itself. The Tortilla Camarones also deserve an honourable mention; reminiscent of the shrimp toast you’d find at your favourite yum cha restaurant, the tortillas were crispy, light and contrasted beautifully with the decadent bombas.
A particularly pleasant surprise was The Perfect Egg, which is La Rambla’s clever, modern interpretation of the classic Spanish egg. Despite its somewhat underwhelming presentation in a caviar tin, the potato foam, quail egg and truffle oil dish was incredibly light while still being packed full of flavour, and the caviar topping was a subtle yet indulgent addition to the dish. Whilst somewhat overshadowed by The Perfect Egg, the Hokkaido Scallop with Donostiarra Sauce was fragrant and delicate, and thoughtfully presented inside the shell – simplicity at its best!
By the time the paella was served, we weren’t sure if we had any room left in our stomachs! That said, it was worth every bite; perfect for all you seafood-lovers out there, the dish stayed true to authentic, classic paella flavours we know and love, and it was proof of the restaurant’s ingredient-driven menu. La Rambla serve premium seafood freshly imported from all over the world, and this dish definitely showcased that – definitely one of the standout dishes of the entire meal!
Another special mention must go to the thoughtfully paired wines we sipped on throughout the meal. Starting with a bubbly cava and finishing with a crisp white wine, all of the selections accompanied each course perfectly. La Rambla boasts one of the largest Spanish wine collections in the entire city, so be sure to ask which tipple will go best with your dish(es) of choice!
At Sassy, we firmly believe that no meal is complete without dessert. Even though we were completely stuffed by the time we reached the final course, we couldn’t resist a nibble or two! The Xurros admittedly left a little more to be desired – while crispy and light, a heavier dipping sauce like dulce de leche or dark chocolate ganache would have done the xurros more justice than the whipped cream it was served with. The Cilindro de Chocolate is a chocoholics’ dream come true; this bowl of dark chocolate of various textures and decadent salted caramel was the perfect way to end the meal on an indulgently high note.
La Rambla by Catalunya, 3071-73 level 3, IFC mall, Central, Hong Kong, www.larambla.hk
Images courtesy of La Rambla By Cataluna