Sunday, March 23, 2014

Restaurant Week Menu at Fofo by El Willy

A few weeks ago, we took advantage of the Restaurant Week promotion and tried two restaurants that we have never been before. First of the places we tried was Fofo by El Willy near Lan Kwai Fong. It has been opened for a few years but for some reasons the place has been eluding us. It seems like every time we wanted to go there's always somewhere else that got in the way.

Fofo by El Willy is located on the top floor of an office building one block below Lan Kwai Fong, and I liked its interior setup, with simplistic design and light colored decor with a Nordic touch, and an awesome view of the Mid-Levels through the floor-to-ceiling window. During the Restaurant Week participating dining outlets offer a 3-course prix fixe menu at a discounted price, and Fofo did it a little different with a family-style menu to share across the table, so I felt like we got more than 3 courses.

We started off with a series of tapas - there must be 5 or 6 different kinds altogether. I must say all of them were excellent, but I particularly like the montaditos - tapas served on slices of bread like a mini open-faced sandwiches. "Coca de recapte" is a traditional Catalan montaditos with roasted peppers served on a toasted bread topped with white anchovies and I loved the combination of all the rich flavors. We had different versions of the "Bikini" sandwiches a few times elsewhere (including one I made at home), but in my memory this is one of the better ones we have had. I think it's probably the softness of the toasted bread and a milder cheese (mozzarella instead of manchego) that tipped the scale for me - it's more balanced and went better with the Iberico ham and black truffles in between the slightly toasted slice of bread.

We continued with more dishes served family style. I personally loved the idea of the 62-degree eggs in crispy potatoes and onions "nest" with chorizo, except it was not hot enough (either that or we didn't keep up the serving pace). But it's probably still my favorite of the evening - who would say no to the combination of eggs, fried potatoes and chorizo? The suckling pig is the signature dish of the place, which was served with sauteed vegetables. Though the crackling on the pork belly wasn't as crispy as I expected but I like the overall flavor with the tender meat and irresistible sauce. 

I completely forgot there were more food to come as we finished off the suckling pig. Then the paella arrived! It's an abridged version of their signature lobster and seafood paella (sans lobster). Well I know it's kinda cliche to end the meal at a Spanish restaurant with a Paella, but I like the firm texture of the squid-ink rice with just the right amount of "crust" sticking to the pan, though having even more toppings wouldn't hurt.

Our friends were very kind to BYOB and shared with us and the wine was lovely. The Gevrey Chambertin from the classic Domaine Fourier featured emphatic red fruit character with a touch of smokey wood nose, tamed and smooth tannins and a long finish despite the relatively young age, which I think went really well with some of the richer dishes for the evening.

For dessert, we had another cliche choice - churros with warm chocolate sauce and icecream! It's something I love and wouldn't mind having day or night so I wasn't going to complain.

We have had mixed experiences in the previous Restaurant Week event elsewhere, but this one is a winner. Some naysayers may criticize the place as having the food modified slightly to suit local tastes and not "authentic" enough, but we love the food and ambiance here, and taken everything into account, the meal represents tremendous value for money.

When? February 25 2014
Where? Fofo by El Willy, 20/F M88, 2-8 Wellington Street, Central, Hong Kong
Menu Highlights? Organic eggs cooked in 62 degrees in crispy potatoes and onions "nest" with chorizo
Drinks? Domaine Fourier Gevrey Chambertin Vignes-Villes 2005

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