Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Lovely Catch-up at La Paloma

La Paloma in Sai Ying Pun is what I would categorize as a "no-brainer" restaurant - you know, one of those neighborhood hangouts that one wouldn't mind going every day with a menu you are so familiar that you memorized everything on it - whether you call this a pub, a diner, a chiringuito, an osteria, a chachaanteng or whatever depending on where you are from.

Recently with their new chef J.A. Cotes coming on board they organized a little meet and greet session with dinner one evening with a cozy crowd of friends. There's no surprise that dishes that stood out were one that are tried-and-true classics. We began with some jamon iberico served with pan con tomate and some squid ink croquette. The croquette was tasty with a soft and smooth filling well-infused with the rich squid-ink flavor.

I probably could relate the lobster roll more to the food from the other side of the Atlantic, but the version served here was the bomb too with a slight kick of spiciness. It’s hard to make lentils salad any more exciting than how it is served just about anywhere, but I love this version with a "touch of curry" as it’s described on the menu with traces of sweet turmeric flavor infused.

I enjoyed both main courses. The wagyu short ribs were served with the bone set aside on the plate with sweet potato fries, sautéed Brussels sprouts and a wine reduction jus. The meat was amazingly tender – the result of 16 hours slow-cooking as Chef Cotes explained – and we loved those simple side dishes too. Our second main course was paella (as I said, tried and true classics, remember?). They were prepared in the large shallow pan as per the tradition and served in the mini one on the table. The texture was great, the Iberico pork was delicious though I could live with a bit richer flavor from the broth that cooked the rice.

Our dessert was cheesecake with red fruits sorbet and quince marmalade. A bit generic yes, but nothing wrong with it (one can't always have churros and the chocolate sauce, you know) To me it was another great evening just catching up with friends, with a bit of gossips, a bit of laughs, and a whole lot sangria and comfort food, and La Paloma is the great venue for all that.

(Meal was by invitation)

When? March 21 2017
Where? La Paloma, 1/F, 189 Queen’s Road West, Sai Ying Pun, Hong Kong
Menu Highlights? Churrasco de Buey – Grass-fed Wagyu short ribs with sweet potato fries, Brussels sprouts and wine reduction
Web: lapaloma.hk

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