18/F, The One, 100 Nathan Road, TST
Actress Carina Lau has recently opened three ventures on the 18th Floor of The One: Tapagria, Kyo-Shun and Zurrolia. Andrew and I chose to check out Tapagria for a more casual Spanish dine in. Zurrolia, also on this floor, is the fine-dining alternative.
Unsure what to expect, but secretly aching for an authentic, masterfully concocted sangria, I crossed my fingers desperately. One sip from their deep red jar of Wild Berry ($330; 1/2: $290), embellished with blackberries and all manners of sweetness in Cachaça, and my fingers weren’t the only things happily loosened.
I do remember looking at their food menu online as I was on my way (read: trying to work out the frustrating puzzle of elevators and lifts leading up to this mysterious floor at The One), and wondered dismally if the illustrations were a half-assed Windows Accessories Paint job. I suppose, in some ways, one shouldn’t judge the restaurant by its menu.
The stand-out was without a doubt the paella*! Incredibly rich, perfectly-seasoned rice was jeweled with a few fresh treasures from the sea – mussels, clams, and prawns. I loved the delicious depth of flavour, and might have to admit that it’s probably one of the better paellas I’ve tasted in Hong Kong. Sadly, it’s tapas-sized, so you might have to be the better man and let your partner steal away the lone prawn.
The Scallops wrapped with Spanish bacon ($85) were large, meaty things, but cooked well enough that the salty crust outside felt like worlds apart from the scallop’s soft, sweet, creamy center. The ganchet bean, grown in the exotic Balearic Islands (ooh ahh), cushioned the robust scallops as a cream, but seemed slightly overwhelmed by everything else, including the enchanting black brush of squid ink oil.
The slow-cooked crispy suckling pig ($95) was another highlight. The pork was soft and tender, with a great final crunch on the outside. It lay on a caramelized slice of apple which gave it some traditional, much needed acidity. A reduction of honey and mustard helped bring together this plate of sweet and melting meat.
The closest thing I can find on the menu to this dish is the Charcoal grilled Presa Iberico with potato mille feuille and Chimi Churri dressing ($110). I do believe what we see in this photo is just glorified steak and chips. The mille feuille potato was pretty to look at but would hardly satiate an anorexic chinchilla, let alone two fat foodies. Perhaps a pass next time.
However, in all: I would return to Tapagria. Their paella is something to be admired, as are some of their other signatures – all at very reasonable prices. I was surprised by the pricetags considering what some might charge for Tapagria’s amazing skyline view. We were blown away overlooking TST and the island beyond from their huge balcony space. This would definitely be a great spot for some sangrias and quick bites before you cross the harbour.