La Rambla by Catalunya — Hong Kong, China
Hong Kong isn’t exactly short of Spanish restaurants, but the newly opened La Rambla shoots to the top of the list, not least for its excellent pedigree as the younger sibling of the city’s much-loved Catalunya restaurant, and its superstar crew that includes chef Ferran Tadeo and general manager Mauricio Rodriguez – both El Bulli alumnus.
Occupying prime location within IFC, the knockout views of Victoria Harbour are complemented by Stanley Kwok’s cheerful interiors that channel the restaurant’s namesake – the energetic pedestrian thoroughfare that cuts through the heart of the Catalan capital. Kettal loungers by Patricia Urquiola dot the terrace while inside, velvet green booths, low-slung rattan chairs and a playful work by Barcelona artist Javier Calleja take centre stage.
In the kitchen, Tadeo gives traditional Catalan fare a makeover, drawing more deeply on the cutting-edge cooking techniques made famous by creative chefs like Ferran and Albert Adrià and the Roca brothers. With a menu that focuses on fresh, seasonal seafood (scallops are flown in daily from Hokkaido) and using authentic ingredients such as red prawns from Palamós or aged Galician beef, Tadeo whips up dishes such as the indulgent truffle bombas – deep fried potatoes and meat topped with truffles, aioli and brava sauce – along with crowd-pleasing favourites such as the ‘bikini’ (toasted ham and cheese sandwich) and lobster croquettes.
And with one of the largest Spanish wine collections in the city, along with over 30 types of gin on offer, there’s no excuse not to start the evening right with a crisp glass of cava, followed by Rodriguez’s excellent wine pairing suggestions.