Alvin Leung’s newly opened tapas joint Plato 86 in Wan Chai – still a few kinks to work out, but has potential
At innovative restaurateur’s latest venture, focused on Spanish cuisine, the Iberico meatballs were flavoursome, but the small mains and jawbreaking chorizo mean there’s room for improvement
In the last few months, chef and restaurateur Alvin Leung has been keeping busy, adding new places to his stable of dining establishments. He recently revamped Bib n Hops in the old Bo Innovation location (which has moved to a space nearby), and has plans to open a place in Times Square serving his version of Peking duck called Forbidden Duck. With his newest, Plato 86, he’s ventured into Spanish cuisine.
It’s located in Causeway Centre, Wan Chai, in the cluster of buildings near the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre.
We visited about a week after it opened and there are still some kinks to be worked out. The menu lists an extensive selection of tapas and mains, though the portion size of the latter isn’t that much bigger.
From the tapas selection, we ordered steak tartare (HK$138). It looked like a small round tart covered in a thick mayonnaise-like sauce topped with a dusting of truffle bits. The mayo overwhelmed the chunks of beef underneath.
We enjoyed the texture and flavour of the Iberico meatballs (HK$45), but one required jaws of steel to bite into the sausage pieces in the chorizo and red wine (HK$48) because they were so hard. Another tapas dish, fried artichokes, was not too oily, but didn’t have much taste.
For the main dishes, we looked forward to tucking into the suckling pig salsa de pimiento del piquillo (HK$188). We were served six pieces of pork, which were a beautiful rustic brown. The meat was very tender but the skin wasn’t crisp.
Most of the paellas average around HK$180 for a portion that’s enough for two to share, but the carabinero red prawn and truffle paella (HK$350) caught our eye, as it sounded unusual. The large, deep red prawns that almost covered the surface of paella were meaty but slightly overcooked. We squeezed lemon juice over the top to brighten the otherwise bland rice, and we could barely detect the truffle taste.
Of the four desserts listed, only two were available the day we went. The crema catalana (HK$85) was a plate full of frothy cream that covered up a sprinkling of fruit – blueberries, orange wedges, strawberries and pineapple – that we had to poke around to find.
We much preferred the churros (HK$70), which – thankfully – were only lightly dusted with sugar, unlike most others around town which are coated more heavily. The chocolate sauce hit the spot because it wasn’t too sweet.
It’s probably best to give Plato 86 a bit more time to work out the kinks and improve the food, but it has the potential to be a good place for a casual night out.
Plato 86, Shop 2, 1/F, Causeway Centre, 28 Harbour Road, Wan Chai, tel: 2882 9286