Food Review: Quemo in Wan Chai
5/F QRE Plaza, 202 Queen's Road East, Wan Chai
Tel: 2836 0699
Open: noon-3pm, 6pm-11pm
Price: HK$430 without drinks or the service charge
Ambience: although the restaurant was almost full on a rainy weekday lunch, the atmosphere was quiet and comfortable.
Pros: you can watch your food being cooked in the open kitchen, while cold tapas dishes are enticingly arranged in the display case on the bar. The regular menu isn't too large and the specials are written on the blackboard.
Cons: some of the food was oddly seasoned. The morcilla ravioli (HK$88) featured Spanish blood pudding that needed salt, although the bacon parcel on top was good enough that it left us wanting more. The apple buñuelo (HK$58) was a delicious tender puff filled with apple purée, but the yogurt ice cream served with it was ruined by too much pepper, which wasn't listed as an ingredient.
Recommended dishes: El Quim de la Boqueria fried egg with foie gras and mushrooms (HK$118; you can also have it with prawn or chorizo) would make a comforting and indulgent breakfast. We cut into the egg and the runny yolk oozed over the sautéed mushrooms and the small, thick slab of seared foie gras. The Mediterranean paella (HK$368 for a small portion and HK$468 for large) was an unusual presentation - the rice came in a paella pan, but the clams were served on the side, which meant they weren't overcooked. The menu said the paella came with cuttlefish and clams, although there wasn't any cuttlefish in our portion. The "liquid bombons" (HK$58) were a nice mouthful, although you had to eat the dumplings in one bite or risk getting the soft chocolate filling all over your clothes.
What else? Quemo was opened as a collaboration between Elite Concepts and Quim Marquez, chef of El Quim de la Boqueria in Barcelona.