Food review: Estudio Iberico Tapas Bar in Admiralty
Estudio Iberico Tapas Bar
Great Food Hall, Basement, Pacific Place, Admiralty
Tel: 2537 2038
Open: 11am-9.45pm (last order)
Price: about HK$250 without drinks and the service charge.
Ambience: it's not the place to visit if you want any privacy, because you're eating elbow-to-elbow with neighbouring diners perched on the high but comfortable padded chairs.
Pros: the ingredients are good, and even though much of the food has been prepared in advance and reheated, we liked what we ordered.
Cons: it's impossible to forget you're dining in a busy supermarket. As long as you're facing forward, it seems like an authentic tapas bar experience, but glance left or right and you'll see shoppers - and they'll see you. Our server was friendly, but didn't know the menu that well. She couldn't identify the three cheeses on the Spanish cheese platter (HK$125) or the meats on the Iberico and Serrano cold cut plate (HK$180 for a small portion). The pan con tomate (HK$20) had bread that was slightly warm, but not grilled, unlike the one served as an accompaniment to the cold cuts, and the tomatoes didn't have much flavour. The scrambled eggs with black sausage (HK$60) didn't have enough of the blood sausage taste.
Recommended dishes: we enjoyed the surprisingly generous portions of the cheese platter, even though we never did learn what the third cheese was (the others were cabrales and manchego). Ditto for the cold cuts, which had Cinco Jotas jamon and what the server said was the paleta, although it seemed more like lomo. Of the montaditos (small open-faced sandwiches) we tried (HK$20 each, or three for HK$55), the one with marinated anchovies and the one topped with chorizo and quail egg were enjoyable. DeRaza Iberico pork cheeks in Oloroso sherry sauce (HK$92) featured soft, tender meat in a light sauce studded with almonds.
What else? The portions are quite large, so we over-ordered. The sangria (HK$55) is pretty potent.