Zafran Tapas y Musica
43-55 Wyndham Street, Central
Tel: 2116 8855
Open: Monday to Saturday noon-3pm, nightly 6pm until late
Price: about HK$440 without drinks or the service charge
Ambience: the trip down the stairs from the Wyndham Street entrance can be a bit scary, as it's dim and steep. The interior is a lot more austere than the restaurant's previous incarnation as Yun Fu, from what I remember; gone are the stone statues and carved wooden screens.
Recommended dishes: my guest and I were divided about the salt cod brandada (HK$118) - it was my favourite dish; she disliked it. It was a pretty presentation of cauliflower purée topped with a mild salt cod and potato mixture, with ikura (salmon roe) and tall swirls of thin, crisp toast. Also good was the signature 24-hour boneless oxtail (HK$158), which had textbook-perfect soft, tender meat. Chunks of house-made chorizo (HK$88) were dense, meaty and slightly spicy.
Pros: the menu had a lot of dishes I wanted to try, but couldn't, because there were only two of us.
Cons: the service can use some improvement. When I asked about the huevo frito (fried egg) dessert (HK$88) that the waitress placed on the table, her description was so muddled that I looked for information from a waiter - who told me to "guess". If I'd wanted to guess, I wouldn't have asked, although he did end up telling me about it. The dessert was interesting in concept but it wasn't presented attractively. Designed to look like a breakfast fry-up, the "egg" had a white chocolate foam "white" with pumpkin ice cream "yolk", pineapple "fries" and slices of "bread" (chocolate cake, which was the best part of the dish). A special of suckling pig tapa (HK$169) had crisp skin, but the meat was very dry.
What else? Zafran is part of the Aqua Group of restaurants.