La Paloma brings authentic flavours of Spain to Hong Kong

Friendly staff serve generous portions of traditional Spanish fare at this hip, informal restaurant

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 16 November, 2016, 9:19am
UPDATED : Monday, 21 November, 2016, 4:05pm

FARE

Brunch, Spanish.

AMBIENCE

Informal, hip Spanish joint.

WHO TO BRING

Friends and tapas lovers.

COST

HK$250 per person for unlimited dishes from the brunch menu; add HK$160 per person for free-flow Cava.

TURN-ONS

There isn’t, in fact, any word for brunch in Spanish - it’s somewhere between desayuno and almuerzo - but this doesn’t stop La Paloma putting on its version, offering something different: fresh, no-nonsense Spanish dishes with nary an eggs Benedict in sight. For your HK$250, there’s a platter that includes serrano ham, chorizo, Manchego slices, tomato bread, olives and pickles; a house salad; tuna tiradito, a type of ceviche; and patatas bravas. Then two mains: La Paloma’s signature paella, from its enormous pan, and crispy suckling pig, “just like in Segovia”. We finished off with rich, cinnamon churros with chocolate and ice cream. The emphasis on simple, authentic dishes, washed down with plentiful Cava, made us feel almost as though we were on holiday - which is really what you want from a Sunday. The staff were welcoming and hospitable - not least head chef Alex and El Manager, Riky.

TURN-OFFS

One of the inescapable problems at La Paloma is a consequence of the décor: the hard, concrete surfaces, so beloved by contemporary interior designers, conspire to make such places deafeningly loud. With nothing to baffle or absorb any of the sound, the merest whispered conversation or dropped fork at one end of the restaurant becomes a cacophony for every soul present. But, in fairness, this is a problem common to many such eateries in Hong Kong. My brunch companion was close to bereft that the menu didn’t include gambas al ajillo (garlic shrimp), but in the words of Steven Wright: “You can’t have everything. Where would you put it?”

DRINKS

It’s got to be Cava. If you’re not drinking, I’ll say a good word for La Paloma’s coffee, which successfully kept me standing through most of Sunday afternoon.