Newly opened QMO, Wan Chai - Quemo renamed and with a new fusion focus
Food at this Ship Street refugee from high rents is best described as Mediterranean in style, and while some dishes need adjusting, others were flavourful and hit the spot
When it was in the QRE Building in Wan Chai, Quemo was a fun, bright and lively Spanish spot, where friendly waiters would show how the paella was cooked correctly if no rice fell out when they tilted the pan vertically.
But a steep rise in rent forced the restaurant to move. It found a new location on Ship Street and a new name – QMO – which stands for “Quriosity Meets Obsession”. Here the space is small and narrow, with tables very close to each other. There’s an open kitchen in the back.
The restaurant is in soft-opening phase and some tweaks need to be made to menu items. When we visited we were treated to a 25 per cent discount.
We had a rough start with the hamachi ceviche with mango and aji, or spicy sauce (HK$98), which was too acidic. There was hardly any spiciness, but the slices of mango added a pleasant, sweet touch.
We had no complaint about the flavour of the next appetiser – crispy pork with organic egg and sobrasada, a raw cured sausage (HK$128). The ingredients were served in a bowl and we were instructed to break the soft egg and mix it with the chunks of crisp-skinned pork and sausage. The combination was soft, crunchy, meaty and slightly spicy. However, it seemed expensive for the portion size.
For mains we were disappointed with the hake supreme (HK$168), which came teetering like a see-saw, balanced on a strip of mashed potato and spring onion. The fish was bland and slightly overcooked; to add flavour, we resorted to using the pesto sauce that decorated the edge of the plate.
Our second main, beef cheek with tempranillo and celery root (HK$228), was much better. The slices of beef were tender and had absorbed the flavours of the red wine sauce. It came with a celery root purée, fresh Chinese peas and dehydrated carrot strips that added a crunchy texture.
Dessert was a partial success – the egg waffle (HK$88) filled with peanut butter had lost its crunchiness, but we liked the scoop of refreshing passion fruit sorbet.
QMO, J Senses, 4 Ship Street, Wan Chai, tel: 2836 3099