Hong Kong restaurant reviews

Santé Wine Bar in Wan Chai review: delicious French-Spanish fare

Whether you’re a wine connoisseur or just a casual drinker, this small restaurant will have you coming back for more. The food menu is short but sweet. Try the rich pork rillettesor the Angus beef meatballs in a spicy sauce

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 13 June, 2018, 6:02pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 14 June, 2018, 7:25pm

Country and western tunes – such as the theme to The Beverly Hillbillies – aren’t what you expect from a place called Santé Wine Bar. That’s what was played over the sound system, much to our amusement (as well as surprise and slight embarrassment that we knew so many of the songs), as we ate our meal at this small restaurant in the J Senses complex in Wan Chai.

We weren’t in the mood to drink much, which is a pity considering they had an interesting by-the-bottle selection, and our knowledgeable server was eager to tell us about the wines. We ended up choosing from the brief list of wines available by the glass.

The menu of mostly Spanish and French dishes is short. Not counting the cheese, charcuterie, cured olives and fish, there are about 10 starters and 10 mains, plus a few desserts.

Pork rillettes (HK128) were fatty, smooth and rich, and served with delicious grilled bread, olives and cornichons.

The dense, well-seasoned Angus beef meatballs with spicy sauce (HK$108) had my guest humming happily as he ate most of the portion, before scooping up the rest of the sauce with some bread.

The best of our starters was the potato and spicy chorizo tortilla (HK$98). The thick omelette was well filled with tender potatoes and small cubes of chorizo cooked with softly set, but not runny, eggs.

For the mains, we had the crisp-skinned salmon (HK$198). The generous portion of fish was moist and served with a good selection of vegetables.

Grilled Humboldt squid (HK$168) came in thick, tender pieces, although they could have used a little more salt. The pickled vegetables served with the squid added a nice zingy tang to the dish.

We ended the meal with light, warm churros with chocolate sauce (HK$88).

Santé Wine Bar, Shop 4, J Senses, 60 Johnston Road, Wan Chai (the entrance is actually on Ship Street), tel: 2336 3906.

About HK$400 without drinks or the service charge.

While you’re in the area:

Boucher Francais in Wan Chai review: top-quality dry-aged beef

New restaurants in Wan Chai: Sueño – enticing menu, great service

New restaurant in Wan Chai: great Middle Eastern food at Francis