Luxurious Spanish dining in a beautiful environment

Stephanie Ip

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 18 November, 2015, 10:30pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 18 November, 2015, 10:30pm

The Optimist feels like walking into the luxurious home of a well-travelled friend. Occupying three floors along Hennessy Road, the restaurant is designed with latticed windows, leafy plants and walls lined with maps and old sketches, making it a welcome oasis from the city's hustle and bustle. We were seated on the top floor, where there is an open kitchen with a large iron grill along with an ice bed on the side displaying the night's fresh seafood.

The service was friendly, as our server checked on us regularly without being intrusive. We started with Daniel Sorlut oysters (HK$42/piece). Fresh oysters are hard to do wrong, and the trio of sauces - including an unusual but tasty soy sauce, vinegar and chilli dressing - elevated the deep-sea flavours in the oysters. Our next appetiser - the broken eggs "huevos rotos" with boletus mushroom, black truffle, thin potato slices and a sunny side egg - was simple comfort food, as if a Spanish mother had whipped it up from seasonal ingredients found around the kitchen.

Portions are large and great for sharing. For mains, we tried the Entrecot (HK$480), a 400-gram Spanish rib-eye, aged for 21 days and served alongside grilled potatoes, eggplants and peppers. Our side of grilled romaine lettuce hearts was fresh and a great alternative to the usual Caesar salad.

The chocolate mousse dessert (HK$70) was less appealing. The chocolate mousse was delightful on its own and didn't need the mango sauce.

A small wine selection is available, but most options are served by the bottle. 

G/F, 239 Hennessy Road, Wan Chai, 2433 3324