Friday, September 20, 2013

Tapagria - (Hong Kong)

 Spanish food is may be a little late to hit the Hong Kong shores,  but once it arrives on the food scene there is no stopping the movement and which is not unlike ramens!    New does not necessarily mean better either.  Places like Ole and Fadango are pretty solid,  and Estudio is off it’s prime quality but still remains one of the most traditional Spanish places available in town...  I personally think Tapeo,  22 Ships and Mesa 15 or Fofo by El Willy to be slightly avant garde and deviating from Spanish food.  Boqueria was good once but a later visit was a little underwhelming.  And I haven’t had a chance to visit Catalunya yet.   And truth be told way less than half of these shops will be as good as the food I had experienced in Spain,  more on execution than lack of available ingredients..



Almeria ‘Carabineros’ Prawns -
They are $48 a piece added on top of your seafood paella.
A bargain if you ask me,  as I know their final supplier prices as well..  Don’t think they will be making money on these prawns.



Chef is cooking a Paella on a very large Dish -
He is very experienced with cooking up large pans of paella from his experiences cooking overseas and more recently in Macau hotel restaurants..




48 Months ‘Joselito’ Jamon de Iberico -  $255
Served with Pan con Tomate,  garlicky and tomato and olive oil toasts.   The toasts in my honest opinion needed better aromatic bread as a base,  and could do with more aromatic components,  I think I have had enough Spanish food before to be able to judge fairly!  Smile with tongue out  On the other hand the Joselito jamon were decent but not marbled enough,  but correctly ruby red from the aging.  ~  6.9/10




Joselito Jamon de Iberico on Pan con Tomate -
Could really be better.. but not far off.





Sangrias -  Half $250,  Full $430
They have many versions of Sangrias here,  apparently up to 65 types!
  That’s where half of this shop’s name also derived from.   Having sampled a few versions I think  they were more on the fruitier side and to me could have more wine or gin or even vermouth input.   They were enjoyable but to me a little on the pricier side too!   ~  7/10




Seafood Cocktail in Olive Oil –
I didn’t really catch the idea behind this at all.   It is obviously easy enough to criticize a shop but for some reason I was expecting more fish or octopus taste.  It looked pretty enough though!  ~  5/10




Crispy Toasts with Anchovies and Roasted Vegetables – $75
The anchovies are very surprising to me.  They were rawer than the salty Anchoas fillets, or the vinegar brined Boquerones.  These were more like freshly cured sardines!   I liked it enough and I think the round toasts can be more crispier though.   This dish was interesting as it wasn’t Spanish in taste but was Spanish enough in spirit.  ~  6.9/10



Chicken and Cheese Croquetas – $16 per piece
I overheard a few people saying that this was pretty good.   I know I might be sounding a bit alienated here as usual but croquetas in my mind are usually more sticky and gooey.  I guess the version here is more clean and approachable!   ~  7/10




Andalusian style Deep Fried Squids – $195
This looked decent but most probably didn’t follow up with the fresh seafood taste I had come to expect.  The pricing of this dish was a bit too much,  whereas other dishes are opposite and can be considered cheap by local context.  I think this was too thick in the batter and slightly over-fried,  an issue that could be fixed.  But looking at the price…… ?   ~  6.9/10



Morcilla Blood Sausage and Fried Eggs on Potato Nest – $65
I make this myself too.  The morcilla blood sausages are fried separately from the eggs initially,  before being combined.   The colors are not murky due to this due process.  However I did found the potato fries to be slightly limpy under-fried,  plus the really pureed blood sausage to be over-powered by both eggs and potatoes.   But this is only my personal opinion because apparently,  others on the night found the Morcilla to be too bloody in taste.  But I love morcilla and other black puddings so it could well be just me but from my viewpoint,  I think this was a little weak anyhow.   ~  7/10





Clams in Seafood Sauce – $145
My 2nd favourite dish of the night from the Paella below..  The clams were barely cooked and carried sweetness as well as the slightly wine-like aroma from the sauce beneath.  Really enjoyable for once.   ~  9/10




Mixed Seafood and Pork Paella,  with Almeria ‘Carabineros’ Prawn – $158
Red Spanish Prawns are $48 each here.  The rice was filled with the squid ink and other seafoods broth taste.    Eat this whilst it’s hot as it loses flavour when it cools down,  and on a side note,  I wish their Red Prawns retained their trimmed prawn legs -  it’s where much of the red crustacean flavours remain.   ~  9/10




Slow Cooked Suckling Pig with Caramelized Apple and Honey Mustard Sauce – $95
Our instant feedback was that the pork was both sliced too thick and also lacking pork taste,  and also not seeping up the pork jus beneath it.  The skin part was also slightly lacking a crunchy-crispiness.      ~  6/10





Mango Mousse Cake with Mango Cubes and Blueberry Sauce -
I liked this and it seemed slightly compressed.  It reminded me more of peaches in taste.  I can’t find the blueberry sauce but at the end of the day,  this was refreshing enough.  If not too Spanish.  ~  7.5/10



Chocolate Mousse with Banana,  and Passionfruit and Sorbet – $65
Again well priced.   The chocolate mousse was slightly too sweet but the rest of the package was decent,  although I couldn’t taste enough of the Passionfruit.  ~  6/10





Nice View from Tapagria -
So amazing indeed,  this is Hong Kong.  My hometown.
I as always try to be as objective and as fair as possible.   Tapagria has potential,  and some dishes such as their Paella and Clams were excellent.  On the other hand some dishes on this night can see improvements especially the slightly soft Suckling Pig,  which is naturally loved by many in town and people carry high expectations.  At the end of the day they were priced right for the majority of food,  if not for the jugs of 65 Sangrias which is their signatures here too but a little aggressive...   




Price:   HKD $300  (Meal was by Invitation by Tapagria, thanks.)
Ease of Access:  2/5
Food:  ♕♕♕♕

Address: 尖沙咀彌敦道100號The ONE 18樓
100 Nathan Road,  Tsim Sha Tsui,  The One,  18th Floor
Ph:  +852 2147 0111


  1. Hi there - I've been meaning to try this place... but looks like I will wait a while first!
    Have you had the chance to try Viva Ana in Wanchai? I was quite happily surprised by the food and service on a recent visit - the fig and iberico jamon salad, sardines (fried or baked with EVOO), seafood paella and suckling pig made me a happy customer :P

  2. Hi g. !

    Yeh this place has some good food but some misses for now! But they are very willing to listen to criticism which means they will hopefully improve 1 day!

    As for Viva Ana, I have also been there before! : ) It's not to shabby at all but think it was better during the beginning too!! Here's wishing to us having more proper Spanish food 1 day! I am afraid I never got around to posting my last Barcelona eats though I posted most Girona and Basque Country ones, ate too much and felt too lazy to post lol!



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