Named after its rustic décor, Rústico embraces an eclectic, unpretentious theme as a traditional Spanish taverna – complete with rustic wooden beams, an open kitchen with hanging jambon, pots and pans and red brick/tile mosaic flooring.
Rústico brings sensational Spanish food to the heart of Kowloon — Photo courtesy of Rústico
Headlining the menu is rotisserie chicken, cooked with a secret recipe and an injection of sherries and sweet wine on an authentic Spanish traditional gas stove, with the end of a distinctively rich and crispy flavor.
Classic Spanish-Italian Mediterranean cuisine extends to traditional taverna-style tapas combos of Russian salad, chorizo sausage, deep-fried baby squid and potato bravas; suckling pig slow cooked with sauce and baked potatoes; and Spanish red prawn carpaccio with romesco sauce, anis and citric vinaigrette.
While the concept is traditional, the cuisine has a contemporary twist, helmed by Executive Chef Juanjo Carrillo, who brings to Hong Kong the culinary pedigree of modern-day Barcelona, home to some of the world’s top restaurants.
A protégé of celebrated Michelin Star Chef Mey Hofmann, Carrillo taught at her prestigious Barcelona cooking school and owned two restaurants in the city at the cutting edge of modern gastronomy.
However, his culinary philosophy these days is more minimalistic, respecting simplicity.
“I used to like making fusion food, but now I prefer traditional recipes cooked with new techniques,” he says.
His mission at Rústico is to “share the home-style, carefree culture and food of Barcelona with Hong Kong."
Founder Eric Ting is also a firm believer in authentic, value-for-money dining.
“The cornerstone of good cooking is sourcing the finest produce and providing pure tastes that are not fussy or over complicated at a fair price,” Ting says.
In a casual, avant-garde ambience, Rústico seats 78 in the main restaurant, bar and lounge, and there's an exclusive semi-private dining area next to the open kitchen, seating 10 to 15.
Conviviality throughout is fueled by Spanish sangrias, cocktails, wines and spirits.
Rustico is proving popular not simply for its eclectic menus, but also for its avant-garde location in what until recently was a part of Kowloon little visited by tourists, foodies or indeed anyone in search of fine dining and a good time.
This latest concept by restaurateur Ting follows hot on the heels of Umai Ramen Sumibiyaki, his debut restaurant at the new foodie outpost, styled after a traditional Japanese fishing village.