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10 Best Hong Kong Tapas Restaurants: Small Eats to Love



So, just why does Hong Kong love tapas so much? The answer's simple: the principle is pretty much like dim sum, the heart and soul of Cantonese cuisine. You get a lot of small eats, of varying taste and texture, which are designed to be shared. Dim sum's traditionally something to eat in the morning, and tapas are usually served in the evening, but Hong Kong likes small eats any time of day.

Most of the restaurateurs who've brought tapas to Hong Kong come from overseas. And they've usually picked out popular, cosmopolitan dining areas like Lan Kwai Fong and SoHo where a tapas restaurant will fit right in to the international gastronomic mix.

22 Ships is typical of the breed – helmed by one of Britain's foremost young chefs, Jason Atherton. Equally exciting, and with a marvelous view of the city to boot, is Fofo by El Willy, with a really sensational and entertaining menu.

Tapas really suit Hong Kong's style of dining – fast, tasty, sociable and with a vaguely cosmopolitan air. They are also a dish that appeal right the way across every social spectrum and most age groups. In fact, tapas could very well be Hong Kong's most popular foreign food.


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10
Central
Tapeo
Photo courtesy of Tapeo


Tapeo's executive chef, Michael Van Warmelo, has created a range of plates that use both imported Spanish ingredients as well fresh locally-sourced and imported seafood and meats. The list of tasty ingredients include aged Iberian ham, smoked paprika and olive oils. The tapas plates offer everything from the famous Pulpo a la Gallega (gently confit octopus with capers and paprika) to Crispy Pork Belly with Quince aioli to the traditional Chorizo Tortilla. For desert, patrons can choose from a range that includes Churros and Chocolate (Spanish donuts with chocolate) and Creme Catalana, the Spanish favorite.There is a second branch of this popular restaurant in Sai Wan Ho.

Recommended for Tapas because: As well as great food and wine, there's always a great crowd and ambiance at Tapeo.

Ed's expert tip: Have an early dinner here – before 7pm – to get a free glass of house wine.

Read more about Tapeo →


Quemo
Photo courtesy of Quemo


Quemo, commonly heard in restaurants and kitchens in Spain, literally means "I'm burning". The element of fire heats things up at Quemo which features paellas and barbacoa, a style of Spanish barbecue.Buzzing with energy, Quemo serves exceptional food and drinks in a convivial atmosphere, that will bring smiles and surprises.The menu features more than a few must-try items including Butifarra with crystal bread and quince aioli, slow cooked suckling pig bites and Zucchini carpaccio with manchego, pumpkin seed, and Ibiza style sun dried tomato. This is definitely somewhere to sit back, relax, and soak up all the very best that Spanish cuisine has to offer.

Recommended for Tapas because: Quemo can pride itself on providing some of the best service of any tapas restaurant in the city.

Ed's expert tip: Hit Quemo's Sunday brunch if you enjoy live jazz.

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8
Wan Chai
Supergiant
Photo courtesy of Supergiant


Supergiant is Mira Moon Hotel's unique tapas and cocktail Bar. Designed by Dutch designer Marcel Wanders and curated by equally famous Spanish Argentinian Chef Guillermo Delavault, it is the go-to place for sharing Spanish tapas alongside Chinese mythology inspired cocktails in a smooth and mellow atmosphere. Supergiant prides itself on its elaborate breakfast buffet with an egg theme, Super Happy Hour running daily from 4pm till 9pm, set lunch, fully-fledged tapas dinner menu and monthly Boston Lobster Extravaganza. Together with its lush outdoor Secret Garden terrace, Supergiant is the area's best kept secret. It's highly popular with nearby residents and office workers.

Recommended for Tapas because: While not overlarge, Supergiant packs a flavorsome punch with quite a bit of style.

Ed's expert tip: Supergiant customers can enjoy a special deal on Moet & Chandon Brut NV.

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Iberico & Co
Photo courtesy of Iberico & Co


Iberico & Co. Kitchen and Bar, designed by award-winning designer Kinney Chan offers something completely unique to SoHo customers; an airy, spacious and somewhat grand interior with an unpretentious gastro bar feel. As always, the focus is on the food with a Spanish and Portuguese inspired menu. The menu features a wide range of dishes designed to share. This includes snacks, little plates, family-style bigger plates and a ham bar with some of Spain's best Iberico hams. Trying not to be just another Spanish restaurant was a top priority and the reason behind the appointment of Consultant Chef David Tamlyn, who trained under Marco Pierre White before working in Michelin starred restaurants such as Pied-a-Terre and The Square in London.

Recommended for Tapas because: Iberico has a great decor, great menu and – most importantly – great pedigree.

Ed's expert tip: Check out the excellent – and unusual – selection of ports and sherries.

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6
Tsim Sha Tsui
Zurriola
Photo courtesy of Zurriola


Dining at Zurriola combines a 270 degree spectacular view of Victoria Harbour with gastronomic delights. Dining at Zurriola is nothing short of spectacular as the Executive Chef, Jovi Lee, conjures up a glorious eight-course menu that utterly surpass expectation. Jovi used to work at various Michelin starred restaurants, and he excels in incorporating French culinary techniques into different cuisines. He prepares a delicate Spanish menu with a French twist. The sumptuous menu starts with two exquisite appetizers - "Joselito" Bellota Iberian Ham with Tomato Cream and Slow Cooked Abalone, Octopus Carpaccio with Caviar and Black Truffle Dressing. Followed by Spanish Red Prawn Ravioli with Sea Urchin and Bouillabaisse Reduction, Duck Foie Gras Three Ways and Pan Seared French John Dory with Spanish Saffron and Lobster Sauce.

Recommended for Tapas because: Zurriola strikes exactly the right note, blending fine food with contemporary decor.

Ed's expert tip: A lot of regulars come here specifically for the Iberian ham, and nothing else.

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5
Central
Zafran
Photo courtesy of Zafran


Zafran is a new concept from Aqua Restaurant Group and a new addition to Hong Kong's thriving Spanish scene. Zafran, which is ideally located on lively and atmospheric Wyndham Street, offers a more distinct multi-faceted vibe than its peers with its basement site having been opened up to create three separate areas thus making Zafran not only a tapas bar, Spanish restaurant, or late night drinking and DJ lounge operation, but all three and more. Classic tapas include Iberico acorn ham, aged 48 months; signature homemade chorizo; zafran bravas potatos, and gambas ajillo (garlic chili prawns). Enjoy a sharing plate if you're with a group of friends.

Recommended for Tapas because: It's not just great tastes at Zafran, but good music too.

Ed's expert tip: Zafran stays open till late – so drop by for a late night snack.

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Fofo by El Willy
Photo courtesy of Fofo by El Willy


First making an appearance on the Hong Kong dining scene in 2010 following the success of el Willy in Shanghai, FoFo by el Willy is a culinary gem by award-winning Chef Willy Trullas Moreno from Barcelona. FoFo in Hong Kong is headed by Spanish Chef Alex Martinez Fargas, who lends his culinary creativity to the restaurant's menu of traditional and contemporary Spanish tapas and rice. With over 60 dishes on the menu and a unique open view towards the Peak, the dining experience is never a dull one at this restaurant located in Central.Dine here at night to really appreciate the city view.

Recommended for Tapas because: It's a perfect combination – top tapas, fine wines, and a high-rise location.

Ed's expert tip: Reservations are recommended – Willy is very popular.

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Wan Chai
22 Ships
Photo courtesy of 22 Ships


22 Ships – a project by Michelin star chef Jason Atherton – has a hip ambiance and comfortable neighborhood attitude. It is set to bring a unique flavor and vibe to Hong Kong, complementing Ship Street's casual and easy-going nature. The buzz focuses on Atherton's modern tapas menu, created especially for 22 Ships, representing the modern face of dining - outstanding food that is reasonably priced. The team at 22 Ships also provide a friendly experience, going the extra mile to suggest choices and explain dishes. The 1,500 square foot eatery adds a fresh and convivial atmosphere to the metropolitan culinary scene, intimately seating 35. Blending into the neighborhood with a balance of vintage touches and modern charm, the venue offers inside table and communal bar seating, as well as relaxed al fresco dining and drinking.

Recommended for Tapas because: There are more than a few celebrity chefs around in Hong Kong, but Mr Atherton is one of the coolest.

Tracy You's expert tip: As well as tapas, 22 Ships does a fine line in desserts.

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2
121 BC
Photo courtesy of 121BC


First of all – enjoy the location. 121 could only be in Hong Kong. It's on a steep street that's dotted with traditional shops and just down the road from an incense-swathed shrine, yet well within the trendy entertainment zone that is SoHo. Secondly, enjoy the bar itself, with as fine a selection of Italian wine as you'll find east of Brindisi. Sommelier Giorgio De Maria travels to vineyards where he meets with producers and sources artisan, minimal interventionist wines. There is always a variety by the glass to taste from the burgeoning collection, and there are some fine back vintages, like the 1943 Borgogno Barolo, which display the work of masterful producers.

Recommended for Tapas because: The wine list and the tapas menu complement each other perfectly.

Ed's expert tip: Cruise by here on a Friday evening to catch the vibe of city slickers winding down with tapas and a bottle or three.

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1
Central
Boqueria
Photo courtesy of Boqueria


Boqueria restaurant and tapas bar brings Spain's vibrant and convivial dining culture to Hong Kong's bustling Lan Kwai Fong area. The menu is inspired by El Mercat del la Boqueria and the best tapas bars in Barcelona, and includes large selection of classic tapas and signature dishes meant for sharing, along with a market menu by Valencia-born chef David Izquierdo that changes regularly. The flagship Boqueria opened in New York City's Flatiron district in 2006, and has since expanded to New York City's famed Soho neighborhood and Washington D.C. Hong Kong was the logical destination, with its appreciation of fine food.

Recommended for Tapas because: You'll find a lot of Spanish expats here – and there's no better recommendation.

Ed's expert tip: The grilled octopus with spicy potatoes is always especially good.

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