A spin on Spain

It’s exciting to see a new restaurant opening in this depressed market – especially when it is pioneered by the team behind Pica Pica, one of Hong Kong’s most beloved tapas restaurants.

Rubia on Hollywood Road, Central, offers perfect cuts of meat and a menu of tapas, cold cuts and cheeses.

Kick off the journey with side dishes such as Teruel ham with up to 23 months’ curation (HK$40) and padron peppers (HK$75).

Rubia has more than 15 types of tapas, allowing diners to explore many flavors in a single meal. The seasonal tomato salad with smoked sardines (HK$95) is not just tasty but also beautifully presented, sliced horizontally and reassembled on the plate.The tuna tartare (HK$180) is sure to be the favorite of avocado aficionados, as the raw tuna matches the creaminess of the avocado and the bread offers an added crunch. And don’t forget to try grilled vegetables with romesco (HK$75) before getting into mains.

“Rubia refers to the highly-prized Galician Blond beef and is also a common name given to Spanish cows,” said culinary director Edgar Sanuy. “It reflects the unique, hand-reared relationship between farmer and animal.”

The restaurant sources premium cuts of beef from the Galician Hills of northern Spain, which are served up as a 250-gram Rubia Gallega boneless rib-eye (HK$480) and 250-gram Rubia Gallega tenderloin (HK$495). The steaks come with vegetables, fries and garlic, as well as chilies, which the chef recommended to be eaten in one bite.

But a meal isn’t complete without dessert. Sanuy recommended the warm cheesecake served with whisky ice cream (HK$70) and baked hot chocolate cake served with candied orange, hazelnut and chocolate cardamom ice cream (HK$70).

The restaurant’s taberna-style bar on its ground floor is a go-to destination to unwind after work. Its menu features light bites that go well with the venue’s extensive beverage list.

Cured white anchovies on potato chips (HK$67) marinated in Jerez vinegar, patatas bravas (HK$55) and a range of cheeses and cured meats are sure to be a hit with the happy-hour crowd.

Eight cocktails offered are classics with a Spanish twist. The Rubia old fashioned (HK$140) is topped off with bitters and sugar. Another is Mon Cheri (HK$120), with creme de casis, espresso and Mr Black coffee liqueur.

Rubia’s sister Spanish eatery Pica Pica in Sheung Wan, offers a great atmosphere with its Sunday brunch. Similar to its a la carte menu, the brunch menu offers a wide selection – from vegetables, seafood, meat, eggs, cold cuts to, of course, paella.

The best way to enjoy its red prawn hot dog (HK$120) is to squeeze the juice from the josper-grilled prawn head over the hotdog.

Another recommended dish is fideua from Gandia with cuttlefish and all-i-oli (HK$150), which is a fisherman’s take on paella made with noodles in place of rice, dotted with rich dollops of all-i-oli and chunks of cuttlefish.

Available from 11am to 3pm on Sunday, the brunch comes with two-hour free-flow Estrella Damm draft beer when spending over HK$280.

La Rambla in the IFC mall also introduces a new Sunday brunch (HK$550). The market-style menu features six sections of Spanish fare, promising an all-round experience of Catalonia’s regional delicacies.

Begin with assorted salads and fresh seafood with tartare and charcuterie served to your table, followed by classic tapas such as crystal bread with fresh tomatoes, bikini of truffle, as well as broken eggs with sauteed chorizo.

Head to the chef’s counter for customized picks of meat and seafood – done your way from preparation method to side dishes and sauces. Choices include fresh cuts of tomahawk, Aragon lamb, Catalan butifarra sausage and Spanish suckling pig from the Butcher’s Corner, with red snapper, turbot as well as red prawns at the Seafood Market.

Served only on Sundays from 12pm to 3pm, delicacies can be enjoyed indoors or on the alfresco terrace with a harbor view.

(This article was published at The Standard on April 17, 2020: Weekend Glitz: A spin on Spain )

200417 A spin on Spain

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