With all the current travel restrictions, the name of the game is … staycations! It’s definitely time to indulge ourselves and explore our wonderful home, Hong Kong. Staying in Tsim Sha Tsui for a couple of nights recently, we were excited to sample a cute and inviting tapas restaurant in a quiet backstreet oasis. Just off Mody Road, tucked away behind the Sheraton at One Minden Avenue, is OM Tapas.
Mantras and menus
We assumed OM was a play on the address, but it is in fact inspired by the yoga mantra. A chant of “om” represents the past, present and future, and the philosophy of OM Tapas is to respect the culinary classics of Andalusia in southern Spain and to give them a modern twist with contemporary cooking techniques.
The OM Tapas team puts a focus on the famous ingredients of Andalusia where the now global concept of tapas was born. The most revered ingredient of all? The world-famous acorn-fed Iberico pigs.
The menu was compact enough to be printed on our paper table mats, yet there was a stunning array of choice. First impressions: the offerings at OM are loud and proud! There’s a real confidence in the food served here. The friendly and knowledgeable wait staff were always ready with a recommendation or two. But we knew we were here to pay homage to the pig.
The ideal feast
The 48-month Bellota ham ($198) was outstandingly sweet and salty – a deep burgundy colour of melt-in-the-mouth goodness. It was so good we added the Belotta ham and broken egg ($92), a bed of fried potatoes with belotta and a dreamingly good runny-yolk fried egg on top. This would also be the ultimate brunch dish.
Next came the Spanish tortilla with chorizo ($76) – plump and tasty – and then the fun- sounding and beautifully presented Barcelona Bombas ($68), a row of four crumbed balls anchored in place on a dollop of chili mayo. Inside was a creamy mash with a minced pork centre; comfort food elevated to fine-dining status.
We just had to try the slow-cooked Iberico pork cheeks ($148), of course, and they were beyond tender. The sliced fresh orange gave the natural pork juices a very welcome citrus burst. The main event was the pork and chicken paella ($278). This colourful fiesta on a plate did not disappoint – it’s a beautiful short-grain rice dish that’s just so light and well balanced.
A Dijon mustard watercress salad ($58) was a light and refreshing accompaniment.
Sweet things and more
With just enough room for dessert, we ordered the wine-poached pear ($78), intensely flavoured with a sweet red wine cinnamon juice. However, it was the Churros & Chocolate ($82) that got the most oohs and aahs at the table. The crispy churros were dusted in cinnamon sugar, and came with a cocoa-rich chocolate sauce that marked the perfect finish to a delightful evening.
OM Tapas truly caters for all tastes. Seafood lovers will equally be in heaven here with crispy anchovies, squid croquettes, razor clams, seared scallops, garlic chilli prawns, grilled octopus, grilled sardines and saffron steamed mussels to choose from – not to mention, the crowd-pleasing seafood paella or squid paella.
Vegetarians too will love the fiesta, with vegetable paella, zucchini fries, mushroom croquettes, roasted padrón peppers, chilled tomato soup and vibrant salads on offer.
A final word
We will definitely come back to OM Tapas again soon, as there are so many dishes still to try. Roast suckling pig, flaming chorizo, seared tenderloin and bone marrow, grilled Iberico shoulder, golden fried chicken and oxtail are all on the list.
The cosy atmosphere, friendly staff and wonderful menu all make this restaurant a must-try. The team truly delivered on their mantra of inner peace with the wonderful modern cooking of Spanish classics.
Paying homage to yoga and to their street address at the same time is a lovely idea. For us, though, the OM in the name stands for something else: Officially Magnificent!
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