If Sai Ying Pun is Hong Kong’s new sexy district, blossoming into a foodie paradise thanks to the new MTR station and a general dawning awareness of the Western District’s hidden riches, then La Paloma (Spanish for pigeon) is certainly the area’s most sexy Spanish tapas restaurant. Covering a generous 3,500 square feet and more than capable of handling close to a hundred diners in pursuit of the city’s finest small-plates, La Paloma is a very welcome second messenger pigeon bearing deliciously good news from the El Willy Group, whose restaurants have been warmly received in Hong Kong and Shanghai. Book a spot at La Paloma’s Queen’s Road West premises (on the corner of Li Sing Street) and witness El Willy’s Andalusian magic at work.
假如西營盤是香港的新寵美食區，La Paloma（即鴿子）想必是該區最得寵的西班牙小食餐廳。坐擁3500呎的空間，位於皇后大道西的餐廳把El Willy集團的魔力發揮得淋灕盡緻。
It’s best to say right here and right now that there’s more than simply Spanish tapas going on at La Paloma. Truth be told, we’re often in fear of the tapas craze burning itself out and dropping forgotten to Hong Kong’s overstuffed streets in the manner of a pigeon unlucky enough to perch on a poorly-grounded high-voltage wire. We don’t want to see tapas go, but we also know there’s a lot more to the Iberian peninsula than eminently shareable small plates. Thankfully, the El Will Group of restaurants have their finger on the pigeon’s pulse and should very well be able to lure guests to their new Sin Ying Pun venture on the strength of their live paella kitchen alone. There’s also a traditional Spanish asador, the clay oven that’s responsible for roasting La Paloma’s succulent meat, fish, and vegetable dishes to perfection. For some, this spectacular offering will dwarf Spanish small plates forever; for us it’s simply one more reason to book a table at this special restaurant along Sai Ying Pun’s Queen’s Road West.
La Paloma’s burgeoning success owes a lot to the excellent personnel that the El Willy Group have recruited to tend to their second foray into Hong Kong food after the runaway success of FoFo by el Willy. The mastermind behind it all is renowned Spanish expatriate and chef Willy Trullas Moreno (owner of Shanghai’s el Willy) and executive chef Alex Fargas (FoFo’s exec chef and head of the Spanish Chefs Association in Asia). Hospitality industry leaders the both of them, they’ve put chef Vito Chiavacci in charge of the kitchen, and ex-Catalonian Ricky Sabata out front to look after La Paloma’s guests. Signature dishes on offer at this new Sai Ying Pun Spanish restaurant one floor up on the corner of Queen’s Road West and the diminutive Li Sing Street include bacon con queso, which the menu inexplicably translates as bacon and cheese explosive air baguettes. Safety first might lead you to opt instead for the traditional kingfish Tiradito, with avocado and green sauce, or the even more traditional wartime dish of coca de cebolla y butifara, consisting of confit onions, Mahon cheese and sausage served with asador-baked, homemade flatbread. Okay, a wartime dish is not exactly playing it safe so, fine, be culinarily stubborn and plate up some of the best tapas in town, or plump for an equally prime paella.
西營盤的La Paloma是El Willy集團第二間打進香港的食肆，由大廚Vito Chiavacci打造一碟碟招牌菜式，芝士煙肉空心法包和生魚刺身配牛油果青椒醬等。
Superb food, friendly staff. An unforgettable birthday celebrations in this hidden gem.
The place is beautiful, food is delicious and the staff very friendly. We had a great moment. The brunch was very good. We appreciated a lot how friendly the staff was with kids.
Very good food and service. They gave a brthday surprise to us! Atmosphere is nice and staff are friendly and helpful ! Must come again!
Fantastic brunch, we couldn't help but order multiple rounds of bread to sop up the delicious clam broth. The giant paella preparation is the best kind of entertainment for foodies and kids alike.
From the moment I received a phone call from La Paloma to confirm my reservation I knew my experience wasn't going to be a good one. In hindsight, I should have just cancelled the reservation then but I had promised my girlfriend Spanish food for dinner. The greeting upon arriving at the restaurant was cold. Felt like we were an inconvenience. Menus were thrown in front of us and the waitress immediately left. After going through the drinks list we had to call the waitress over to order. Looked like such an effort for her to come over and take our drinks order. Ordered a glass of red and the Fino Fino Philipino cocktail. The wine was barely drinkable and despite the promise of passionfruit, lime, mint, rum and cava I was served a small glass full of ice and a cheap tasting rum. Not a single hint of passionfruit, lime or mint. Can't complain about the food except that it is a bit pricey considering the portion sizes and ingredients used. Needless to say we won't be back or recommending La Paloma which is a pity since the decor is great and the food has promise. Worst part is that they don't charge service which to me should mean that waiters are very enthusiastic to look after you in exchange for a good tip.
Saturday evening dinner experience - full restaurant with all tables busy all the time (was there from 7pm to 10pm). Yet service fluent and fast, something which is hard to get even in very upscale and expensive places. Restaurant manager Ricky constantly checking among tables if everything is all right and waiter/waitress were next to my table frequently, discreetly and politely. Food - actually when leaving, the chef personally told me "I have noticed you eat a lot!", to which only one answer existed - because the food is superb! All kinds of tapas - tasty, attractive presentation, fresh. Try stuffed baby squids, mamma's meatballs, patatas bravas, fried escalops with bechamel, ... and of couse paella in few different variations) - all tasty and fresh. Nice and decent-priced spanish wine list - can choose from quite local spanish producers as well as from bigger names (e.g. Alvara Palacios) Overall - will repeat for sure and will share with friends. Reservation recommended on busy Friday/weekend nights.
My second time at La Paloma. The first was with friends and we were busy talking we hardly notice much but the food was good so I thought I’ll come back with my husband and son. I originally booked for 6 during CNY but our guest had to unfortunately cancel due to an illness in the family. We decided to go ahead and very happy that we did. Had the Wagyu for my son and a Paella with Iberico Pork and wild mushroom for us. It was excellent. We had a wonderful dinner here. Really enjoyed it. The service could not be faulted and everyone who attended to us were very pleasant. We will be back.
La Paloma's interior is spacious, and cozy. Its staff are attentive, although they do have difficulties addressing requests during peak hours. We had the weekend brunch, and it was definitely a steal at HK$250 per person. The cochinillo was really tender, and tasty, and the skin was stayed crunchy beyond the expected time. Paella was also good, though I would have been happier if there were slices of hard boiled eggs. The tapas were very tasty, but I found the bravas to be the best.
3 things make up a diner's restaurant experience - the food, the environment and the people (the staff). It majorly failed on the staff portion: the receptionist was noexistent then was less than enthusiastic to show us to our seating and the servers did not know what their own menu was (there was an award winning dish which 2 of the staff seem to not know existed. Least impressive of all was when they tried to offer us a smaller portion of the paella as it would have been free based on the super monday buy-1-get-1-free deal which is utterly unbelievable. The food itself was ok, we tried 3 tapas and 2 mains and the dish of the night was probably the paella. The award winning pork dish was impressively juicy, but extremely fatty with nothing acidic to cut thru the richness. The paella was delicious but abit too salty. We've always loved Fofo by el Willy, but we're not impressed by what we saw at La Paloma, we might as well just go back to Fofo / go elsewhere.
La Paloma has not yet been inflicted by typical Hong Kong restaurant inconsistencies. The food and service are always on the mark. Food is delicious, but 4 stars instead of 5 as some portion sizes are a bit varied for sharing - such as tortillas are more than adequate but the the fresh sardinillas are too small to be shared.