Quemo, 5/F, QRE Plaza, 202 Queen's Rd. East, Wan Chai, Hong Kong, Hong Kong S.A.R., China
Nearest Train:Wan Chai
Opening Hours:daily 2-7am
Reviewed In:May, 2013
At least half of what makes a meal good is how much you’re laughing as you eat. Sitting stony-silent as another plate of exquisite food is wordlessy plonked in front of you isn’t our idea of a good time. We laughed for our whole meal at Quemo, entertained by the Spanish staff who were alternately efficient, charming, buffoonish—and always hilarious. That’s half of a wonderful meal right there. And the food hardly fell short.
The superb “Oyster Bocata” was an oyster burger lined with barbecued foie gras in a sweet bun, the oyster lightly battered, fried, and beautifully raw inside. “Grandma’s croquetas” were OK meat-stuffed chicken croquettes, and egg “timbal” was a posh, delicious take on a stock Spanish eggs-and-potatoes breakfast, enlivened with Serrano ham and sweet peppers.
Only order it if you’re hungry, though, as a little goes far (we looked yearningly at huge dishes of paella that two of us couldn’t possibly manage). But most of our love—in fact all of it—goes to the “Presa,” a barbecued iberico pork loin that was about as good as we’ve ever had: perfectly rare, tender, with a gorgeous char—and a dark, deep, sweet reduction alongside. At just over $600 it’s a long ways from the cheapest steak you can buy. But it’s soft, fatty, and crammed full of layers of deep, rich flavor: about as good a hunk of pig as you’ll ever eat. There’s a fine Spanish-only wine list too—try the Albariño for a good white.
So, then: the food is great, but expensive. It was the charming, very funny staff that sent Quemo from great to stellar. And here’s the problem. We discovered at the end of our meal that most of the brilliant wait staff will be back in Barcelona by the time you read this. Will the Hong Kong staff at Quemo replicate the same levels of charm as their Spanish counterparts? We hope they can.