La Rambla is a street in central Barcelona. A tree-lined pedestrian street, it stretches for 1.2 kilometres (0.75 mi) connecting Plaça de Catalunya in the centre with the Christopher Columbus Monument at Port Vell. It has since become synonymous with Spanish cuisine and tapas due to the many restaurants along the two sides of the street and the famous La Boqueria market. And around the world many restaurants that specialise in Spanish cuisine would call themselves La Rambla, but many did not live up to their names. So would this newly opened restaurant lived up to its billing?
Spanning over 5,000 sq ft at ifs mall, the newly opened La Rambla by Catalunya delivers on its promise of serving authentic Spanish cuisine in a modern, sleek setting. With Hong Kong’s iconic harbour as the picture-perfect backdrop, Chef Ferran Tadeo takes centrestage with this ingredient-driven, Catalan-inspired menu.
Following the Catalunya tradition, La Rambla’s menu includes a selection of traditional tapas and mains, together with modern interpretations of Spanish dishes. The menu is divided into three broad sections – a comprehensive tapas selection that included the classics and innovative creations, a series of cured meat, fresh meat and seafood dishes, and a range of paellas.
We ordered a couple of tapas and a paella.
1/ The Crystal Bread
The Crystal Bread, homemade flat bread, topped with foie gras cream, caramelized figs and 100% Bellota Iberico – The dinner opened with a big surprise. The flatbread was simple but extremely delicious. I do not know if it was the jamon or the fig, but these combination was a match in heaven. The foie gras cream was a pate like sauce that bounded the ingredients together, and provided another dimension (umami of animal organs) to the already delightful sweet and savoury pairing of fruit and meat.
2/ Croquetas Jamón
Croquetas Jamón, creamy béchamel with Iberico ham – Classic tapas, croquettes are found everywhere in Spain, but to find a really good one was difficult. I found the La Rambla version too oily. And I could not taste the jamon. FOC in Singapore did a better job the last time I was there. Ironically, it was found on Hong Kong Street in Singapore.
3/ Bombas De La Barceloneta
Bombas De La Barceloneta, a ‘La Cova Fumada’ creation – La Rambla meat & potato version topped with brava sauce – I wrote at length about the origins of La Barceloneta in my review of El Nacional , and again I found that this was another classic that was hard to match.
4/ Steak Tartare With Sea Urchin
Steak Tartare With Sea Urchin, a classic recipe seasoned with onions, capers Tabasco and Worcestershire – I loved the simplicity of the dish that used sea urchin to enhance the flavour with lots of umami. Quite a big portion of tartare, I was surprised by the amount they have given us given the presentation. Served with toasted bruschetta, the potato chips did no justice to the dish.
5/ Blue Lobster Paella
Blue Lobster Paella, French blue lobster, calamari and clams – I tried to cook paella at home and my first attempt was using a paella kit. That’s when I appreciates the work and difficulty of a seafood paella. I tried it in Madrid and the seafood was overcooked. The star was the rice. Here, the rice was cooked slightly softer and more moist than the Spanish originals, which is the way I like it. The small portion was enough for 3-4 persons, even though they recommended it for 2.
Finding the Place
The place was quite difficult to locate. You need to cut through either Lane Crawford or come up from the bullet lifts to Level 3 and walk along the side corridor of the building that faced the Victoria Harbour.
Overall I had a really good dining experience here. The classic tapas were a letdown, but the paella and the innovative tapas were not too bad. The service was really good.
La Rambla by Catalunya
3071-73 Level 3, ifc mall, Central, Hong Kong
Tel : +852 2661 1161
Date Visited : Aug 2018