Whether it’s an evening out with the girls or a date night with the mister, tapas restaurants are generally a fail-safe option for tasty food and drinks and a good time out no matter who you’re dining with. There’s something about sharing several plates of small dishes that promotes a relaxed, easy pace of dining, and plenty of conversation and laughter (a pitcher or two of sangria doesn’t hurt either!).
Of all the “hot” dining trends that have hit Hong Kong’s international dining scene in recent years, from steak-frites to burger bars to baos and bite-sized tacos, I’m probably most glad that tapas have stuck around, with new spots constantly popping up around town. It can be hard to stand out in a saturated Spanish-style dining scene, but newcomer Tapagria definitely makes an impression, with flavour-packed dishes, attentive service and a great ambience.
The first thing that strikes you as you enter this restaurant – situated on the 18th floor of The ONE mall in Tsim Sha Tsui – is the stunning view, probably the best I’ve seen on Kowloon-side (sorry Ritz Carlton!).
Food and Drinks
The menu at Tapagria (“tapas” + “sangria”) offers a good mix of traditional tapas and more innovative dishes, as well as a selection of 65 sangrias. You could come here every week for a year and still not sample all the fruity concoctions, so we decided to put our choice in the hands of the waiter and go with one of their signatures, the Smoked Red. The pitcher of sangria arrived smoking at our table, and I loved that deep, sultry hit before reaching the relatively light concoction underneath – a refreshing blend of gin, brandy, cointreau, grilled apples, oranges and grapes.
For a stronger kick, I couldn’t resist ordering the Smoked Whiskey Sour halfway through the meal – this one made with Maker’s Mark, lemon and egg white. The drink was perfectly balanced with the tangy whiskey mellowed by a splash of citrus and that foamy egg white, along with the sweet note from the cinnamon stick.
Service was attentive all night, and our requests promptly fulfilled. Our server gave us excellent recommendations, and even explained to us the proper way to build an iberico ham sandwich with a clove of garlic, tomato jam and bread (yes, there’s an art to it!).
Tapagria is one of those restaurants that has mastered the mix of good ambience and quality food, without needing to charge exorbitant prices for one or the other. The tapas dishes all range between $100-200 a plate, and sangria is around $250 for a half jar (four glasses), so you can easily indulge in a filling meal with food and drinks for around $500/person – a very reasonable cost given the beautiful setting and attention to detail in the dishes. I’ll definitely be back to sample more of the menu, or maybe just enjoy a glass or two of sangria on the outdoor terrace.
Tapagria is open daily from 12-2:30pm for lunch and 6-10:30pm for dinner. The restaurant offers a set lunch of 3 tapas and a dessert everyday for $168 plus 10% surcharge.
Tapagria, 18/F, The ONE, 100 Nathan Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong, 2147 0111, www.tapagria.hk