When Catalunya opened in Wanchai in 2013, it set the bar for Spanish cuisine in Hong Kong, and we were frequent visitors, particularly for Chef Rafa Gil’s epic brunch spread. It closed nearly half a decade later, and La Rambla by Catalunya, paying homage to Chef Gil’s legacy, at ifc mall has been a worthy successor ever since then.

Now, the Catalunya journey comes full circle, with Chef Gil returning to head up the kitchen at La Rambla. Chef Gil began his culinary career in Spain, working with Michelin-starred chefs Martín Berasategui, Carles Abellán and Santi Santamaria. He moved to Asia in 2012 to open Catalunya, first in Singapore and next in Hong Kong. Since then, he has been the driving force behind several five-star hotel kitchens around Asia, from The Ritz-Carlton and W here in Hong Kong to Keraton at The Plaza in Jakarta. He was also a semi-finalist alongside his teammate, Mexican chef Esdras Ochoa, on the Netflix series The Final Table.

Seafood trikini

Pulpo gallego

With his return to La Rambla, Chef Gil has completely revamped the restaurant’s menus. There are new tapas – seafood trikini, a layered toasted “bikini” of Japanese king crab, tuna and caviar with crème fraiche, for example – paellas and Catalan desserts. We’re thrilled to see that several Catalunya signatures are making an appearance, notably the pulpo gallego (octopus, potato foam, pork crackling and piquillo pepper salsa), which was the dish that made chefs Gil and Ochoa the challenge winners on The Final Table.

Catalunya’s cocktail menu has also been given an overhaul. The classic cocktails with a Spanish twist, G&Ts and sangrias have been designed by award-winning mixologist John Nugent of The Diplomat.

A very warm Foodie welcome back to Chef Gil – ¡hasta pronto!

Shop 3071–73, 3/F, ifc mall, 8 Finance Street, Central, 2661 1161, book online

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