As one who professes to have been a Spaniard in another life, I’ve travelled to Spain many times and am always on the hunt for authentic tapas in Hong Kong. Though I was left bereft when my beloved FoFo by El Willy closed, I was soon comforted by the arrival of Silver Oak Group’s Quiero Más in 2021 (see a colleague’s review here). Nestled in the heart of Central and located conveniently on the penthouse floor of the M88 building, Quiero Más has quickly become a favourite for Spanish gourmands and foodies alike with its inviting, contemporary Mediterranean-inspired space and menu.
Having frequented Quiero Más in the past, I was excited to see how newly appointed Executive Chef Javier Pérez – a Spanish native – is making his mark with his elevated eight-course tasting menu (HK$538/person; +HK$250 for 6-glass wine pairing), a partnership with Los Ibéricos and Caviar Per Se. Having worked at top establishments across Spain and Hong Kong, it’s clear that Chef Pérez is looking to impress – and we weren’t disappointed.
We began our meal with two cold tapas. The first was this Ibérico ham shoulder. Aged 36 months, the ham is delightfully salty and comes paired with tomato bread, though we wished there was more of the bread in order to balance the amount of meat on the plate.
Alongside the ham, the hamachi is well seasoned and pleasing to the eye, having been prepared with a marinade inspired by salpicón, a Spanish salad featuring a colourful mixture of diced mixed vegetables. We think it would work better as a standalone course, but perhaps the intention is to bring land and sea together in one go. The refreshing glass of Corpinnat Torelló Brut Reserva Cava is a perfect complement to the ham and hamachi dishes, even if the two items themselves don’t exactly pair well together.
Next up was The Gilda, which is apparently inspired by the “first-ever Basque pintxo”, according to the press release. Featuring marinated hake, pickle, anchovy and white asparagus, along with Ibérico ham jowl, we liked the creativity of the different ingredients married together, with a surprising burst of flavour coming from the pickle.
The next course was another pairing of land and sea, this time with two warm dishes. Featuring the only Spanish-produced caviar on the market, the foie mi-cuit “airbag” is a playful take on classic ingredients. We liked the crunchy, light texture of the puff balanced with the rich, creamy texture of the foie gras. Without a doubt, this was one of our favourite courses of the meal. It comes paired with a glass of El Perro Verde, a dry Spanish white wine made with 100% Verdejo; it has intense floral aromas and minerality in order to balance the richness of the foie gras.
The cod loin pil-pil is an interesting contrast in textures and flavours, and we enjoyed the chef’s interpretation of this traditional Basque dish. The cod is prepared with a sauce that doesn’t overpower the flavour of the fish.
At this point, we were ready for the main courses and were presented with the restaurant’s signature dishes, paired with red wines from Catalunya and Tarragona. The suckling pig was tender and succulent with crispy skin, while also being well portioned for the two of us.
Paella is the perfect addition to any Spanish meal, and while the paella Barcelona was satisfying and also well portioned, we found that it was slightly overcooked and lacking that authentic paella flavour profile.
We were nearly bursting at the seams by the end of the savoury portion of the meal, but it’s always hard to resist dessert. The dessert course is a mille-feuille with white chocolate and vanilla cream. We enjoyed the modern take on this classic, delicate pastry; it’s light and satisfying on the palate.
For any lover of Spanish food – or simply any diner who is interested in contemporary takes on classic dishes – this new, reasonably priced tasting menu at Quiero Mås by Chef Pérez is definitely worth trying out. While a few of the dishes (and the course format) could be tweaked a bit, on the whole the experience is a very enjoyable exploration of Spanish ingredients and wines.
Where: 20/F, M88, Wellington Place, 2-8 Wellington Street, Central
This write-up is based on a complimentary media tasting provided in exchange for an honest review and no monetary compensation. The opinions expressed here represent the author’s.