Hidden away in Kennedy Town, a hot minute's walk from the HKU MTR Station, the ravenous Hong Konger will find Casa. While Casa is officially labeled as a tapas restaurant, the menu goes far beyond Spanish food. Rather, the chefs and owners attempt to challenge the idea of a specialty restaurant, striving to achieve a jack-of-all-trades sort of eatery.
Down a flight of stairs, the narrow hallway opens to spacious, modern dining room. The lighting is dim and the atmosphere is energetic, yet not overpoweringly so. The music is fantastic. (At this point in the night, we feel at home and briefly considered finding the guy who put together the playlist and asking him for a drink. Just to see what his life plans are, you know?)
The Best Part of Any House: the Kitchen
For starters, we had the tuna tartare, as well as the buffalo mozzarella and the vine ripe tomatoes & basil, which was a spruced-up caprese salad.
The tuna tartare was a nice light starter, to ease your way into a bigger meal of bolder flavours. We appreciated the nice whisper of the wasabi, as it did not dominate the subtle tuna taste of the tartare. The buffalo mozzarella, vine ripe tomatoes & basil, were topped with roasted nuts and pesto. While not particularly groundbreaking, the starter was everything we wanted out of a good caprese salad.
For heartier more main course themed tapas, we had the pulled pork & barbeque sauce sliders, fried gnocchi, fried chorizo and Harissa lamb. The clear standouts were the Harissa lamb and our absolute favourite, the pulled pork & barbecue sauce sliders.
The Harissa lamb was a fantastic conglomeration of complex flavours. With Moroccan undertones, the lamb was succulent, well cooked and amazingly spiced. The freshness of the pumpkin puree balanced the heavy flavour of the lamb.
And then we got to eat our favourites. These little numbers will derail any preconceived notions you have of how sharing works. Pulled pork and barbecue sauce is not a new combination. But, we were floored by what a punch the barbecue sauce packed without drowning out the wonderful pork. Topped with melted cheese and just enough fresh bite from the veg, we inhaled these.
We could see the sliders pairing with any beer. We can specifically vouch for what we had, the West Berkshire Brewery's pale ale, which is delicious. Ordering them both together is like going back to the dive bar you went to in college, except the beer is good, the sliders are made with actual meat and you aren't convinced that you are the first person to discover Marxism.
Go to there! Grab a couple of friends and a few dollars, pick out 5 or 6 items from the menu and always order the sliders.