FoFo by el Willy has truly proven itself in Hong Kong’s fickle dining environment. The Spanish restaurant first came onto the scene in 2010, almost 10 years ago. After the success of el Willy in Shanghai, award-winning chef Willy Trullas Moreno from Barcelona designed the Hong Kong menu alongside talented chef Alex Fargas (who heads up the HK operation). FoFo has proven itself a favourite amongst diners time and time again – even landing a highly coveted spot in 2017’s Michelin Guide.
The Foodie team recently had the pleasure of revisiting this beloved Spanish spot and found ourselves FoFo-falling in love all over again.
Even before the first glass of cava ($110/glass or $550/bottle), the views and interior at FoFo are sure to win you over. Crisp white tablecloths, romantic lighting, custom-made penguin chandeliers and the twinkle of the Hong Kong skyline are indicators that you’re in for a memorable evening. Keep a look out for the penguins – they’re adorable and everywhere. Chef Fargas told us that they chose penguins because fofo means “pudgy” or “flabby”. Is there anything cuter than a chubby penguin? I think not.
Aside from cava, we highly recommend a glass (or jug) of sangria ($90/glass or $450/jug) and the Catalan gin and tonic ($135), which we’re told is by far the most popular cocktail, selling at 10 times the rate of any other drink on the menu.
We started off with a hearty plate of hand-sliced Ibérico ham ($250/half or $390/full), which is served with a dangerously addictive portion of Barcelona-style tomato bread. It’s pretty hard to go wrong when you pair the highest-quality ham with a crispy carb.
Our first tapas taster was the montaditos de salmón ahumado ($140), or “explosive salmon airbags” – a true flavour explosion in the form of sour-cream-stuffed puff pastry topped with salmon.
After the collective mouthfuls of “oh my Gods” that came from all of us during the starters, we were eager to see what was next. The answer was the cangrejo (king crab) salad ($158), which cleverly uses crisp fish skin as a base and is topped is with a little more Spanish ham. This had a strong fishy taste, which is perhaps not for everyone, but we really enjoyed the freshness of the crab and the umami-packed flavours.
This next dish was something truly unique: salpicón de mariscos ($198). This escabeche-style dish is made with lobster, scallop and octopus on top of crispy rice crackers. We could have eaten a few more of these bites thanks to the succulent seafood and tangy citrus notes.
While raw meat often divides diners, our whole table was thrilled at the arrival of the steak tartare with bone marrow, caramelised onion and dried shrimp ($280). Everything about this dish was delectable. The
textured, clean beef simply melted in the mouth, and the teeny shrimp added a satisfying crunch.
La Tomatina ($148) is a dish that could inspire an entire article. Described on the menu as a tomato salad, this does not do it justice. Featuring tomato sorbet, gazpacho, fresh tomato, Manchego cheese pearls and sardines in a marriage that creates a layered dish full of complex flavours and surprises with every bite – this dish was certainly a favourite at our table.
Seafood is definitely one of FoFo’s specialities – as we were reminded with each tasty fish dish that came out of the kitchen. The gambas al ajillo ($190), or prawns with garlic and chilli, were extremely juicy, while the pulpo a la Gallega ($208), or Galician octopus, was cooked to perfection.
The tallarines de sepia ($198) is another unique FoFo innovation. It’s a take on spaghetti carbonara, using thinly sliced cuttlefish instead of pasta. Mixed in with a delectable combination of Ibérico pancetta, mushrooms and a crisp cheese topping, this dish was unlike anything we’d tasted before. The fish itself was impressively tender.
Deliciously rich and crisp, the cochinillo ($235), or suckling pig, was served alongside a beautiful, creamy goat cheese ice cream ($138) drizzled with balsamic vinegar. It is now my firm belief that all cheese should be turned into ice cream.
If you’re looking for a bit of a dramatic flair alongside your dinner, the Tomahawk steak ($1,100) is a must-order. Chef Fargas brought out this monster-sized steak brushed with garlic and rosemary and carved it up tableside himself. Cooked medium rare and served with mustard, salt and fried potato sticks, this steak is a carnivore’s dream come true.
We finished off our FoFo feast with homemade magnums ($88) and churros ($88). The churros were unfortunately the only thing we didn’t love about our meal as they were slightly undercooked and chewy. However, the creamy mini magnums (mango and chocolate) were delightful.
If this review hasn’t made it painfully obvious, we absolutely adore FoFo by el Willy. A few of us declared that this was one of the best meals we’d had in a long while. FoFo has stood the test of time in Hong Kong’s brutal F&B scene by remaining consistent yet innovative in its passionate approach to both contemporary and traditional Spanish cuisine.
20/F, M88, 2–8 Wellington Street, Central, 2900 2009, book online
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.
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