When you take a walk down Sai Ying Pun’s Third Street, you can be overwhelmed with the choices. Yuan is Here’s queue down the street and other packed restaurants suggest this area has some decent food choices and/or that SYP’ers are very hungry! We were and this week, we decided to try Chico Chica whose concept is Asian inspired Spanish tapas.
The restaurant’s décor is quite contemporary, casual and somewhat Spanish inspired with strong colours.
The menu has some daily specials and also some familiar tapas names. We ordered the Calamari, Wagyu beef ‘burgers’, tostadas with truffle and jamon, vegetable tortilla and to finish, the churros.
The Calamari batter was very light and tasty, however I was somewhat puzzled with the side of ketchup. This is the first time I have seen the dish served with this condiment, I wouldn’t have minded if this was homemade but predictably this was the bottled kind. Not overwhelmed so far.
Next came the beef sliders. The comments were that the beef was very JUICY and the bread had been friend slightly so it had a crunchy texture.
The tostadas came swiftly after the sliders, looking quite thin. I actually love truffles but feel this has become an overused ingredient nowadays to make a dish seem fancy. In this case, I feel it didn’t quite work and I am not sure how this was in any way an Asian twist on the Spanish classic. Better stick to Jamon y Queso!
A recommendation by the waiter was the tortilla as they had run out of their pork main. As soon as it arrived, we were quite puzzled by the red ‘A’ marked on the top with ketchup and what appeared to be mayo. Was this a reference to the scarlet letter? If so, were we to be ostracised for eating this? Even when cutting into this dish, you could see that this was nothing close to the Spanish style tortilla. The egg was running all over the place, the taste was chewy and there was no flavour in the dish.
Finally, we dared to try the churros for afters. First of all, they clearly had not been fried for long enough. The outside was still white in colour, they had not even cooked through and there was no cinnamon on the churros themselves rendering them absolutely tasteless. The only good thing about this dish was the coffee ice cream which I doubt they make on the premises.
I was left feeling very unsatisfied after this meal.
Verdict: Without risking offence, I have to say, the people who have written rave reviews about this place on public review sites must not have tried any Spanish food! I am all for fusion when it works, which it rarely does in my opinion, however Chico Chica is another example of a VERY LOCAL tasting western place. Not my cuppa tea.
70 Third Street, Sai Ying Pun, Hong Kong Ph: 852 2517 9777 www.facebook.com/chicochicahk