Thursday, May 26, 2016

QMO (Hong Kong, CHINA) ★★☆☆☆

We were expecting another long meeting with the service provider this afternoon. Instead of my usual light lunch, I thought a bigger one is in order to give myself more energy to grind it out. I've been hearing a lot about this new Spanish restaurant QMO the past 2 weeks (mostly good) and I figured it's time to give it a go before the meeting.

Taking over the space previously occupied by Pizza Express on Ship Street,  QMO is the newest member of the Elite Concepts family who also owns Ye Shanghai and Nanhai No.1. I vaguely recalled this group having another Spanish restaurant called QUEMO at the QRE Plaza not too long ago but whether this is a continuation of that project I'm not sure.

We have an option between their set lunch and a la carte menu. Honestly, I couldn't find anything interested from the set menu but since it looks to give me better value for money, I opted for it anyways.

Our three-course set kicked off first with a bowl of pork and prawn paella. I am no expert in Spanish cuisine so whether it's been well prepared or not, I had no idea. I could only comment on how tasty it was and to be brutally honest, it's not very tasty. As my colleague described perfectly, this is more like a fried rice than a paella.

I always like my paella to be creamy and crunchy with a caramelized crust. Sometimes it's a little soupy but I don't mind that at all as long as it's been properly flavored with saffron, paprika, or something rich. This one doesn't have any of that. There were tiny pieces of diced pork and prawns in there. The addition of clams (and some sort of sour cream on top) was nice but unfortunately, it's not the type of paella I've come to enjoy all these years with the rich and exciting flavors.

Just when we were still discussing about the paella, our tuna loin was ready to be served. The lightly seared tuna loin, served with spinach and asparagus, was of decent quality (though not great) but I'd probably like to see a bit more pink in the middle.

Like our starter and main course, we had a choice between two desserts and both of us went with the honey brownie with vanilla ice-cream. It was nothing to write home about and I will just leave it at that.

$238 for a three-course lunch is probably the standard price to pay for a good meal in Wanchai these days. The problem is, for one, what we had today was not a very good meal (I've seen better food served here at dinner time from some bloggers' review but why the drop off at lunch???) and two, there are plenty other options out there in the area (with similar or better price). Take Atelier Vivanda from across the street as an example, their "light lunch set" featuring a mini-burger plus soup or salad is only going for $128. Competition is fierce? You got that right.

Food Rating: 3.5/10
Price: $$$$
Address: 4 Ship Street, Wanchai, Hong Kong
Closest Metro Station: Wanchai
Tel: +852 2836-0699

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