Catalunya and Quemo were both on my to- try list couple of months ago, after trying Catalunya I felt like I wasn’t in a rush to try Quemo so it wasn’t until five weeks ago (I know I know… I’ve not been up to date with my reviews) when I revisited that list that I went ahhh… what about Quemo?
Quemo is run by Quim Márquez, who has already gained fame at El Quim de la Boqueria, in Barcelona and Elite concepts. The name comes from a commonly heard word in Spanish kitchen meaning “burning” or “scorching”. The exact word I was screaming when I burnt my finger on the pan (I was trying to get a better angle taking pictures of the paella). Luckily, a staff handed me ointment and told me NOT to put ice on the wound immediately as it’ll give you blister straight away. And she was right!!! I never knew that!! The wound healed overnight =)
Quemo is located in QRE, (another Spanish restaurant in wanchai?) I liked the decor of the restaurant where it’s rustic, clean and simple. Note to self: Quemo has an outdoor patio and a private dining room perfect for summer group dinners! While waiting for Cel to arrive, we ordered a bunch of dishes to “snack” on..
Pregnant tomato filled with smoked fish, roasted eggplant onion and pepper
With an interesting name such as this, how could we give it a miss? I picked the smallest piece on the dish and popped it whole as instructed by the waiter, the hallowed tomato filled with cheese, roasted eggplant and smoked fish was refreshing, juicy, creamy, slightly salty and smokey (from the smoked fish) all at once
Bread with tomato
This was definitely not my favorite dish, pale in comparison to the memory of how good the Pa amb tomaquet at Catalunya was! The bread was so crispy, fluffy and airy and the taste of the tomato was intense and refreshing at the same time. The Quemo version was bland and the bread was just blah… =(
Cod Ravioli with Iberico ham and leek sauce
We loved this dish! The texture of the ravioli pasta was perfectly al dente, the cod fish wrapped inside was smooth, buttery with subtle sweetness. The iberico ham, the charred red pepper and the leek sauce added complexity to the taste and texture of the dish =)
Egg Timbal layered with iberico ham, roasted piquillo and potatoes
This hearty brunch like dish served in a skillet was every bit satisfying; creamy gooey runny egg yolk mixed with roasted potatoes, iberico ham and piqullo peppers eaten with toast. Love the mix of texture and flavors in this dish
Oyster burger Oyster bocata with BBQ foie gras and homemade sweet potato bread
These humble looking burgers were hot in demand, we killed two plates in no time. Sandwiched between the homemade sweet potato bun were fried oysters and foie gras. This decadent combination of juicy, plump and fresh oyster with rich, creamy foie gras was simply irresistible.
Unlike the typical paella we are used to, this squid ink paella was served with short grain rice thinly lined on a big flat pan while the clams were served separately. The proper way to eat was to scrape the rice from the centre to the edge of the pan so you get the different textures. The rice in the center should be moist and chewy while the ones on the side should be perfectly crispy like the base of our claypot rice. We were a bit disappointed that the rice weren’t as crispy as we would like it to be, but the flavors made up for it! The rice was packed with flavors of cuttlefish, fish and chicken stock while the cuttlefish and shrimp bits in the rice added different texture to the mix.
The clams served on the side were fresh with subtle sweetness; although it was served with garlic sauce, the clams were good enough on their own
Iberico pork, presa, was cooked to perfection with gorgeous char, the beautifully marbled shoulder loin was very succulent and flavorful, rendering the sauce redundant. Presa is the wagyu of the porcine world, I loved it so much, I forgot all about the potato mash that came with it.
Even though some of the dishes were below average (bread with tomato), I would go back to Quemo for their presa and to try their dessert =)
Address: 5/F, QRE Plaza, 202 Queen’s Road East, Wanchai, Hong Kong
Tel: +852 2836 0699