Table Talk: FoFo by el Willy Review
With it's lofty setting embracing the mountain views, combined by the brilliant white design throughout, the restaurant is a fresh, bright space that works well day and night.
Style and Substance at FoFo by el Willy
For a restaurant in Hong Kong to survive into it’s fourth year, it must be doing something right. Spanish favourite, FoFo by el Willy is doing just that. Where lesser restaurants have tried and failed, FoFo continues to deliver its much lauded Spanish cuisine to a legion of loyal diners high up in the M88 Tower on Wellington Street, Central.
With it’s lofty setting embracing the mountain views, combined by the brilliant white design throughout, the restaurant is a fresh, bright space that works well day and night. FoFo has just had a bit of a revamp and added a huge rooftop space for diners who want to soak up the beautiful views over a beer or glass of wine, or to enjoy the full a la carte menu under the stars. We popped over for lunch recently to sample some of the latest additions to the menu.
During the restaurant’s renovation, head Chef Alex Fargas together with Chef Willy Trullas Moreno travelled around Spain seeking new culinary inspirations which are now added to the new menu. We were lucky to chat with Chef Alex who has such enthusiasm for the food and pride in the success of the restaurant, that I was so excited to try some of the new favourites and old highlights on the refreshed menu.
First up for us was the 30 month aged Iberico ham served with crispy bread covered in a tangy tomato salsa. No Spanish meal is complete without Iberico ham, and these moreish little mouthfuls had a rich, delicious flavour and when paired with the crunchy bread resulted in a winning combination.
Jamon – hand sliced iberico ham with barcelona style crystal bread (30 month aged) – HK$360
Foie Gras Mollette – HK$38 per piece
Next up were two delicate little brioche buns filled with rich foie gras and and onion jam. One of these each with the beautifully light steamed brioche bun was just right to enjoy the foie gras without being overpowered.
Chef Alex then combined two tapas dishes for us – the jamon croquettes and the pork jowel skewers with padron peppers. The croquettes had a good crunch and the rich, cheese and 36 month iberico ham centre was incredibly satisfying. The slightly chargrilled pedron peppers with the pork jowel and the slightly spicy mayonnaise was another winning combination. The FoFo tapas certainly elevated the traditional dishes to the next level of flavour combination and presentation and they offer a great insight into what else the menu has to offer.
Jamon Croquettes – HK$98 and Papada – Pork Jowl Skewer – HK$68 per skewer
Toasted cheese sandwiches are one of my ultimate comfort foods. The addition of iberico ham, black truffle and arugula to the perfect combination of toasted white bread and mozzarella resulted in such a heavenly creation that I had to force not to devour all four pieces to myself!
Bikini – Barcelona style toasted bread with Iberico Ham, Black Truffle, Mozzarella & Arugula – HK$50 piece
Of course, Spanish food isn’t all tapas and next up was a salad of crispy leaves with crunchy iberico pork ear, olives and peppers. This was my first taste of pigs ear and I was initially apprehensive, but the crunch and slightly salty finish was delicious and worked well with the soft peppers and crispy salad leaves. As Chef Alex highlighted, the Spanish are very like the Chinese in their usage of the whole of the animal – nothing goes to waste – and some of the most unappealing cuts of meat are actually the most flavoursome. This is definitely the case for pigs ears (and I really never thought I’d write that!).
Iberico Pork Ear Salad – HK$98
Moving on, we sampled both the Carridilla beef cheek with banana passion fruit roll and Cochinillo crispy suckling pig . The tender beef was soft enough that it just melted in the mouth and the slight sweetness of the banana passion fruit roll worked very well. The suckling pig with its incredibly crispy skin and soft meat underneath was a highlight for me. Cooked beautifully to give a crunch and combined with tender meat and a slight kick from the pedron peppers, it was a dish that I would eat again and again.
Carridilla Beef Cheek with Banana Passion Fruit Roll – HK$105 and Cochinillo Crispy Suckling Pig – HK$148
Churros – HK$75
As our meal was coming to our close, it was time to sample a couple of the FoFo signature desserts. Now I don’t usually understand the excitement around churros – I tend to find them too greasy and not sweet enough after a rich meal. However I stand corrected after enjoying the light, non greasy FoFo version served with a rich, velvety chocolate sauce, yum!
Traditional Spanish Ice-Cream Sandwich – HK$48 per piece
The final dish of the day was the ice cream sandwich. The mint and strawberry ice cream sandwiched between a crunchy biscuit base created a refreshing end to the meal. The mint ice cream in particular was a highlight – it packed a really fresh and strong mint flavour that contrasted with the sweetness of the strawberry.
FoFo is a beautiful restaurant that offers diners a refined experience of the best of Spanish cuisine. It’s not cheap with plates of tapas around $100, but the focus on quality is apparent in each dish. Judging from the full dining room on a Tuesday lunchtime, I wasn’t the only one impressed by the food on offer.
If you want to sample some of the best of FoFo’s food, head over on Monday to Thursday nights, for the set menu that costs only $498 per person (minimum booking of 2). Full menu here.
FoFo is also open for brunch every Saturday, and rooftop dining is available. Every Wednesday to Friday from 6pm onwards, enjoy drinks on the rooftop with complimentary snacks straight from the BBQ.
Address: M88, 2-8 Wellington Street, Central
Tel: 2900 2009