Zafran (Lunch Set)

Zafran (Lunch Set)

Where:
Zafran (better information available on their FB page though)
Basement, 43-55 Wyndham St.
Central, Hong Kong

Phone:
+852 2116 8855

Price:
Choice of 3 tapas for HKD99 (+10% service charge).  Add HKD20 for coffee/tea.  Add HKD28 for dessert.  Add HKD28 for certain tapas. Probably about HKD130-150 per person all in.

The deal:
I emailed Zafran once to get their lunch menu because, in true HK tradition, their actual website was devoid of such useful information.  No surprises, but they never emailed me back so I never actually ended up going.  But just the other day, I was stomping my way up to one of my reliable lunch stalwarts, CVCHE, because I hadn’t booked and it was past 12:30pm when a Zafran spruiker caught me and because I’ve walked past their place a few times, I decided to finally succumb and check it out.  I’m always wary of TAPAS restaurants/bars because while it might officially mean bar snack, I’m always convinced it really means Spanish Food for Ants.  So the Zafran girl led us through a maze of very empty restaurant – through the empty bar, the empty lounge and then into the almost empty, icy cold dining room.  I don’t mean icy as in so styling Iceman achingly cool icy but It was fucking freezing. I’ve never understood why so many HK restaurants are intent on freezing their customers to death.

A big fuck yeah to Zafran’s eagle eyed General Manager, James Ward (YES, totally got this stalky information from their FB) who runs Zafran with the laser precision of a fake handbag seller spotting HK expats at Lo Wu mall, with an insistent missy missy ready at 20 paces. James was spotting issues (ie. turning the air on to normal after seeing his patrons were freezing to death) and deploying his staff to actually take care of the restaurant (vs most HK restaurants which just seem to like to hire 20 waiters to stand at the side to look decorative and well intentioned).  Service was spot on at Zafran with my empty plates never staying long on the table and constant refills of water without having to knit a sweater with my eyebrows to attract some attention from the waiters.  James recommended that with two of us, we should just order all of the tapas options and share, skipping the Zafran big breakfast because it was big and suitable for hangovers. I’ll take it as a compliment that I didn’t appear to be the solid nommer which I am or hungover.  The food itself was deftly done and was well presented – it would definitely be Instagram food fodder if that’s your thing, but our lunch included a wilted baby spinach salad with pinenuts, raisins and apricot (I was sceptical, because I’m generally not down with apricot in savoury food), deep fried cod croquettes, a stand-out roast pork belly and celeriac mash, baby squid, a tomato stuffed with tuna and fish roe (sounds lame, but was delicious) and what was essentially a posh cheesey pork toasty. A pretty good mix and for the price, I think quality/range definitely outweighed the price.

My dining partner went off the set menu to get dessert, as she wanted to avoid some lavender dessert monstrosity they were offering as part of the set. I’m always a fuck no to desserts with lavender, I mean, out of all the delicious flavours in the entire world, why do people even bother with lavender?? Lemon, chocolate, coconut, strawberry, peach, mango, vanilla and all its delicious dessert appropriate friends getting stood up for that low rent fucking floral soap bullshit. Shit be cray and tastes like an old lady, but I’ll still get behind affordable, tasty as fuck tapas with staff who give a shit and go beyond when it comes to service.  We left to a chorus of thank yous as we wandered out the maze of Zafran back onto the street.

Verdict:
Fuck yeah!  Wyndham Street lunch sets continues to be my JAM.

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