Majo, Soho’s newest dining sensation, delivers the vibrant, alfresco ambiance of Barcelona to Central Hong Kong.
We’ve seen a plethora of Spanish eateries open in Hong Kong of late, although most come across as a little ho-hum, a little flashy, and a little lacking in the laid-back street-side vibe that you’d find at tapas joints across Barcelona’s iconic Gràcia district. However, a Soho newcomer just might change that.
Majo Tapas Paella Bar has opened in the space formerly occupied by Big Sur as the newest creation of Woolly Pig Hong Kong (the dynamic duo behind Hue, Ink, Grain in Kennedy Town, and Bathers on Lantau). With an authentic people watching vibe thanks to a row of spacious alfresco (and pooch-friendly) tables with rattan chairs, matched with vibrant interiors – think grey marble, Spanish art, and blue-tinted windows framing a stand-alone cocktail bar – Majo (pronounced as “mah-hoh”) is not only a great lunch spot but also promises to be Soho’s hottest aperitivo spot this winter.
Majo presents a menu by seasoned executive chef Alberto Sancassani, who taps his 15 years of experience to create fare that’s both authentic and a little cheeky – expect tapas bites, Spanish hams and cold cuts, and a host of sharing dishes paired with some rather intriguing libations.
Tapas and sharing dishes run the gamut from seabass ceviche with mango leche de tiger; and Valencia-style codfish croquettes with squid ink aioli; through to Wagyu meatballs in tomato sauce; and tiger prawns in garlic oil.
Also, look out for Corboda-style chilled tomato soup with boiled egg and Jamón ham; grilled Spanish octopus with potato and green and red Majo sauce; and potato brava with aioli and salsa, cook in the style popular in the Canary Islands.
For something a little more substantial, look out for Bacalao a la Bilbaína, cod fillet poached with red pepper, paprika, and tomato sauce; Cazuela de Marisco, a traditional Spanish-style seafood stew with clams, cuttlefish, mussels, prawns, and fish fillet cooked in a silky tomato sauce and seasoned with saffron and white wine; and Picaña Steak, a 300-gram Australian Wagyu sirloin cap seared to perfection and served with chimichurri sauce and smoked eggplant puree.
Of course, it wouldn’t be Spanish without paella and Majo has you covered with a dedicated selection made to order with short-grain Bomba rice from Valencia. The menu ranges from Paella Valenciana, a dish of chicken, rabbit, French beans, white beans, snails, and rosemary that was recently given protected cultural status; Paella de Pato with duck leg confit, porcini mushroom, spring onion, and truffle mayo; and Paella al Nero de Sepia, a fragrant version made with squid ink, cuttlefish prawns, fava beans, and aioli.
Possibly one of the best elements of the new venue is the drinks program, which combines signature cocktails with a selection of Spanish sherries, an extensive wine list, a trio of sangrias on tap, a series of signature cocktails, and a dedicated Gin & Tonic menu. However, this is also a unique opportunity to try vermút, Spanish vermouths served with soda water and Gilda, a garnish of pickled onion, anchovy, and olives.
What more could any self-respecting Spaniard ask for?
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