As a big fan of Spain and Spanish food, I was looking forward to this visit as Uno Mas had been touted as the most authentic Spanish tapas bar in HK, with its chef hailing from the city of Valencia, which interestingly, is better known for paella.
As it was a weekday, lunch sets were available : $118 for 3 tapas or $138 for 4 tapas. There are about 12 tapas to choose from for the set lunch. Coffee/tea is included but the dessert of the day counts as one choice of tapa.
Patrons can also order from the regular tapas menu by ticking an order slip not unlike those at dim sum restaurants. There are about 30 tapas to choose from, and they cost from $30 (for bread with tomato and olive oil) to $72/$88 (for seafood items)
There's also an a la carte menu featuring Spanish dishes like roasted suckling pig, and the wine and drinks list looked pretty comprehensive (there were 6 choices of sangria and a wide selection of Spanish wines).
My friend and I got ourselves a table on one of the terraces - a cool perch on a rainy day. We ordered a carafe of sangria ($220) made with cava (the Spanish equivalent of champagne) and ordered two 3-tapas sets : - patatas bravas (potato wedges) - sauteed mixed mushrooms - sauteed baby squid with garlic and parsley - almond-crusted chicken and ham croquetas - braised lamb and chorizo (spicy sausage) in red wine - meatballs and eggplant in muscatel wine
The tapas were a great disappointment. We had to read the menu to remind ourselves what should have been inside the croquetas - we could not taste any chicken or ham at all. The meatballs were tasteless and worst of all, were swimming in a starchy gravy (what we call “heen" in Cantonese cooking) I wasn't sure if the squid were fresh - they did have a fishy smell and taste to them.
There wasn't anything wrong with the other items, but they were nothing to shout about.
Similar to the earlier experience of a reviewer, we could hardly taste any alcoholic content in the sangria. It tasted as if Fanta soda had been substituted for cava.
The waiter gave each of us a small piece of the dessert of the day - almond cake - on the house. Ironically, it was the most satisfying item in our entire lunch.
Was the fabled Valencian chef on duty that day, or did some inexperienced apprentice cook our lunch ? I guess people will have to supplement their enjoyment of Uno Mas by bringing good company, because the comfortable setting would not make up for the poor quality of the food.