I'm surprised at how many Spanish restaurants there are in Hong Kong, especially in Wan Chai. Several people had recommended to us the very popular 22 Ships by British Michelin starred Chef Jason Atherton (Pollen Street Social; Social Eating House in London). Its lesser known cousin is Ham & Sherry, another Spanish tapas bar located just across the street (also on Ship street) which is a collaboration between Chef Jason Atherton and local restauranteur Yenn Wong.
Ham & Sherry distinguishes itself from other Spanish tapas restaurants by boasting Asia's largest sherry list (over 50 varieties and styles).
It's a good casual place to grab a drink, enjoy a few snacks, or commit to a full dinner. It was the perfect venue for a quick bite with one of my friends, who had to leave at 8PM for another appointment, as well as for a 3-hour night of hanging out with a larger group another evening.
With a name like "Ham & Sherry", it's no surprise that Spanish ham, know as "jamón" is very well represented on the menu. They offer various types of "Ibérico de Bellota" ham, the highest grade Spanish ham made from a special breed of pigs that eat a diet of pure acorns for the last three months of their lives.
The menu at Ham & Sherry includes premium hand-carved jamón Ibérico de Bellota Jabugo ($198 HKD for a plate, see photo above), as well as other cuts such as paleta, copita, lomito, and many others. If you have enough people, I think it would be really fun to sample across their offerings by ordering the selection of charcuteria ($228 HKD).
Seafood is done really well here, and I've loved the bold flavors of all the dishes I've tried. l really enjoyed the clams, chorizo, and peas ($138 HKD), a classic dish that was balanced with its flavorful clam juice, salty chorizo, and acidic tomatoes.
I'm still a little squeamish about head-on prawns (I guess I have not fully assimilated to the local culture!), but I still tried my best to enjoy the prawn with mayo sauce, which was actually quite good (even without the mayo sauce!).
I was quite impressed with the execution of the pan fried sea bass ($148), which had a nicely crisped skin yet was still very tender. The accompanying mushroom sauce and vivid green spinach puree complemented the fish nicely.
Truffle toasties with jamon (ham), manchego (cheese), and a fried quail egg ($98 HKD) hit the spot for my friend who was starving after a light lunch. It's a rich dish, but definitely hits the spot.
The seafood paella with chili and piquillo pepper ($168) was on the smaller side (more like a mini-paella!) but perfect for our party of three to share. It was good, maybe not the best I've had, but rounded out the meal nicely.
I loved the colorful display of this daily blackboard special, a salad consisting of zucchini, goat cheese, and sun dried tomatoes topped with pea tendrils and edible flowers. It was a nice, light counterpoint to the other more robust dishes on the menu.
My favorite way of enjoying Brussels sprouts is to have them charred with crispy edges, so I wasn't sure what I would think of these (softer) sautéed Brussels sprouts with ham. It turned out, I loved this dish! The Brussels sprouts were sautéed in some sort of vinegar, so the tartness of the dish really brightened and balanced out the deep rich flavors of the Spanish ham and the Brussels sprouts.
The Suckling Pig was a blackboard special one of the nights we came. After munching on some dishes, we decide we were still hungry and ordered the last one of the the night. I am so glad we did! The skin was wonderfully crispy and the meat was super tender. It came with a sweet fruit paste (maybe quince or pear? I can't remember) and overall was delicious dish. I was very impressed with the quality of execution.
The churros with chocolate sauce ($58) was authentic and reminded me of Spain.
We also enjoyed a lovely crème Catalan ($58), which tasted pretty much like a French crème brulée.
It's really fun to try the selection of Spanish cheeses, which I *think* came with a quince paste ($168). The variety was good, including some nice, salty manchengo and a stinky blue cheese.
Sherry is the other specialty, and they claim to have over 50 varieties. The one page menu only lists a small subset of those. We tried the 22 Ships "The Lost Ship" ($65 HKD/glass) a Palo Cortado sherry by producer Gonzalez Byass. I really enjoyed it, and would love to come back and try other ones.
General Thoughts - Ham & Sherry Wan Chai
In general, I really like Ham & Sherry and I am thrilled that it's in my neighborhood. The food is excellent - beautifully presented and expertly executed. The service is friendly and pleasant. A forgotten order was quickly corrected and they were not hesitant at all to apologize. The vibe is warm, cozy, and lively. It's easy to just get lost in conversation and hang out for hours (which is what we did on our second visit). It's a great place to grab a few small bites or commit to a longer meal.
Ham & Sherry Wan Chai
1-7 Ship Street
Wan Chai, HONG KONG