Portuguese soul food at Alma
Being a Hong Kong island girl who rarely eats on Kowloon side, I am regrettably unfamiliar with the offerings across the harbour. Checking out the bargain restaurant booking website, Eatigo whilst hoping for some stunning views of Hong Kong harbour as well as some tasty food, I booked Alma a Portuguese restaurant in Harbour City.
Personally, I find Harbour City a bit of a maze with the various escalators and corridors that aren’t clearly connected, it’s always confusing to find a new place. Having finally managed to locate the restaurant, I was quite impressed with the view. This lucky Foodbaby got a window seat. The setting of Alma is casual and contemporary with bright Mediterranean colours.
Alma (meaning ‘soul’ in Portuguese) aims to serve authentic and rustic ‘soul food’ from the region. Their menu features plenty of dishes intended for sharing.
For just the two of us we ordered 2 appetizers and 2 entrees to share. Our appetizers were the crispy bacalhau croquettes and the crispy seafood basket. The bolihnos de bacalhau (cod fishcakes or croquettes) were bigger and less breaded than expected, maybe the description ‘croquettes’ threw me off as I usually associate it with the Spanish crispy and browned variety. This version was regrettably bland with a few stray bones, not fun picking those out when you have a bite sized dish.
The crispy seafood basket with squid, prawns, seabass and zucchini fared better with the quality of the seafood being surprisingly decent!
Our mains were the signature char-grilled piri piri spring chicken and the signature seafood paella.
To my delight, the chicken was smothered in piri piri sauce, moreover they provided some extra sauce on the side too. I was salivating as the dish was placed down onto our table. The meat was marvelously tender and juicy, sliding off the bone. Forget Nandos this is the real deal!
The speciality seafood paella came presented in a paellera (shallow pan with 2 handles), the Portuguese version of this dish traditionally does not have that brown crust or socarrat at the bottom that you see with Spanish paellas. The paella from Alma had mussels, clams and prawns. All were cooked very well and the rice was al dente although personally, I prefer the Spanish version as this has more flavour.
I couldn’t leave the restaurant without trying the dessert Hongkies are all too familiar with, with Macau being so close- the Portuguese egg tart! Alma’s tart had a beautifully crisp pastry and silky smooth egg filling, it wasn’t too sweet either. This is probably the best Portuguese egg tart I have ever had!
Verdict: Alma was completely packed on a Friday night and I could see why. I would definitely come back to order the delectable piri piri chicken and the scrumptious egg tart, also with the Eatigo 40% off deal, the meal was a mere 300 HKD pp with 2-3 rounds of drinks, bargain!
Shop OT310, 3/F, Ocean Terminal, Harbour City, 17 Canton Road, Tsim Sha Tsui
Ph: 852 3188 3668