Small but influential, Hong Kong’s Spanish population is on the up. The country that invented the siesta unsurprisingly has a laid back approach to life, and Hongkongers are getting on board.
Although there are many differences between Spain and Hong Kong, both cultures place an emphasis on family, food and fun.
If you’re looking for a taste of Spain, we’ve put together a handy list for you. From top-notch tapas and cocktails at places like Ham & Sherry and Pica Pica, to flamenco classes and spanish language lessons, here are the best ways to celebrate Spanish culture in Hong Kong. By Sam Sinha
Jason Atherton and Jenn Wong have managed to make your grandma’s favourite tipple cool at Ham & Sherry, a bar and restaurant that brings a taste of Iberia to Wan Chai’s trendy Ship Street. As the name suggests, these guys are purveyors of excellent air-dried Ibérico hams direct from top Spanish producers, alongside a range of sherries and Spanish wines. Expect some modern flair tempered with a respect for tradition and top quality ingredients. Hidden in the rear and accessible via a side alley, Back Bar is a great post-work hideout to try inventive cocktails and bar snacks from the kitchen.
Sharing is caring at Pica Pica. The name comes from the Spanish expression ‘a little bit of this, a little bit of that’, referring to the tradition of enjoying a meal that consists of many dishes served in small portions. This neighbourhood tapas joint, helmed by chef Edgar Sanuy, brings the colourful and energetic tapas tradition from Spain to Hong Kong, where people come together over small bites, and of course, house-made Sangria. While the food menu is produce-driven and rooted in tradition, Sanuy puts a modern take on classic Spanish dishes and cooking methods. With the launch of their summer menu earlier this month, a toasty getaway in Spain comes direct to you.
If you ever dreamed of dancing the flamenco but thought Hong Kong wouldn’t deliver, think again. Estancia Flamenco offers classes, workshops and events led by a team of expert Spanish dancers, with the sole aim of improving the level of flamenco knowledge and skill in the city. Head over to the studio in Wan Chai for a toe-tapping, finger-snapping lesson in Southern Spanish culture from $200 per hour-long class.
Spanish is one of the three most spoken languages in the world along with Mandarin and English. Hongkongers are finding it increasingly important to be able to communicate with Spanish speakers to do business.
Whether it’s for work or if you’re planning a trip to one of the 21 countries where Spanish is an official language, The Spanish Cultural Association of Hong Kong offers small group spanish courses limited to six students. Head over on weekday evenings or weekends to learn from the team of 20 certified native Spanish teachers.
Looking to make it a family affair? They also hold small group lessons of three to four kids after school and on weekends.
If you’re more Francophile than Iberiaholic, French Tutors Hong Kong has a similar offering of French courses. Either way, learning a new language is a great way to push yourself and open up new doors personally, professionally and perhaps even romantically. Buena suerte!