Hola – Restaurant of the Month
An Authentic Taste of Spain
This is a not to be missed hidden gem on the lower ground floor of 8 Thonglor. On entering the building take the elevator to the lower ground floor at this delightful restaurant is located diagonally right, a treasure trove of Spanish flavours. The restaurant is comfortably laid out with a line on table on the right and back wall, free seating in the middle with additional seating at the counter directly facing the open kitchen.
It is run by passionate Spaniards from Barcelona who teamed up for this culinary venture; Montse Amado takes care of marketing and public relations while in charge of the kitchen is Santiago “Santi” Dodines. “I had restaurant in Spain before,”says Santi, “when I sold it I decided to travel the world. I was on my way to Australia and when I stopped in Bangkok I realised the wine and dine opportunities the city offers. Fate brought Montse and I together we decided to we both wanted a Spanish restaurant, we looked around at various locations and Thonglor was our final choice. What we serve is 60% tapas, the rest is dishes of the day which gives us the opportunity to test what dishes are popular in Bangkok and off course a selection of traditional dishes. We have only been open two months, our menu is intentionally small so that what we do can be good. Everything we serve is made with authentic traditional recipes, our taste is mot confused by fussion”
The first dish Santi prepared for us was Gambas alli prawns fried with whole cloves of garlic in olive oil for just 30 seconds so they have a crunchy bite to the taste. “We buy our prawns fresh every two days in a local wet market.” he says.
Then came a plate of Croquetas or Croquettes which are extremly popular in Spain and can be found in almost every bar. The key to their taste is mainly due to the creamy filling which in Spain is made with Béchamel sauce rather than potato as found elsewhere in Europe.
Croquettes, which in English we know as Croquettes, actually have their origins in French cuisine. However, like many good dishes, the croquette spread across the globe. Naturally, they became extremely popular in Spain and you can find them in nearly every Spanish bar when you visit Spain. Some of the more exotic places to find croquettes include Japan, where they are known as Korokke and are normally made much flatter than the Spanish version. Croquettes are also popular in Belgium, the Netherlands and Germany, where they are often made with mash potato inside. The versatility of the croqueta is the variety of shapes they can be served round, cylindrical or flat, although the typical Spanish ones tend to be rounded cylinders. They can be served as a side dish, a starter, a tapas or a main meal, however they are served the taste is delicious.
You may be surprised to see the next dish Caneloan or cannelloni in a Spanish restaurant, but Catalonia was on of the few regions in Spain to include pasta into their cuisine. The difference between the Spanish and the Italian version is that here no tomatoes are used. Traditionally Caneloan is the first dish served in a Christmas meal, the tubes are stuffed with chopped chicken liver covered with a blanket of béchamel and gratinee with Parmesan, the kids love it.
Then came Gazpacho from the southern region of Andalucia, a tomato based soup made with cucumber, salt and pepper served chilled. It’s fresh and health perfect for Bangkok’s hot climate.
Paella possible the one of the best known Spanish dish comes from Valencia. “As I can’t get Spanish rice in Bangkok as use Japanese as its similar. It’s important that every grain of rice is in contact with the pan or socarrat which i cook in fish stock made with onions and tomatoes. When cooking over a gas flame or open fire toasted rice forms on the bottom of the pan with a waffer thin sheet of caramelised juices, this is the best part of a paella and is a dish that you have to wait for. Buried in the bed of stock absorbed rice is onion, tomato, read and green pepper, pork short rib, chicken mussels and prawn. We prefer our rice undercooked not over cooked.
Finally for dessert Creame Catalonia from French Catalonia on the Spanish boarder, A thick homemade custard integrated with flavours of lemon zest, cinnamon and vanilla just enough spice to add flavour yet not over power. Santi achieves the divine crisp caramelised sugar crust by stamping a red hot metal onto the sugar for a even burn which a gas burner can’t deliver. No a la carte meal would be complete without a complimentary dark Belgium truffle.
What we enjoyed about dinning at Hola is that dish has its own taste where the taste of each of the ingredient is identifiable
Hola Tapas & Wine Restaurant
Lower Ground Floor
8 Thonglor Shopping
All major credit cards accepted
Average price per meal THB XXX