Comilonas: Private Kitchen Dining

When I lived in New York City, I absolutely LOVED having friends over for good food and wine. My monthly dinner parties were some of the best nights I had with my friends and certainly some of my best memories of New York City as a whole.

When I moved to Hong Kong, a city notorious for its tiny living space and even tinier kitchens (never mind the fact that I don’t even have a functional kitchen in my apartment), dinner parties became non-existent for me.

After hearing about a number of private kitchens in Hong Kong, my heart skipped a beat. I could (in a way) have dinner parties again! Sounded great to me so I started looking into the various private kitchens before deciding upon Comilonas.

“Home” grown cooking at Comilonas

Located in a converted apartment in a rather obscure and unassuming residential building in Sai Wan, Comilonas specializes in Catalan food. Lovingly run by husband and wife duo, Chef Lluis from Barcelona and Carrie, a Hong Kong native, the dining experience at Comilonas was charming and completely homey.  Their enthusiasm for sharing authentic Catalan food was evident and created a fantastic dining experience. Even my non-foodie friends enjoyed the special attention that Chef Lluis and Carrie paid to presenting the food and explaining the preparation and traditions behind each dish.

Chef Luis and Carrie making sure we were enjoying our meal

To start the meal, Chef Lluis demonstrated how to use a porró, a traditional wine pitcher typical of the Catalan region. For the inexperienced drinker, the basic goal in using the porró is to pour wine through the narrow spout into your mouth from as far as your arm can reach without spilling the wine on yourself. Trust me, it was even more difficult than it sounds!

Trying my best not to spill from the porró

I found most of the tapas served at Comilonas remarkably tasty and reminiscent of the Spanish food I ate during my time traveling in Spain. Here are some of the more outstanding dishes I found on the menu at Comilonas:

Chorizo in wine sauce

The chorizo in wine sauce was one of my favorite dishes of the night. The chorizo was the perfect amount of salty and the red wine sauce was simply divine. So good in fact, that I emptied a whole basket of bread sopping up the rich and flavorful sauce!

Black ink rice paella

I love black ink anything and the black rice paella was no exception. This dish was absolutely perfect from the distinctive yet subtle briny taste of the squid ink to the rich, buttery cream mixed in right before serving. I couldn’t get enough of this dish and good thing it was served in such a generous portion because this black ink rice paella was certainly popular with my friends too!

Caramelized orange with vanilla ice-cream

The caramelized orange with vanilla ice-cream was the ideal sweet to end the meal. The orange slice overlaid on top was expertly caramelized to a hardened crisp, sweetly complimenting the mild tartness of the orange underneath. I almost died and went to heaven when my friend Johnny, who does NOT eat dessert (seriously, who doesn’t eat dessert?!?) offered me his.TWO caramelized orange desserts! Who cares about being a little piggy when the dessert is this good?

By the end of the night, my friends and I were in high spirits from the combination of delicious food, good company, unique interaction with Chef Lluis and Carrie, several shared bottles of wine (did I mention there was free corkage?), and the relaxed and friendly atmosphere of Comilonas.

Friends and I enjoying our meal at Comilonas

Enjoying a meal at Comilonas was just like having friends over for dinner, but with better cooking than what I could have ever made back in my Manhattan apartment. The experience of having a shared meal with friends in a homey place was exactly what I wanted and for $380 per head, that’s a small price to pay, especially given that a meal of this caliber can easily cost two or three times as much anywhere else in Hong Kong.

Comilonas is currently closed for the month of February, but according to their website, will re-open in March with new dishes on their menu. I’m already eager to go back and can’t wait to see what new recipes Chef Lluis and Carrie will be cooking up!

Comilonas, Flat 22, 1st Floor, Yip Cheong Building, 4-16 Hill Road, Sai Wan, Hong Kong
(852) 9863 2270

© Connie Hum 2012

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