Te Quiero Mucho is bringing a bit of Mexico to Hong Kong. For many people, Sheung Wan is the heartbeat of Hong Kong’s urban culture – filled with espresso cafes, cocktail bars, street markets and leafy green scenery. A short walk away from the financial center and home to some awesome eateries and restaurants, Sheung Wan blends the best of city life, modern history and is a pillar of Hong Kong’s best locations.
When Alejandro Ramírez, a chef at Te Quiero Mucho, spoke to TMS on keeping up in the fiercely competitive F&B industry, especially after the string of protests and then the pandemic, he outlined the importance of “consistency.” Despite COVID-19 cases slowly decreasing with the introduction of the vaccine, the restaurant kept up with precautionary measures.
Located at The Sheung Wan, a boutique hotel owned by the renowned Ovolo Group is happening Mexican restaurant, Te Quiero Mucho. This bustling two-story eatery overlooks the vibrant streets of Sheung Wan and serves delectable Mexican cuisine and artisanal tequila, making it a must-visit for both dynamic tourists and locals.
Te Quiero Mucho boasts bold interiors by ALT 254, a Hong Kong interior design firm. The restaurant is accented with meticulously sourced reclaimed wood and recycled bricks, giving it a rustic vibe complemented with retro drawings and sculptures as well as eye-catching neon installations that pay homage to the local area (which was once known for its famous hand-formed vintage signage).
The earthy and elegant vibe is just enough to assert a luxury, without scaring off the crowds. This vibe is harmonized in all Ovolo Group hotels and restaurants, so you’ll notice a consistent style with their other projects. The lofty space’s playful shapes and bold colors guarantee an immersive atmosphere well beyond the plate. This extends to the vivid and evocative Spanish music playing in the background. The first level of Te Quiero Mucho is also available for private activities.
Originally from Mexico City, Ramírez and the other chefs at Te Quiero Mucho have cultivated the menu that serves up locally sourced, contemporary Mexican cuisine that is both innovative and traditional. With “16 years of [experience at a] culinary school in Mexico City,” Ramírez adds that he’s “still loving it.” The thought of his family and sweet memories from back in Mexico give him the motivation to continue to work hard at Te Quiero Mucho.
Ramírez’s experience in culinary school in Mexico isn’t the only marker behind the restaurant’s authenticity. Ramírez remembers how he used to help his grandparents in the kitchen as a child, “trying all kinds of flavors, products and traditional Mexican dishes from childhood.”
Divided into breakfast, brunch, lunch and dinner menus, Te Quiero Mucho serves colorful, flavor-driven dishes like guacamole and chips, nachos, Nopales Salad and Molcajetes dishes (which come with soft tortillas and salsa verde) as well as various tacos.
The nachos (HK$110) and guacamole and chips (HK$120) are both standouts among the appetizers.
The Trump Taco and the Mushroom Tostada Taco are served a la carte with a hard taco shell and priced at HK$50. All tacos come in a single portion, so you may need a few orders for a larger group or perhaps for a larger appetite. Or opt for one of the Molcajetes dishes, as they seem to be more filling than these single tacos. Complete your meal with churros (HK$70) – you can never go wrong with this decadent traditional Mexican dessert.
Te Quiero Mucho’s vibrant bar offers an amazing collection of 36 artisanal tequilas and mezcals, including boutique pours and classics, making it the perfect place in town for a night out with friends. Bartenders at the eatery will easily recommend any alcoholic or nonalcoholic beverages according to your taste buds. In harmony with the group’s environmentally friendly vision, drinks are served with paper straws for a smaller carbon footprint.
However, despite making a revolutionary change through the YEAR OF THE VEG, which kicked off “a commitment by all restaurants and bars across Ovolo Hotels in Australia and Hong Kong [to] go vegetarian for 365 days,” there were only three vegetarian options available for the main course.
In a hypercompetitive and saturated industry, restaurants must maintain and grow their presence in the market. “Working in Hong Kong is challenging,” says Ramírez. “[We want] to keep doing our best with love and passion, not to give up and to keep doing what we know to do better than anyone: hospitality – making sure we give our guests a great experience within our food and service.”
Serving classy Mexican fare in a lively atmosphere with a playful execution, it seems Te Quiero Mucho is on the right track. As for the future, Ramírez says: “[I’m] excited to experiment with some Mexican sweets soon to add in our upcoming menus. Perhaps buñuelos, pastel imposible or some homemade sorbets with Mexican fruits.”
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