January 2nd, 2012
Thanks to a bright and airy space, combining with an eclectic decor, Zelo exudes a charming ambiance that attracts a discerning urban clientele. A contemporary restaurant and bar, Zelo serves an innovative Mediterranean cuisine in its dining rooms, and the “open- air” bar area is a popular choice for both afternoon tea and after-work drinks. Prominently located within the luxurious Pacific Place mall in central Hong Kong, Zelo is a recent creation of the highly regarded Gaia Group– operators of acclaimed Italian restaurants including Gaia, Va Bene and Isola. Since its opening in 2009 Zelo has garnered a solid reputation amongst the notoriously fastidious Hong Kong diners for its delightful assemblage of Mediterranean influenced dishes, prepared under the watchful eye of Chef Fernando Mayoral.
Entrance with bar counter behind
Making a design statement within the typically bland environment of a large mall is always a challenge. The designers of Zelo have cleverly created a striking dome structure at the entrance to the space, encapsulating the bar area within its open black metal framework. Flowing across from the dome area is the lighted and brightly patterned, double-sided main bar counter, with a distinctive coloured solid marble top . The combination of recycled, raw variegated timber boards for the flooring, with the vibrant “Mediterranean colours of the interior decor, evoke a chic, casual elegance. There are two interconnected dining spaces, and a comfortable, relaxing lounge area extends off down one side of the space. The main dining room features a spacious table setting, with the elegance of white table clothes balanced with an eclectic assortment of both rustic timber chairs , and more classic dark timber chairs. The walls are randomly stacked with open wooden wine cases – complete with wine bottles from the wine list. The dramatic sculptured light fittings feature radial bursts of wine glasses mounted onto a polished metal framework. The other dining area has a different feel- a long, narrow space with bench seating and tables for two running down one wall, and some additional tables for four opposite. The brightly coloured textiles of the furnishings provide both visual accents, and reference a “Mediteranean” lifestyle.
Casual seating in the bar area under the striking black metal mesh dome
Interior dining room
Other dining room
The lounge area adjacent to dining room
The colored marble bar counter with illuminated facing panels
The Mediterranean dining concept is actually an innovative cross-pollination of culinary influences, reflecting the multi-faceted background of Executive Chef, Fernando Mayoral. Raised in South America in a family of Spanish origins, he completed his formal cooking schooling in Argentina, and subsequent stints working in the kitchens of leading restaurants in France and the USA, before returning to Argentina, provided a breadth of experience and influences. The resultant menu at Zelo reflects this combination of influences- with the Mediterranean cuisine blending distinctively South American dishes such as ceviches, with such classic Spanish dishes as paellas. The menu list is not large, but provides a truly memorable cross-cultural dining experience. The menu is categorised into Salads, and then Starters– examples being Tiraditos– a Peruvian style of octopus carpaccio, and Ceviches– a South American dish of marinated raw fishes. Pastas & Paellas follow- the signature dish being the home recipe “Nuria” paella. Main Courses include Roasted French Duck Breast, Barrumundi wth roasted tomatoes, and the “Zelo” Wagyu Burger. Desserts are also a feature at Zelo– including Arrol con Leche, and Churros with espresso, chocolate and marscarpone sauce.
The drink offerings from the bar include a good selection of mostly Italian wines, including wines by the glass. A full range of premium spirits, classic and innovative cocktails, beers, aperitifs, and premium coffees and teas are available.
Featuring all-day dining- Zelo serves lunch, afternoon tea and dinner menus.
Tiraditos (Peruvian style carpaccio)– pulpo al olivo- octopus with black emulsion and coriander
Ceviches (South American dish with raw fish tossed with citrus juice, hers and onions) – Prawns, flounder, mango and smoked chilli
Paella- Chef’s Spanish grandmother’s recipe for “Nuria” paella- with chicken and seafood – for two people sharin
Arroz con Leche– rice pudding with cinnamon
Expresso Martini- Fresh Lavazza coffee beans, Kahlua, Baileys, vodka & finished with cream style top foam
Zelo Restaurant & Bar at Pacific Place, Hong Kong
Address: Shop 007, LG1, Pacific Place, 88 Queensway, Central. Hong Kong
MTR: Admiralty station – direct access- 3 minutes walk
Reservations: +852. 2918 1028
Daily 10:00 am ~ late night