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5.0 /6 Excellent 166 Reviews

The Optimist

Wan Chai Spanish $$$$ +100
1 person
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About The Optimist

The Optimist is a strikingly authentic Spanish bar and restaurant in Hong Kong’s most playful district, occupying a classy but fun street-level space on Hennessy Road. But head up from a classy cocktail at the cool bar and you’ll see how serious this Wan Chai head-turner is about food – northern Spanish food, to be precise. Find out what the fuss about The Optimist is all about and book a table now!

Check out The Optimist’s brunch (Sat-Sun) and lunch (Mon-Fri) menus!

Opening Hours

  • Monday 12:00 - 14:30, 18:00 - 23:00
  • Tuesday 12:00 - 14:30, 18:00 - 23:00
  • Wednesday 12:00 - 14:30, 18:00 - 23:00
  • Thursday 12:00 - 14:30, 18:00 - 23:00
  • Friday 12:00 - 14:30, 18:00 - 23:00
  • Saturday 12:00 - 14:30, 18:00 - 23:00
  • Sunday 12:00 - 14:30, 18:00 - 23:00
The Optimist, G/F, Hennessy Road 239, Wan Chai Hong Kong

Further Information

This is not a generic paella and tapas place. This is a purist northern Spanish restaurant, ruled by an authentic asador grill and celebrating the natural bounty from sea, land and earth of this region. Have their amazing brunch buffets to try it all, or pick out a particular cut of beef, pork or seafood from the butcher and fishmonger and have it grilled to perfection in front of your eyes. With chic decor inspired by the bars of Barcelona, complete with vintage detailing and lush greenery, The Optimist’s up-scale environment is the perfect place for celebrating a special occasion or a stylish night on the tiles with friends in Hong Kong’s Wan Chai.

Begin your meal by sharing some small plates like the grilled Galician octopus, ham or mushroom croquettes or campfire baked camembert, before moving on to the main affair. Tuck into some Mediterranean whole seabass with garlic sauce, grilled pork ribs or some seafood charcoal-baked rice. Finish off with some warm, homemade apple pie or vanilla custard ‘natillas’ with corn flakes and strawberry coulis before indulging in a handcrafted cocktail from the lengthy list that features everything from the classics to some more creative concoctions like the Black Heart (diplomatico rum, muddled fresh fig, Creme de Cassis, lime and sugar). A stand-out on Hong Kong’s Hennessy Road, spaces at The Optimist are know to fill up quickly. Beat the crowds and book a table at this trendy Wan Chai haunt in advance!


166 Reviews

5.0 /6 Excellent 166 Reviews
Service: friendly
Food: heavenly
Atmosphere: excellent
Quality/Price: cheap
Noise: average
Waiting Time: no waiting time
63 6
64 5
24 4
8 3
5 2
2 1
Stef P.
1 review so far 6
17.04.2017 12:03

Awesome Sunday brunch with delicious food and fabulous service. Free flow preseco was a bonus. Desserts were a little weak but we had no room left anyway. Will definitely go back again!

Aoife M.
1 review so far 6
15.04.2017 12:12

Overall it was a super experience. One of my favorite dining experiences in Hong Kong. Great setting. Amazing food. The lamb shoulder and the chorizo were incredible. Highly recommended.

Karen M.
2 reviews so far 6
24.03.2017 15:32

Excellent food and ambience and very friendly waiting staff. Easy to get to as close to wanchai MTR. The sea bass with garlic was out of this world, as was everything else we had. Will be returning for sure.

Monica Alexandra T.
1 review so far 6
19.03.2017 11:28

A real Spanish restaurant in HK: Huevos rotos, pimientos del Padrón, Jamón Ibérico, Spanish meats and Spanish Wines in a nice atmosphere! The restaurant is always full so you must book in advance!

Alan C.
7 reviews so far 6
06.09.2016 10:31

It's extremely rare to find a restaurant that can scores extremely high marks in its ambience, character, overall service, and of course, it's culinary experience. The Optimist is the one I found in HK. I just spent 2 weeks in the Iberian Penisula few months ago, having a whale of a time enjoying the best the Spaniards and the Portuguese can offer. Then again, The Optimist offers the same and more in a much refined fashion. I'm not going to spoil your surprise describing all the goodies in the tasting Manu we tried, suffice it to say, every single course is a gem. The service? It's rare that I gave 200% tips as acknowledgement, but the entire staff deserves it.

Natalie D.
2 reviews so far 6
22.08.2016 10:42

Sunday Brunch was the best I have had. The semi buffet was excellent, fresh and tasty and the hot food they brought out was amazing. Lots of small dishes for us all to try, plenty for a large group. After the semi buffet we ordered a few dishes off the menu. I ordered the flank steak (which I would highly recommend). Food was excellent quality and the service was just as good. We went for a friends Birthday in July and had a great time. I would highly recommend trying this place out. I will definitely be going back again, in fact I have already booked to treat my dad for his birthday!!

Valters K.
1 review so far 6
25.05.2016 13:21

Great cuisine with Spanish / Mediterranean style food, a good choice of wine. Nice ambiance - really enjoyable experience. Most recommended for dining out with no hurry. Very kind, fast and professional service. You really feel welcome at The Optimist. Reservation recommended as it gets busy later evening.

Kit W.
1 review so far 6
16.05.2016 09:49

Really loved it at The Optimist for my sister's Birthday. The staff were so accommodating and had no issue about me bringing my own cake. The food is amazing and all the girls had never been. They all said they would definitely return

Pierre M.
1 review so far 5
14.04.2017 11:34

We had a great time at The Optimist for a quick lunch with the family. The staff was great and caring, the food was good and the set lunch of good value. The music could have been turned down a little for a more cosy atmosphere. I recommend the place.

Joanne W.
1 review so far 6
28.06.2016 13:00

The food is amazing as usual especially the ham and cheese selection. The team was super friendly in serving us a plate of appetitizer from the semi-buffet to our table for a head start of our lunch, which is thoughtful and appreciated. One thing to note is that we notice there is improvement on food wait time and this time our food is served in a quicker manner than last time which is delighted to see!

Joanne W.
3 reviews so far 6
22.06.2016 18:03

The staff is friendly as always and were quick to assist whenever we have a request. We have also made a request for truffle oil to add into the Black Truffle Broken Egg and the staff was also happy to accommodate. Really loving the new salad menu especially the Kale and Cashew salad with a touch of lemon, as well as the pumpkin salad. Will be back for sure!

Michael C.
1 review so far 5
30.01.2017 20:35

Original décor , friendly and attentive staff, nice layout a varied menu, the brunch buffet concept was money well spent and the quality was top, the free flow of drinks was absolutely worth it (and it flowed...) will recommend and go back again... advise beware with the buffet and appetizers they as good as they are they will fill you up prior to main course (the chicken was superb), and the "cheesecake" in jar is a must . congratulations !

Jennifer S.
1 review so far 5
13.10.2016 10:42

The atmosphere was good. I liked how the lower floor was a bar and upper two floors were dining areas. The air on was quite cold in the top floor, I understand they had to keep it blowing because of the smokiness from the cooking area but it was really quite chilly if you are sitting right by the air con vent. The food was very greasy, and I had a lot of heartburn afterwards. Dessert was very nice tho!

Elizabeth R.
3 reviews so far 3
10.06.2016 13:30

The food was good but the service ruined the overall experience. Why do restaurants curtly tell you, "You must return the table by XX:XX" time? I have worked in restaurants and seating them properly and getting them to turn over is not difficult. You don't need to start off the whole experience with negative command. We arrived on time, we were given one table, asked to move, so we did, then were asked to move again and we did. Mid way through our meal, we had all these dishes in front of us and we were asked to move again as they needed the table. This time we declined as we already moved twice and there were many empty tables. These tables remained empty for the remainder of our time at the restaurant.

Laura H.
2 reviews so far 6
28.11.2016 19:01

Both the bar and restaurant had great vibes. Service was excellent especially in the restaurant. Attentive, helpful, knowledgable and professional. It's usually those 'little' touches of service that make a difference... giving a small glass of white to go with the Oysters when we had ordered red and bringing the signature dessert although we didn't order dessert. Would definitely recommend and return. Thank you!

Marthe V.
14 reviews so far 6
22.04.2016 19:51

The Optimist is a really nice and trendy floors. Their 3 floors restaurant was completely packed on a Thursday night and I can understand why! Great and excellent food and good service!

amelie a.
1 review so far 4
09.05.2016 11:50

food is good, environment is nice, hardware are fine as a restaurant. However, i have remarked for a window seats for 5 and we arrived on time, but was offered to the seats where none of our remarks are fulfilled. if request can't be fulfilled, i suggest better to communicate with client first. Or i would see it's unprofessional of the restaurant or any lost in transit at the booking system. also, music in the restaurant are way too noisy, if it's Spanish would not be using pop music instead. overall the experience is fine.

Graeme D.
1 review so far 4
09.08.2016 11:44

The food and service were generally very good. The only let down was that it was my girlfriend's birthday and when making the reservation I pre-ordered dessert, with birthday greetings on it. Unfortunately this never turned up so there appears to have been a breakdown in communication somewhere along the line. Which was a bit weird given they gave us 2 glasses of sparkling wine on the house and the manager came up and wished her happy birthday. Anyway, the food we did have was very good and I would recommend it to anyone.

Tim B.
3 reviews so far 5
04.12.2016 01:52

Have been here several times, the food is magnificent, the service great but I get irritated being phoned to confirm the order and being reminded I need to leave by a certain time, and then getting to restaurant and being reminded I need to leave by a certain time... even after visiting several times ....and I do leave within my slot! Will definitely be back though, the rib eye is the best I've had...

Hans B.
1 review so far 5
10.07.2016 13:52

All in all a very pleasant experience. The reservation worked perfectly, I appreciated that they called back on the day to confirm the reservation. The service was friendly and professional, the food was good, although we were just two persons, the "small plates" are good to share. So you can in fact order a good number of small plates and share them rather than a big main course. Value for money is also good.

Hannah C.
1 review so far 5
12.12.2016 11:54

We went to The Optimist for the brunch, and were so impressed with the selection of food- and the amazing price. The addition of free flow drinks is nice too. Overall a great afternoon. Highly recommend.

Candy H.
1 review so far 6
13.12.2016 10:28

I love the slow the pacing, atmosphere and food at the optimist. The staff are nice and helpful. I am sure I will go to The Optimist again !!

Rodrigo S.
1 review so far 6
27.02.2017 13:34

great service, Guzman the manager was really good and friendly. Made my wedding anniversary day very special! thank you very very much to all the staff at The Optimist!

Dimi C.
1 review so far 4
25.04.2016 11:26

We booked a table for 7pm on Fri 22 Apr but The Optimist had our reservation as Sat 23 Apr. We managed to get a table, but it was near the toilet, which I didn't appreciate. Otherwise, food and service were good.

Melanie B.
2 reviews so far 5
16.02.2017 14:10

The decor and feel of this restaurant is lovely. The service is very good. Food is of good quality and flavour but a little on the pricey side for the size of serves. I have been to a brunch on a Sunday and was thoroughly enjoyed by all. This is also a great place for pre dinner drinks where cocktails with a twist are made very well.

Estelle R.
1 review so far 4
26.04.2017 09:26

The food was mixed. I had the tuna small plate starter, which I chose as I had read reviews of how tasty it was. However I thought it was quite bland. The rest of the food though was delicious, the chateaubriand steak was perfectly cooked and seasoned, the sides and other small plates were also very tasty. I loved the casual atmosphere and the presence of families added to this. The wait for cocktails was lengthly however very fresh tasting and well balanced.

Francesca C.
2 reviews so far 4
09.12.2016 15:10

I thought the food was good but I was disappointed that after specifically requesting a nice table as it was a special occasion three of us got put on a very very small table (clearly meant for two people) which felt very crowded. We were eventually moved but only after we'd finished our starters and were not helped to move our plates etc. Definitely wouldn't be back for any special occasion but maybe for a quick business lunch on the go.

Sebastiaan d.
2 reviews so far 2
21.07.2016 09:58

The venue: really nice design, it is just beautiful. The food: the ham recebo 36m 50 g was good, but a few too many piece had more fat than meat. Broken eggs - potatoes were overdone (half brown) - the trick is to get this exactly right of course. Pardon pepper were perfect. Pork ribs were ok. Warm apple pie was really bad - dough was not well done and apples were partially burnt. The drinks: sparkling water and one glass Langhe Rosso 2009. The wine is nice and goes well with the pork ribs and ham. Service: staff is good and kind. They spilt sauce on our table, but cleaned it up quickly. They helped with the menu, didn't help with wine. Only the air con was under repair so it was very hot in the restaurant. After we settled the bill they asked if we want coffee what is a bit weird. HK$ 468 per person.

Tiago B.
3 reviews so far 6
03.08.2016 11:55

Another short break on Hong Kong and It was my second time at The Optimist all good! Thank you, keep up the good job and service

Yvonne L.
1 review so far 4
18.08.2016 11:58

The Bar was really busy when we arrived at 7.30 for a pre dinner drink, it had a great atmosphere and great French Martini's. The food upstairs was yummy, the starters are big, and good for sharing. Unfortunately it took a long time for our main to come, however when it did the Steak was really really good. Then back down stairs to try out the wide range of Gin & Tonics. I'll be back again ...

Anna R.
1 review so far 2
03.04.2017 09:07

2 of us started off the evening started off by arriving for a 6:30 meal for 10 at about 6:15. Ordered two drinks, watched the bar tender make 2 other people's drinks (whom sat down at the bar after we arrived), in the meantime we had moved the the table and the drinks arrived at 6:35....the staff were not very attentative and finally took our drink order and then our meal orders. The food took a long time to arrive and when it did the waiters/waitress had no idea who ordered what (most restaurants take the orders and assign a number to each person so that when the food arrives they know which person ordered what). The waitress forgot that some of us were sharing the mains as well. You're charging $290 - $450 for main dishes, the service also need to be at the same level as the food.

Wendy Y.
5 reviews so far 6
13.10.2016 11:02

I have visited this restaurant for times but it never disappointed me. The food was great as well as the service though it was a bit slow and less attentive in last visit. Overall, it was a restaurant that must worth to give it a try. You won't regret!

Katie L.
1 review so far 6
06.06.2016 09:59

Great food and atmosphere. Only thing I would like to see them improve is faster service on drinks when you are dining upstairs. Our bottle of wine for dinner came before our pre-meal drinks and took forever. Great drink though and overall a wonderful meal and night out.

Alan C.
7 reviews so far 6
19.02.2017 21:38

My second visit, all dishes still as good as the first. Even more so, with a party of 4, we got to sample a lot more dishes. Only this time around, server was not as attentive, probably because of the crowd. I guess they need more servers?

Joanne W.
3 reviews so far 6
27.04.2016 02:45

The staff are friendly and detailed-oriented, warm and welcoming, and even prepare a candle and happy birthday written in chocolate sauce for my guest who has a birthday that day. Impressive customer service and warm welcoming attitude are sure-win qualities to attract repeat/returning customers like myself!

Dawn C.
3 reviews so far 4
23.12.2016 11:03

Overall the food was okay, not anything that particularly blew me away. Though I did like the drinks. The service was a bit slow since we actually had to wait a while for our orders (both drinks and main courses) to arrive. However, this was something the waiter did point out to us upon ordereing to give us a proper heads up because of their high guest capacity.

Jeanne C.
1 review so far 5
10.08.2016 18:54

Food was excellent and portions were generous. They have a wide selection of gin if you fancy some G&T. Service was lovely too. The only problem we had was a confusion with the bill - it was an honest mistake and I hope our server didn't get reprimanded by her manager for that!

Sharon C.
2 reviews so far 5
07.10.2016 12:09

I had the charcoal grilled steak in medium rare and it was really good, the steak was juicy and soft. And I had a salmon salad, which was pretty nice as well, and the apple pie had the best vanilla sauce I've ever tasted. The service was pretty ok, the staff were friendly.

Wendy L.
3 reviews so far 5
16.07.2016 11:02

The restaurant has a really nice ambience. The whisky selection is really well priced! We ordered the smoked salmon salad which was nice. The tuna tataki was so so. For mains the chicken was not very tender.... But the ribs were delicious. Great and attentive service. I would recommend for a date night.

Kevin C.
1 review so far 5
27.12.2016 01:23

Nice place to have Christmas dinner. Great food and friendly staff. One thing to mention is they didn't charge any service charge. If you like to pay tips on top of your bill, they will all directly go to the staff serving you. This is a great concept and mechanism I appreciated.

Kelvin F.
6 reviews so far 5
13.07.2016 23:01

If you are craving good modern Spanish cuisine - look no further for The Optimist in Wanchai. Great food and service, will come back again!

Natalie D.
2 reviews so far 6
03.11.2016 12:08

The buffet brunch here is one of the best. The food is fantastic and the staff are incredible. So friendly, so helpful, so tentative...you can not fault them. I would recommend this restaurant to anyone. We will continue to go back.

Nerissa Y.
1 review so far 6
11.05.2016 10:50

The location is very convenient for our office. The decor is tasteful while food / service has nothing to complaint of. Price for set lunch is also very reasonable. Would highly recommend the beef steak, juicy and cooked to perfection.

Jenny L.
3 reviews so far 6
05.03.2017 03:28

This is my first visit to the restaurant and I have ordered the tasting menu. The food is delicious, I like the clams, Chateanbraind and the cheesecake. Overall service is very good, I will come back with my friends again.

Wan Kit H.
1 review so far 5
24.11.2016 12:46

Nice and cosy place for dinner. We occupied the round table near the entrance which is good, not too noisy. Happy hour deal & food overall was great, except the oysters - not juicy & tasty, and the eggplant fries was too fried up lacking the eggplant taste.

Priscilla L.
1 review so far 4
28.12.2016 13:12

We had ordered 10 iron steak, 2 charcoal grilled octopus, 2 seafood rice. iron steak : - as good as usual, tender and tasty charcoal grilled octopus : - not good at all, they were all charred, the only taste is bitter seafood rice : - the rice too moist, and the soup taste like the canned prawn soup

2 reviews so far 6
09.06.2016 13:21

Excellent atmosphere, the right middle between high-end but comfortable. Great service, great meats. Friendly, experienced staff, willing to share their background, to please you requests even if it means making up things out of the regular menu. Highly recommended.

Ilya S.
1 review so far 6
13.04.2016 13:33

Liked it very much. The staff is helpful and attentive. The food is excellent. Were on Saturday for brunch. There is a fixed cost, it seemed to us that too much food for the money we brought for two.

Hilary n.
1 review so far 5
23.01.2017 17:55

great atmosphere. Food very good although on the pricey side. E.g. 250 HKD for chicken is way too high and starters around 130HKD. Service in the restaurant was excellent. A little slow in the bar beforehand. Overall a good location and ambiance for dining with friends.

Herbert M.
1 review so far 5
18.03.2017 11:54

Good food, good drinks, excellent service, but........the noisiest place we have ever been to. Music way too loud; in order to have a conversation you have to shout which further adds to the noise level. Cannot understand why management is unaware. Really a shame!