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5.0 /6 Excellent 217 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!


217 Reviews

5.0 /6 Excellent 217 Reviews
Service: friendly
Quality/Price: cheap
Waiting Time: no waiting time
Food: heavenly
Noise: average
Atmosphere: excellent
81 6
87 5
31 4
10 3
5 2
3 1
Joanne H.
3 reviews so far 6
16.08.2017 12:16

Food was great - the porker skewer and the broken eggs are both a must-order! love the vibe too and the service was very attentive.

Chris L.
1 review so far 6
10.08.2017 09:25

Second time here and the food is just as amazing. The service and ambience is one of the more memorable ones I have in hk. A lot of places charge you the premium but never live up to that standard. Optimist is very enjoyable.

Aidan L.
1 review so far 6
09.08.2017 12:10

Food was excellent. The braised short ribs are a must-order! Servers very attentive. Very well-made cocktails. Good ambiance. Price was on the high side but it's worth it.

Julie L.
2 reviews so far 6
27.07.2017 12:35

They serve excellent fish and sides! A good selection of wines at an affordable price and they have Efficient staff to take care of you

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.

Rebecca S.
1 review so far 3
13.05.2017 12:43

Arrived at optimist at 9.25pm for a 9.30booking that I booked using its online system . They couldn't find our booking and when she did , she mentioned no one checked the emails . So she take a seat at the bar " ur table isn't ready " . Which means we don't have a table for you.. we had a drink and the bar staff were lovely. At 9.55 pm I realised we stil haven't been seated . I asked about our table and she said ur table is ready . Which I find it hArd to Believe as downstairs they had tables free and when she took us upstairs she offered us 2 tables " which would you like to sit at " Service was ok not outstanding , and food was flavourful,nice. Although my Husband and I have both woke up with food poisoning symptoms so not sure now.. 😉

Joanne W.
2 reviews 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!

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!

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 !

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.

Helen W.
1 review so far 6
01.05.2017 09:19

Overall a very lovely place! Among our favorite were the welcoming and humorous service - waiters truly live up the name "the optimist", the free cheese cake (both the taste and presentation format were awesome!) that Sam treated us and the gin tonic. The broken eggs, salmon salad and truffle risotto were great too, steak - could be more delicious though. Would definitely come back again!

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!

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!

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.

Valerie H.
3 reviews so far 4
07.07.2017 12:25

Great ambience and extremely good food. We we early so had a drink at the bar. They sure do great cocktails and do not skim on the liquors. Staff was happy to move us to out table upstairs soon as our table is ready. Food was fantastic, the octopus was slightly overcooked but the seasoning/spicing was perfect. Flat iron steak was done to perfection. Will definitely be back to try other dishes on the menu. If only the waiter/waitress can be more attentive...you really need to wave like crazy to get their attention.

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.

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...

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.

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!

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 !!

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.

Susan L.
2 reviews so far 5
07.07.2017 01:36

Food overall was very good as well as the service, but we found the tables too small and tight for a party of 10 and for the platters that they serve. Thankfully, they decided to add another small table to loosen the seating arrangement. Lively ambiance, good music with volume just right to keep the conversation going around the table. We loved the starters and the desserts!

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 ...

Wendy C.
1 review so far 5
31.07.2017 11:13

The Optimist is a lively place for Sunday brunch. Kale salad at the starter table is great. Gazpacho is also wonderful. I wish they have more choices of pintxo though.

Anna R.
2 reviews 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.
6 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.
4 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.

Cat F.
4 reviews so far 5
17.05.2017 11:07

Always a pleasure to dine at The Optimist. The staff are super friendly and attentive and the food is absolutely superb. Thanks again for a wonderful experience.

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.

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!

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.

Holy Y.
4 reviews so far 5
10.06.2017 01:45

It was my birthday dinner and we all had a good time there. It was a pity that the restaurant did not have a table fitted 10 people. The distance between us all made communication problems. However, the food is just good and we all enjoyed ourselves in this Spanish restaurant.

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!

Stephanie P.
1 review so far 5
28.05.2017 09:35

Great quality lunch buffet. Generous portions. Attentive service. Nice decor. Will return for brunch. Affordable pricing. The restaurant name is great too. Thumbs-up, The Optimist

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.