The word Aropa comes from the people of Anuta, a remote island in the Solomons. It loosely translates as compassion and is the islanders basic philosophy of life. It is demonstrated by the giving and sharing of material goods such as food.
None of the items on the menu at Aropa, the restaurant, come from the Solomon Islands though. It is a essentially a Mediterranean menu. But they have, according to a sign at the entrance, taken the ideal of aropa to heart.
It’s a young, modern restaurant in the K11 mall in Tsim Sha Tsui. I would imagine it’s peak times are the same as peak shopping times. I went at about 7.00pm in the middle of the week and was pleased to see that there were plenty of tables still available.
The menu is aimed at a younger, hip clientele mostly Italian but with reminders that France and Spain also share portions of the Mediterranean coast. There is a good selection of pastas and risottos. They are probably very good but they fill me up too much and put me off dessert.
Instead I decided to start with Parma ham with mixed fruit ($88). It looked lovely, an appetising thicket of fresh lettuce and arugula mixed with shavings of honeydew and cantaloupe melon and fresh figs. But the star of the show, the parma ham itself, was disappointingly under represented.
The main course was much better. Australia lamb loin rolled in filo pastry served with mustard and rosemary ($168). It also came with roast potatoes and aubergine. I was very pleased with the lamb which was lean and tender. An option of a mint jelly or sauce would have been nice though I was happy to live without it.
There were a few of the usual suspects on the dessert menu, chocolate flan and apple pie. Chestnut creme brullee was intriguing but Honey bread pudding with bitter chocolate sauce ($55) won the day.
Aropa Mediterranean Restaurant
Shop 117-118 Level 1 K11
18 Hanoi Road
Tsim Sha Tsui
Tel 3188 4360