Wednesday, August 3, 2016

8 ½ Otto e Mezzo: revisited Jun 16 (Hong Kong)

June 2016

Shop 202, Landmark Alexandra, 18 Chater Road, Central, Hong Kong
Tel: +852 2537 8859

In the years since the first time we dined at Otto e Mezzo (see 2012 writeup), we have tried to dine here again whenever we visited Hong Kong, but were unsuccessful in getting reservations at their dining room (our trips to Hong Kong are typically not planned more than 2 weeks in advance and reservations seem only to be successful if made at least 1 month in advance). It was only this year that we realised the trick of getting a meal here at the last minute: by getting a table at the bar.

It is quite a different dining experience: smaller and uncovered tables, noisier and with less light, the clientele here seems more intent on having a quick bite before moving on or enjoying a cocktail with some light bites. However, the menu and wine list is exactly the same as in the main dining room. We took a chance on accepting a table at the bar area once and since then, we have been back four times and each time opted for a bar area seating, even when a table at the formal dining room was available.

In our view, this is still the best Italian restaurant in Asia that we have dined at. The quality of the produce, the consistency of the cooking, the breadth of the wine list (especially where Italian wines are concerned) and the impeccable service (our favourite waiter happens to be a dead ringer for one of our childhood male idols, Hong Kong movie star Simon Yam) makes us keep coming back.

The pictures below are of some of the dishes we have had over the past year. The one menu we always look forward to is the truffle menu. We will always order from that menu if available (only during the northern hemisphere winter months for the European black truffles and the southern hemisphere winter months for the Australian black truffles). Some of the excellent amuse bouche we have had here include the tempura shrimp and the Iberico ham in rock melon puree.

The Homemade tagliolini, butter, parmesan and black winter truffle fondue is the best truffle pasta we have had outside Piedmont. This is a must-order by us whenever available.

We ordered the Tagliatelle, lamb and endive ragout, black olive when the black truffle pasta wasn't available. It was excellent.

Our favourite Veal chop "Milanese" style, large crispy breaded veal chop, potato, Sicilian tomato and oregano salad never failed us each time we ordered it.

The M9 sirloin and beef cheek, green and vegetable salad, red wine and plum sauce is a good alternative to the veal Milanese.

Probably our favourite dessert of all time, the Black truffle gelato, chantilly cream, crispy hazelnet and pistachio is not always available (even if there is a truffle menu). We still dream about this dessert sometimes.

The Italian interpretation of the classic French dessert, the Neapolitan rum baba, did not disappoint. The pastry was soft and spongy yet was able to soak in the exquisite rum and maintain its structure well.The mango and mango ice cream were a good complement to the liquor.

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