Almost brand spanking new but not quite, one of Hong Kong’s favourite Italian restaurants has been given a makeover at its new location. Award-winning Australian chef Michael Fox has joined the ranks and injected some creativity into the classic Italian items on his new menu. Each dish is presented beautifully, packed full of colour and constructed like an art installation – if they didn’t smell so delicious we’d be wary of tucking in and destroying them.
The new location hits the mark too – think Little Italy bistro meets New York loft. There’s an inside out feeling to it, with an enclosed balcony lined with monochrome tiles and massive windows looking out over Wyndham Street. The service is impeccable too, our waiter seems to know exactly when we are ready to order without hanging over our shoulder.
For starters, we opt for buffalo mozzarella with heirloom tomatoes ($138), super simple and an Italian classic, but one that often goes wrong. We’re not disappointed. Tomatoes in every colour – purple, green, red, orange and yellow hold up a generous dollop of mozzarella. It’s fresh, it’s not drowned in balsamic vinegar and we’re drooling for more.
Having enjoyed a sizeable starter we go for a relatively light main, the Pan-fried sea bass ($318). It’s not the most generous portion, so without the appetizer we would have definitely needed a side. The fish is cooked to perfection, though, and the mixture of chickpeas with avocado and red pepper results in a creamy, zesty sauce. The sole downfall is the chorizo, or lack there of. We’re presented with a single bit of chorizo, chopped in half. If its part of the menu description, we expect more than this feeble portion.
To end, we select something quintessentially Italian – tiramisu ($78). With two courses behind us that were close to perfection, we have high expectations for this coffee creation. How wrong we are. It’s an overly moist cube of cake. There’s nothing wrong with a pre-prepared dessert, but this has been drowning in coffee liqueur for far too long. We prefer our tiramisu with some bite, but for those who prefer a cake that’s drenched in alcohol, we suspect that this would hit the spot.
In a market that is overly saturated with Italian restaurants this one is a winner. A few tweaks are needed here and there, but with a top-notch location, quality ingredients and fresh food, we’re certainly fans. No stodgy pasta and pizza combo here.
|Venue name:||Cecconi's Italian||Contact:|
43 Elgin Street, Central