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Osteria Marzia
Photograph: Courtesy Osteria Marzia

Food ticket: eat your way to Italy with these dishes in Hong Kong

Where to find la dolce vita in food form

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Written by
Fontaine Cheng
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Other than local Cantonese classics, Italian cuisine is still one of the top comfort foods in Hong Kong. Probably something to do with the sheer amount of carbs involved, but there is also something so hearty and warm about homemade pasta and cheesy pizza that send waves of happy feelings (that’ll be the increased serotonin levels) to the brain. So for whatever reason, you seek comfort, look no further than the dishes below to find it.

RECOMMENDED: After the Italian meal, you may want to get cosy and wind down with a movie on Netflix, or simply wine down at one of these bars.

Food ticket: eat your way to Italy with these dishes in Hong Kong

  • Restaurants
  • Italian
  • Causeway Bay

What to order: Carbonara Au Koque ($358)

Championing the regional cuisine of Piedmont, Castellana offers a fair amount of Italian delicacies, including a seasonal Alba white truffle menu that is bound to appeal to lovers of the subterranean fungi. What stays on the menu, however, is their signature carbonara dish that is not to be missed. A twirl of homemade tagliolini is smothered in an Au Koque carbonara sauce made with gin-infused egg yolk and crowned with a piece of crispy Vigezzo Valley cured ham.

  • Restaurants
  • Pizza
  • Soho

What to order: La CamBurrata ($198)

This neat little pizzeria, which is fronted by a vintage Volkswagen Kombi bus (hence the restaurant’s name, meaning truck in Italian) offers handcrafted pizzas and Italian aperitivo. Though the owners are actually French, it’s the pizzas that do the work in whisking you away to Italy. The pizza bianca (white base) La CamBurrata has a crisp crust and fluffy dough topped with creamy fior di latte, cherry tomatoes, savoury Parma ham and 150g of burrata. Just cut in and let the milky, buttery burrata flow onto the pizza.

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  • Restaurants
  • Italian
  • Wan Chai

What to order: Scallops ($248) 

Taking diners through Italy's coastal regions, from the shores of Capri to Southern Sicily and beyond, Osteria Marzia offers the vibrant flavours of the Italian seaside. Take the scallops dish, for example, which sees plump slices of fresh scallop (albeit from Hokkaido because they’re considered the best) brightened by a trio of zesty citrus – finger lime, pomelo and grapefruit, which tastes as fresh as if you were sitting at a restaurant on the Amalfi coast.

  • Restaurants
  • Italian
  • Lan Kwai Fong

What to order: Spicy lobster tagliatelle ($268)

Helmed by Bergamo native and chef, Andrea Zamboni, Aria is a contemporary Italian restaurant that lets the fresh produce do most of the talking, while the chef's culinary finesse handles the rest. A highlight from the menu is a dish that features silky tagliatelle that is cooked perfectly al dente, before it is mingled with zarda spicy tomato sauce, meaty blue lobster and rich bagna-cauda fondue made up of anchovies and garlic

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  • Restaurants
  • Italian
  • Central

What to order: Short rib and beef tenderloin ($560) 

As the first and (currently) only Italian restaurant outside of Italy with three Michelin stars, 8½ Otto e Mezzo Bombana along with acclaimed Italian chef Umberto Bombana who is also known as the ‘king of white truffles’ is celebrated for its refined but comforting Italian cuisine. Here, a short rib and beef tenderloin dish is definitely one of the main items to order. Think slow-cooked tender short rib and a flavourful pan-fried tenderloin of Tajima grain-fed beef, dressed in a rich glossy red wine and plum sauce, served with a side of whipped potato for indulgent Italian cuisine at its best.

Looking for more Italian food? Check out the below to get your fix!

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