Risi e Bisi (CLOSED)
Time Out says
Just like the Spanish taperia, the Italian bacaro promises delicious small plates to accompany its drinks. New spot Risi e Bisi’s fare hails from the Venetian tradition but you won’t find any gimmicky décor here. Instead, vintage newspaper clippings form a delightful retro collage on one wall and the rest is all bar-and-high-chair chic.
There are just over a dozen options on the food menu and we begin with the chargrilled octopus and potatoes ($110). While we appreciate the finely sliced mollusc, the thin pieces are both chewy and bland, and the fried potatoes underneath lack crispness and are slightly undercooked. All in all, this is an uninspiring dish. Sadly, the spicy lamb and pistachio meatballs ($80) don’t fare any better as, despite featuring a combination of ingredients, there’s no spice at all and nothing to the lacklustre ensemble that lights up the palate. The signature risotto ($110) is a saving grace due to its pulled pork texture and chicken aromas infusing the rice (risi) and peas (bisi) but it’s too too late. The drinks fare well with the Hotel Nationale ($100) playing on hints of lime and bitters which, along with rum and pineapple juice, create a balance between sweet and sour.
All in all, Risi e Bisi needs to up its game, with Venetian competitor Sepa just up the hill and no shortage of popular eateries on Kau U Fong. With the prices charged for the modest servings, every dish should be a forte, but for now the standards here are falling way too short. Li Meng de Bakker
Risi e Bisi 12 Kau U Fong, Central, 2824 3009; fb.com/risiebisi.hk. Dinner for two: $500.