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Best Italian restaurant in Hong Kong: Da Domenico?

FourSeasons Oct 25, 2007 07:40 AM

Just came back from Hong Kong. A friend brought me to this Italian restaurant at Causeway Bay (G/F of Sunning Plaza) called Da Domenico, and I was really impressed with the food there. I just thought it is the best Italian since my last visit to Venice 10 years ago, and definitely the best I had in Asia. On my past trips to Hong Kong, I usually tried Grissini at Grand Hyatt or Nichollini's at Conrad. Both were good but just not in the same league as Da Domenico. Just wonder why this place did not even get any mention in ChowHound. Is it well known in Hong Kong? Does anybody think there is better Italian restaurant in Hong Kong?

  1. e_ting Nov 12, 2011 11:46 PM

    Why is this thread still going? If you must have a "pricey" pasta in Hong Kong, go to go to 8 1/2 Otte e Mezzo already, and save yourself the heartache. By the way, I would also order the steak for two.

    1. p
      p0lst3r Oct 18, 2011 02:33 AM

      For a more casual and better-value-for-money option, try Posto Pubblico in Soho (Elgin St). This place is a labour of love, something the owners have worked hard to establish. This is no facade of an Italian restuarant (of which there are many in HK), it's the real deal. Walk in, sit down and you will know in an instant their philosophy is to do things right without being pretentious about it. Feels bit like a scaled down Batali joint (ala Lupa).

      http://www.postopubblico.com/

      It's all about the food, very much ingredient driven (sorry for those who hate that term). They've taken a unique approach: instead of incurring the cost of flying in ingredients from overseas they've worked with local farmers to grow produce to the high quality required for simple Italian dishes.

      This place is very busy but I never have to wait long for a table. Been many times and never a dud dish. They have a chef's table upstairs, which we booked recently for a large group, but it just didn't work. Stick to the main restaurant at street level.

      1. c
        chobochobo Oct 9, 2011 10:14 PM

        Went to Da Domenico on 7th October for the first time. Prepared myself for bad service based on previous reviews but really it wasn't that bad. Apparently booked the last available table, person over the phone said it wasn't great but that they'd try to move my table if possible, which they did. Not the most attentive staff I grant you, but reasonably friendly and speedy. Food was pretty good too. Burrata/ Bruschetta, Osso bucco/ Linguine Gamberi. A bit pricey but worth a try IMHO.

        5 Replies
        1. re: chobochobo
          Charles Yu Oct 10, 2011 09:24 AM

          A few years back, I had the Linguine con Vongole at $550 a plate. Though pretty nice, however, at that price, it must be ranked as the most expensive plate of pasta I ever had! The thing is, I have had similar dishes in Genoa, Naples, London and Tokyo.....etc that tasted equally good, if not better, but at a fraction of the price! Now, according to fellow chowhounder Fourseasons who also ate there a few days back, they have hiked the price of the dish to a whopping HK$680!! That's US$90!!!!! This is IMO more than 'a bit pricey', its highway robbery!

          1. re: Charles Yu
            klyeoh Oct 10, 2011 09:35 AM

            Maybe it's done intentionally - as DD's trying to cater to the uber-elite of HK high society. The last time I was there, I saw the chairman of a local bank there ... with his mistress.

            1. re: klyeoh
              j
              Johnny L Oct 10, 2011 03:09 PM

              No matter how go a plate of pasta is $90 is ridiculous, starting to approach the price of a tasting menu elsewhere.

              1. re: klyeoh
                Charles Yu Oct 10, 2011 03:13 PM

                Two more places famous for this 'combo' you eluded to. First was, La Tour D'Argent, Paris where I had cigar smoking 'Russian Mafioso' with their blond mistresses sitting next to my table. Second was at Tokyo's Gonbachi( ?) where I had ' old Japanese dirty old men' with their young, once again, blond western escorts sitting next to me!!

                1. re: klyeoh
                  c
                  chobochobo Oct 10, 2011 08:37 PM

                  Didn't see much evidence of that when I went. A table consisting of a family with a young child, a bigger table of banker types and a few 'matched' couples. I haven't had that much Italian food in HK, except perhaps for Mistral which is also in the pricey range. Trying Otto e Mezzo next...

            2. FourSeasons Jul 14, 2009 04:03 AM

              Judging from all the reviews above, DD and Bo Innovation seem to belong to the same category: you either "love it" or "hate it". There is none that is neutral.

              2 Replies
              1. re: FourSeasons
                c
                chinmoy.lad Jul 20, 2009 01:50 AM

                Not a fair comparison though...?

                With Bo Innovation - people either hate or love the food/concept.

                With Da Domenico - some are not pleased with the price one is paying, whereas most are complaining about the service.

                You are right in that there doesn't seem to be a neutral ground though.

                1. re: chinmoy.lad
                  h
                  hong_kong_foodie Jul 21, 2009 05:33 AM

                  So has anyone actually been to the Da Domenico in Rome? I have been trying to get more info on it since I'll be there later this year, and after an entire month of extensive research into the restaurant scene in Rome, I have not once come across it. In fact, no foodie from that region that I've spoken to has heard of the place.

              2. r
                rubyyao Jul 13, 2009 07:12 AM

                i absolutely agree, the best italian food i've had outside italy and the best in asia, that's why we tolerate the bad service ;)

                1. h
                  HKGeorge May 9, 2009 05:47 PM

                  This thread has been open for a while, but just wanted to add my two cents. Went there for dinner last night, and I came away with the realization that this restaurant is not about the food or the wine. It's really about a price point. The social role of the restaurant is to allow rich or poseurs, to mark their role in the social order.

                  Food is good, but unexceptional. Ingredients are fine, but nothing outside of any well regarded Italian restaurant. Technique is solid, but nothing beyond professional execution. Shellfish pasta is nothing brilliant folks. Decor is polite but drab. But prices? Truly sky high exceptional. And that's the point.

                  The service on the other hand is really poor. This was the most shocking aspect of it. At the price point they're charging, easily $1000+ a head, service should be polished and smart. Instead, the service was akin to the neighborhood Cantonese restaurant. An order of bottled water, leads to a bottle dropped off on the table with no attempt to even pour it for guests. Sitting with a menu for 10-15 minutes before someone notices to come take your order. Even simple things like timing. An inability to serve four table of four, pasta at the same time. Restaurant basics 101.

                  Compare this for example to L'Atelier at this price point, and you get a sense of how much less more your money that you're getting. In all, I won't ever go back on my own dime. If a business associate invites me on their expense account, sure, I'll go. The food wasn't bad. But of course, I'll mark in my mental notebook that this person has more money than sense.

                  5 Replies
                  1. re: HKGeorge
                    Charles Yu May 9, 2009 06:29 PM

                    Thank you HKGeorge! A most interesting write-up and exactly to the point!

                    1. re: HKGeorge
                      c
                      chinmoy.lad Jun 22, 2009 11:33 PM

                      Agree with this.

                      The service really negates any value the food adds - which whilst good, isn't all that much better than the other Hong Kong Italian stalwarts. For the price one is paying, I'd expect everything (including the service) to be top-notch. I'd rather go elsewhere.

                      My favourite Italian in Hong Kong was always Toscana, but now we'll have to wait for it to re-open in ICC. Its (and Ritz Carlton's in fact) interiors would look strange in such a building though...lets see what they do with it.

                      I believe Chef Umberto will be back.

                      1. re: chinmoy.lad
                        klyeoh Jun 23, 2009 07:04 AM

                        Chef Umberto Bombana is already back & cooking :-)

                        http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/609695

                        Like you, I really missed Toscana, and there will never be (for me) another Ritz-Carlton as elegant as the old one in Central.

                        1. re: klyeoh
                          Peech Jun 24, 2009 08:23 AM

                          I'm pretty sure Umberto doesn't cook in the kitchen at the Drawing Room, although he is a shareholder.

                          On my sole visit I watched the kitchen staff work through the windows of our private room. Roland was running around in his T-shirt but Umberto was just hanging out.

                          1. re: Peech
                            klyeoh Jun 25, 2009 12:15 AM

                            Hey, you're right, Peech. But does it also mean that Umberto Bombana will most likely NOT re-join Ritz-Carlton as a chef when it re-opens, and if Toscana is to be resurrected? How sad.

                    2. Sher.eats Feb 5, 2009 11:06 PM

                      hey everyone, planning to (finally) try it DD tomorrow lunch (if they freaking answer the phone)

                      Linguine Gamberi is a must....deciding between scampi or calamari (no pasta)...2 dishes for 2 ppl, damage limitation ha!

                      11 Replies
                      1. re: Sher.eats
                        FourSeasons Feb 5, 2009 11:44 PM

                        Since you already order Linguini Gamberi (my understanding is Gamberi is same as Scampi, if not, please tell me the difference...), I suggest the Grilled Calamari, which is really good. And the sauteed vongole is good too.

                        1. re: FourSeasons
                          Sher.eats Feb 5, 2009 11:58 PM

                          gamberi is shrimp....scampi is like small lobsters.....

                          i'm looking for the sweetness of the scampis and the deep complex flavours of the shrimp from their head-juice..

                          but you're right, they are simila, and the calamari and vongole (clams?) are very temping too....

                          arghhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh

                          btw they're still not picking up and i'm fearing they're not open for lunch or maybe the seafoods aren't in season?!

                          1. re: Sher.eats
                            FourSeasons Feb 6, 2009 12:10 AM

                            I went there once for lunch slightly more than a year ago.

                            On my second visit, which is just a few days after Christmas 1 year ago, many seafood were not available. There was some delay due to festive season. Not sure any disruption due to CNY...

                            1. re: FourSeasons
                              Sher.eats Feb 6, 2009 12:16 AM

                              good...they do open for lunch....at least then they did.

                              their ring tone right now is a constant "doooooooooooooooooooooooooo", so they "switched if off"???

                              have you tried Domani and/or Cipriani?

                              1. re: Sher.eats
                                FourSeasons Feb 6, 2009 12:21 AM

                                No, I seldom go for Italian in Hong Kong. Have only tried DD, Grissini, Nicololini's.

                                1. re: FourSeasons
                                  Sher.eats Feb 6, 2009 12:25 AM

                                  Domani was really disappointing, the duck ragout had no "depth" and veal chop was not cooked sous vide....

                                  DD phone line still d/c...

                                  1. re: Sher.eats
                                    Sher.eats Feb 6, 2009 01:21 AM

                                    do all who cares...i gotz a reservation!!!!

                                    check back tomorrow night for a review....

                                    1. re: Sher.eats
                                      Sher.eats Feb 6, 2009 10:38 PM

                                      WOW. ok....

                                      they didn't have the scampi, so we only shared a linguine con gamberi: that sauce was just magical...the aromas from the clams and saffron enriched seafood stock (like a boullibase), with creamyness of the coral of the red shrimps, spiced with a touch of spoked paprika and browned garlic, and the freshness from the italian parsley and cilantro...the shrimps were correctly soft (not "bouncy" = processed), with heads full of urchin-like "cream"..the linguine (not home made) was perfectly al dente with a nice chew (two types of gluten: gliaden and glutenin, former for elasticity, latter for extensibility), the sweetness from the fresh shrimp perfectly balanced with the salinity of the sauce (the salted like the sea water used to boil the pasta is used to finish the sauce). It's now 2 hours since I wiped the plate clean and the unami is still lingering on my palate...it is that good.

                                      The dish is served very very hot, which is excellent for the smelling but let it cool a bit before tasting else you won't get the sweetness and the depth of flavour. Serving size is very generous (double the standard hotel portions) and it was good for 2 of us.

                                      The service....I really loved it, exactly what a trattoria feels like, you order the dishes, you get it. you pour your own water....how good is that! When asked why there wasn't scampi, the manager (seems like the owner) simply said "cause we don't have it, it's seafood" <- frank honest answer, I know at this pricing one would expect hotel service answers but the whole enviroment is very casual and comfortable...

                                      The sun light shone through the large windows, diffused by the curtains, gently and "warmly" lighting the restaurant (~60 seats)...the woods were dark and the walls off-white...definitely a day time place, quite romantic too.

                                      The owner-seems-to-be knows his stuff, had a good selection of balsamics (2, 3 and 4 "leaves", and a traditionale from Modena), knows his cheeses, recommended a fresh AOC mozzerela (saying only they had it although at L'Atelier we served it, classified too) and a Pecorino.

                                      I took a picture of the menu in case anyone is interested, the daily pasta seems good (anchovy, pesto, olive, tomato) but we didn't order it. A couple for lunch can expect to pay 480 for a seafood pasta, 250 for a "non meat" pasta, meats are 300ish and cheeses are 90 ish...

                                      Is it worth it? Well in an absolute sense yes because it is the best pasta in hk (after toscana closed) and there is a price for perfection. Of course it depends on your utility of money...In a relative perspective, our bill came to 600 (1 pasta, 1 dessert, tap water =P ) which is 300 each for a "very light lunch" but for $400 will you get a lunch set in Caprice/L'Atelier/Amber with amuse bouches and petit fours (oh DD"s pesto for bread basket is supreme)...so...my recommendation is to splurge once...at least.

                                      1. re: Sher.eats
                                        FourSeasons Feb 6, 2009 11:27 PM

                                        Hi Sher.eats:
                                        Nice review. So is it good due to the fresh seafood, the secret recipe or the chef's skill? It is your turn to break down in % term..haha.

                                        1. re: FourSeasons
                                          Sher.eats Feb 6, 2009 11:29 PM

                                          haha 60% ingredients, 30% recipe, 10% "technique"...

                                        2. re: Sher.eats
                                          r
                                          rubyyao Jul 13, 2009 07:15 AM

                                          you mean the burrata? yes classified in wanchai has it too for over 300hkd but the quality is nowhere near da domenico's. the great thing about da domenico is that you can order half portions too.

                        2. l
                          lsk Dec 11, 2008 04:11 AM

                          Probably will be heading to Da Domenico in the next week or so, could anyone recommend some "must eat" dishes as well as "should probably avoid" dishes?

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: lsk
                            f
                            feipor Dec 12, 2008 01:40 AM

                            Had dinner there Dec 10 (last) night. The maitre d (slight Chinese guy ) will recommend and usually he will suggest what is fresh and good - last night it was the burrata cheese with rugola (like eating cream so if you are not into diary products give it a miss. But fresh and delightful for those who do like diary prods). Again if you like cheese their cheese for dessert is good.

                            They will recommend which of the fish dishes.

                            I like their ox tongue, veal chop.

                            Pasta is served hot - as it should be.

                          2. f
                            feipor Dec 11, 2008 01:48 AM

                            Going to DD tonight; last time we were there we shared a few dishes - v. expensive. Simple, straight forward food, no frills. But well cooked. Decor was cliche trattoria and service staff are family (of chef/owner's wife) so don't expect slick service. They rely on a regular bunch to whom DD is like their canteen.

                            1. t
                              tk467 Apr 28, 2008 09:23 AM

                              Just back from HK , had dinner at Da Domenico. I hate to say this , but I thought it was mediocre at best. The prices were extremely high , service lousy ,and the owner is the biggest jackass I have met in a long time. I did have a grilled sole that I thought was good , but my friends food came out cold and kind of scary looking.

                              13 Replies
                              1. re: tk467
                                Charles Yu Apr 28, 2008 04:41 PM

                                I am very interested to find out as to why you thought the owner was a jackass! What did he do? When I ate there a month ago, he actually waved and thanked me when I was leaving. Even though it was my first ( and last ) time eating there. Talk about high prices, fellow CH klyeoh commented that they actually charged HK $620 for a veal chop! Alain Ducasse in his Michelin 3* Paris restaurant charged less than that!!!

                                1. re: Charles Yu
                                  t
                                  tk467 Apr 29, 2008 09:21 AM

                                  He must have been on his med's when you were there. Youngish Italian guy bitched about us taking a 9 pm seating then asking to slow down the dishes so we could enjoy several different types of wine. We must have spent HKD 10,000 and he could not have been more rude. Plenty of other establishments will take that kind of business and thank you for it

                                  1. re: tk467
                                    klyeoh Jun 3, 2008 10:55 PM

                                    The owner's not ever going to earn any awards for hospitality. In fact, his aloofness & rather cold demeanour is rather well-known. But, oh boy, can he cook!!!

                                    I had dinner 2 nights ago at Da Domenico - celebrating a cousin's birthday. I must say that, before I ate at Da Domenico, I had my doubts as to whether the food there is actually as good as they made it out to be. My fave Italiano place in HK for the past couple of decades had been Toscana (now-defunct), with Nicholinni as a reliable standby.

                                    First impression at Da Domenico was also not too promising - drab, simple decor; chipped crockery; etc.

                                    But the food - when they finally came - they were the best-tasting dishes I had in Hong Kong in a long while!

                                    We started off with the bruschetta: wonderfully-toasted bread - its texture & taste reminded me of Poilane's in Paris, with sweet cherry-tomatoes & peppery arugula, all drizzled with the best-quality balsamic vinegar.

                                    This was followed by the cozze (steamed mussels in wine, garlic & parsley). The dish was a tad salty, but the mussels were fresh & sweet, again - the cooking was perfectly-timed.

                                    Then came the linguine gamberi. This dish, above all, simply showed that DD's prima donna chef is no garden-variety Latin-Ramsay. He is an absolute genius. I can't find the words to describe how I felt about the dish, except that no superlatives would have done it justice. Simply put - it was the best pasta dish I've ever, EVER had! Compared to it, the famous Gamberi Fior which I had at Fior D'Italia in San Francisco (America's oldest Italian restaurant) just 3 days earlier paled into insignificance.

                                    I don't know what went into DD's linguine gamberi to give the dish those elusive, addictive flavours which melded together perfectly, but Fior D'Italia's published cookbook listed some ingredients in its Gamberi Fior as clarified butter, fish stock, clam juice, dry white wine, parsley, chopped fresh tomatoes, garlic and, of course, some really fresh prawns. DD used slim pink langoustines in their version. It was the perfect dish. The linguine gamberi is HKD480 per portion - ridiculously expensive but well worth the experience of getting to taste perfection on a plate.

                                    The main entree was salt-baked seabass (HKD690 per portion). It was a spartan dish - it came with not a single leaf of parsley for garnish. But what you get, yet again, was the freshest produce, and perfectly-timed cooking.

                                    DD's desserts were also above average - panna cotta (HKD60 per portion) and tiramisu (HKD70).

                                    Everyone had a great time, we had some house reds & whites. I didn't see the final bill. it must have been astronomical. But I think I enjoyed this little place more than an omakase meal I had at Nobu a day earlier (which was probably also cheaper).

                                    Pity I am only visiting HK - if I live here, I'd dine at DD every day!

                                    1. re: klyeoh
                                      Charles Yu Jun 4, 2008 02:08 AM

                                      Wow!!!! Your description of the linguine gamberi really makes me salivate!! With such high praise from both Fourseasons and yourself, I'll definitely mark it down on my calender and give DD a 're-try' on my next trip. BTW, I like the way you used the word 'spartan' to describe some of the dishes. The ox-tongue entree I had there was also exactly like that. Seven slices on an oblong white plate with no garnish. Taste-wise, the dish was only mediocre at best. May be the chef's forte was seafood only. Did you try out some of DD's 'meat' dishes?

                                      1. re: Charles Yu
                                        klyeoh Jun 4, 2008 02:42 AM

                                        I was told by my cousin, a regular there, that his forte is indeed in the seafood dishes. But I wouldn't have minded trying out the meat dishes the next time I'm there. But the pasta with scallops also looked promising.

                                        I noticed a small table of 4 persons (near our party) who were having pasta with meatballs. Reminded me of a similar dish I had at Francis Ford Coppola's Cafe Zoetrope in San Francisco a fortnight ago, except that Cafe Zoetrope's meatballs were at least 5 times larger in size (and at one-third the price).

                                        I'd stick to the waiter's recommendations at DD, they seem to know the freshest items available. I wished I'm back in HK & at eating at DD again right now!

                                    2. re: tk467
                                      Peech Jun 5, 2008 12:34 PM

                                      This is why I don't go back to places like DD...I don't care how good the food is, he needs to appreciate the fact that I'm giving him business! He's got to stop thinking of himself as God's gift to the HK dining scene... same reason I don't give any business to Emmanuel Stroobant (or rather, the wife) in Singapore.

                                      1. re: Peech
                                        klyeoh Jun 5, 2008 05:58 PM

                                        Was she very rude? Pity how success often translates to arrogance. When Emmanuel Stroobant & Edina Hong first started St Pierre in 2000 thereabouts, they were quite an approachable couple, ditto when they were running Fig Leaf before that, and also Carmen restaurant/wine-bar in KL back in the 1990s (when I first came across this "power couple").

                                        BTW, I just read this morning that Zagat's first HK guide has listed Da Domenico as the top Italian restaurant in the city! This latest accolade may just up their snooty-level a few more notches.

                                        1. re: klyeoh
                                          FourSeasons Jun 5, 2008 07:58 PM

                                          On my visit twice to DD, the service was actually quite ok, really surprised of the awful reputation that it had with many here.

                                          St Pierre's service was acceptable too but I find their food quite mediocre. I just try a new hidden jewel in Singapore, go and try Nicolas Le Restaurant. It is still relatively unknown and new but that won't be long. Here is a brief review on Singapore Board:
                                          http://www.chowhound.com/topics/522404

                                          Since I started this thread, Argento ASO in Tokyo has dethroned DD as my favorite Italian in Asia. ASO is just first class, not only is the food innovative and delicious, the service is impeccable and the decor modern and cozy. Just a joy to dine there.

                                        2. re: Peech
                                          Peech Aug 2, 2008 12:27 AM

                                          OK I finally went back to DD...after 5 years.

                                          Service was probably the worst I have received in some time. There were 3 people running around the restaurant on a Friday night. They could have used maybe 2 more.

                                          But the grilled scampi was simply awesome. I haven't enjoyed shellfish like this for a long time. This makes me want to go back.

                                          Here's a full run-down: http://chi-he-wan-le.blogspot.com/200...

                                          1. re: Peech
                                            Charles Yu Aug 2, 2008 03:28 PM

                                            After reading repetitive rave reviews from the top three 'gourmand' on this board - klyeoh, Fourseasons and Peech pertaining to DD's scampi dishes, I guess I have to give DD another try during my visit early next year. Hope those Italian scampis are still in season?! BTW, Fourseasons, you must be ecstatic. Guess I owe you 'another one'! Ha!

                                            1. re: Charles Yu
                                              Peech Aug 3, 2008 10:30 PM

                                              Not sure I deserve the moniker of "gourmand"...but I do like my food.

                                              Yes, the price tag for the scampi was shocking, but I felt it was worth it. Then again, worth is very subjective...if the dish was simply "good" then I wouldn't have thought it worthwhile. But it was more than just "good".

                                              1. re: Charles Yu
                                                FourSeasons Aug 5, 2008 01:11 AM

                                                Hi Charles:

                                                I am definitely not a "gourmand". Have not been back to DD for 8 months; after reading the review by klyeoh and Peech, perhaps need to revisit there again on my next trip.

                                                Just another note, the grilled Calamari was really awesome too...

                                              2. re: Peech
                                                e
                                                esf2003 Aug 2, 2008 10:13 PM

                                                Any chance you recently wrote a review of this restaurant on OpenRice?

                                                I tried the scampi a few weeks ago... simply amazing but the price tag was shocking. Even though I wasn't paying for it, I felt pretty guilty eating it. The service sucked, but no more than some typical high-end restaurants I've been to in HK and Toronto.

                                      2. e_ting Mar 26, 2008 08:37 AM

                                        my favourite Italian restaurant in HK is Sabatini at the Royal Garden Hotel in TST East, Hong Kong. It's out of the way for most visitors unless you're staying in the area, but it's worth the trek in my opinion. Service is pretty appalling for a hotel fine diner, but who cares if their beef and lamb melt in the mouth, pasta is al dente and perfectly balanced with the sauce, and the proscuitto and salads are perfect?

                                        I also like Tuscany by H (yeah, yeah, he's American, but he can cook), if we're looking at Da's bank-breaking price range.

                                        For the record, I detest Grissini with a passion - service is condescending and food is flat, not to mention expensive. Though I know it has its fans, including fellow foodies...

                                        2 Replies
                                        1. re: e_ting
                                          Charles Yu Mar 26, 2008 05:15 PM

                                          Its Ok e ting! I'm also in your 'detest Grissini' camp1 Totally agree with you about the food being flat and ultra-expensive. My 'half a squab' entree a few weeks ago was smaller than an appertizer portion and costs HK$395.

                                          1. re: e_ting
                                            Peech Mar 30, 2008 02:14 AM

                                            Sabatini is very good, and surprisingly expensive for a restaurant in that location. I always go for their homemade pasta, which is great with white truffles. Next time I will try their Matsuzaka beef...

                                            I have had some good meals at Grissini, but agree with the condescending attutide which turns people off (including myself)

                                          2. k
                                            Kirk Captain Mar 24, 2008 10:28 PM

                                            Very good restaurant. But then again, not that much better than any other Italian in Hong Kong. How good can Pasta be. However, certainly also the most arrogant one I have ever come across. It is ok to have a long wait for a table when trying to make reservations, but it is unforgivable to be treated with arrogance about it. Especially if you do come frequently like myself. Luckily I have a choice as a consumer to choose other places to dine equally good and MUCH CHEAPER.
                                            HK$ 2600 for two is standard for a meal with wine. So unless you do not mind being treated without respect and with attitude, waste your money here!

                                            9 Replies
                                            1. re: Kirk Captain
                                              FourSeasons Mar 25, 2008 06:43 AM

                                              Yes, I was told the boss has an attitude problem. On both visits, he was in the kitchen, so I never witness such problem, and the service was quite acceptable, nothing outstanding but not rude either.

                                              I certainly think it is MUCH better than Grissini and Nicholini. I don't know about your taste bud, but I sure love pasta and Da's Linguini Scampi is awesome. (only tried once so still not sure of its consistency)

                                              But I do agree that no consumer should be treated with attitude problem. If I had experienced that, I would not return as well even if the food is unforgetable.

                                              1. re: FourSeasons
                                                Charles Yu Mar 25, 2008 04:18 PM

                                                Is the chef also the boss? When I ate there a few weeks ago, after dinner, the chef actually came out of the kitchen, smile and wave goodbye to our party!
                                                BTW my friend, have you tried 'Azure' in the new Lan Kwai Fong Hotel.

                                                1. re: Charles Yu
                                                  Peech Mar 25, 2008 05:34 PM

                                                  at DD the chef is not the boss, but the wife is.... =) And she used to be an equity salesperson at an investment bank... I remember the service not being very friendly on my visits many years ago.

                                                  Forgret Azure. It' good for the view and drinks, but go somewhere else for food.

                                                  1. re: Peech
                                                    Charles Yu Mar 25, 2008 05:46 PM

                                                    Interesting Peech. Does that mean the HK Tatler restaurant guide is not THAT reliable a source?

                                                    1. re: Charles Yu
                                                      e_ting Mar 26, 2008 08:30 AM

                                                      I agree w Peech re Azure - I've eaten there a couple times as it has a balcony (was with smokers), but the food is very mediocre. Love the decor for drinks though.
                                                      and re HK Tatler - it's a 'society' magazine, so there are some associated biases and difference in taste, to be polite.

                                                  2. re: Charles Yu
                                                    o
                                                    onlygoodfood Jul 14, 2009 03:18 AM

                                                    Yes, DD is to die for, expensive, but that's the reason why many go there fore special occassions. Voted one of "the most romantic" placed to dine in HK - I'm sure I will be challenged by other 5* hotel junkies. The food at DD is amazing, but for less expensive good Italian food, I found Goccia and Rhugetta good too.

                                                    Please do not go to Azure to avoid disappointment, service is horrid, food is medicre - attitude is sky high, almost in line with Sevva.

                                                    1. re: onlygoodfood
                                                      Peech Jul 17, 2009 02:45 AM

                                                      DD "most romantic"?... puh-leeze... neither the decor nor the service (actually the lack of both) give any hint of romance... How does a place bright enough that I don't see my own shadows give romantic ambience?

                                                      1. re: Peech
                                                        Charles Yu Jul 17, 2009 07:00 AM

                                                        Good one, Peech!!

                                                        1. re: Peech
                                                          HKTraveler Jul 18, 2009 10:04 AM

                                                          It is romance HK style, i.e. gals with dollar signs in their eyes and guys with large wallets to show off!

                                                          Rughetta is very good. Like it a lot and very good place for an everyday Italian dinner.

                                                          Has anyone tried a place called Oliva di Oliva?

                                                2. c
                                                  Cerise 37 Nov 18, 2007 12:37 PM

                                                  Just back from Hong Kong and wanted to post about Gaia. There were four of us in our party. There was a guest chef cooking, so the food had a different slant from usual. Excellent, but not the same style. I prefer the regular chef.

                                                  The place was packed with two parties of twenty people. We had to wait 1 hour for our first course to arrive. They apologized profusely and brought us an appetizer of Pigeon Breast with a Pumpkin and Cinnamon Sauce. Wonderful combination and perfect for the season. They also comped us at the end of the meal with a generous glass of Moscato. I was impressed. Regardless of the delay, (we were enjoying our Gavi de Gavi and good conversation) I would highly recommend this restaurant.

                                                  I also want to mention that Gaia was recognized by the "Gambero Rosso, 2008" A very prestigious Italian Food Guide whose new edition came out a couple of weeks ago. Gaia was one of only a few restaurants recognized outside of Italy.

                                                  I was unable to get to De Domenico....too many restaurants, too little time !!! . I asked my daughter (who lives in Hong Kong) about Da Domenico and she said it is a different style..more old fashioned. She and her husband went to Grissini for their Anniversary (September) and the food was excellent, but in a hotel atmosphere and much more subdued.

                                                  So...here is to good eating and chowhounds. Love this site and all the info.

                                                  Cerise

                                                  1. t
                                                    tk467 Nov 9, 2007 11:08 AM

                                                    In the last year I have eaten in a few Italian places in HK. I have found them outrageously priced for what you get. Tuscan and Va Bene in LKF serve up a decent meal but pasta dishes at HKD 186 is nuts. I did have dinner at Ciprianni one evening and found it to be fantastic and would recommend it

                                                    2 Replies
                                                    1. re: tk467
                                                      FourSeasons Nov 10, 2007 01:58 AM

                                                      If you find pasta dishes at HK$186 nuts, you will get a heart attack when you review the menu at Da Domenico. If my recollection is correct, Linguini Scampi or Lobster is HK$450-500 range. Really expensive.
                                                      I have tried Va Bene in Xin Tian Di Shanghai. The quality is good but not in the same league as Da Domenico.
                                                      Just went to the website of Ciprianni and noticed it is a private member club associated with Harry's Bar in Venice. I went to Harry's bar in Venice 10 years ago and was delighted with the meal. Do you know how non members can eat in Ciprianni?

                                                      1. re: FourSeasons
                                                        t
                                                        tk467 Nov 20, 2007 08:19 AM

                                                        I was a guest of somebody who was a member , I will find out and let you know

                                                    2. l
                                                      linzjonz Oct 31, 2007 04:51 PM

                                                      I have been to Gaia twice in the last year and it has been superb. I will be in Hong Kong next week and will go again. Can't tell you how often I think about their food.

                                                      You have me curious about Da Domenico, and will try to dine there.

                                                      I'll post when I return.

                                                      Cerise

                                                      1 Reply
                                                      1. re: linzjonz
                                                        FourSeasons Nov 1, 2007 02:37 AM

                                                        Seem like there are plenty of good Italian restaurants in Hong Kong. I guess I need to broaden my horizon. Look forward to read your review of Gaia vs Da Domenico if you get to try both of them.

                                                      2. HKTraveler Oct 25, 2007 08:47 AM

                                                        It is quite well known. A tad expensive though. For Italian, Da Domenico, Toscana and Zeffirino are all good.

                                                        5 Replies
                                                        1. re: HKTraveler
                                                          FourSeasons Oct 25, 2007 08:48 PM

                                                          Yes, agree Da is VERY expensive as I was a bit shock when I look at the menu. The waiter said the seafood is air flown from Sicily, and i think maybe due to the strong Euro too. But I am a seafood lover and I have to say that the vongole and grilled calamari is so fresh it blew my mind. Thanks for recommending the other two italian restaurants.

                                                          1. re: FourSeasons
                                                            r
                                                            roadwarrior39 Nov 19, 2008 08:27 PM

                                                            I went to a place in Hong Kong called Fat Angelo's. I know, I know, it's not this is a fancy upscale place in the running for best restaurant, but after dropping SO much money in some of the more upscale places, this was a refreshing surprise. Really plain food, but good honest traditional fare. Getting out of a restaurant in Hong Kong for under HK$300 (wine included!) was so pleasantly surprising. Look, don't get me wrong, this is not a place to impress your clients, but I can see visiting it often when I just want a fun unfussy dinner. They've got a few locations in Hong Kong. I don't know if other places in Asia too...but it should be.

                                                          2. re: HKTraveler
                                                            e_ting Mar 30, 2008 09:32 PM

                                                            by the way Toscana has sadly closed

                                                            1. re: e_ting
                                                              klyeoh Mar 30, 2008 11:10 PM

                                                              Toscana closed down on 31st January 2008, as the Ritz-Carlton shut its doors to make way for an office building.

                                                              Many of us, I'm sure, miss Chef Umberto Bombana, who'd been with Toscana since it started in 1993.

                                                              The Ritz-Carlton (and also Toscana, I hear) is scheduled to re-open in March 2010 in the International Commerce Centre, Kowloon. Let's keep our fingers crossed that Chef Bombana will come back.

                                                              1. re: klyeoh
                                                                y
                                                                ywwan Jul 16, 2009 05:26 AM

                                                                I believe Umberto caters private dinner parties these days... and that he will re-emerge soon...

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