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Best Italian restaurant in Hong Kong: Da Domenico?

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?

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

    5 Replies
    1. re: HKTraveler

      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

        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

        by the way Toscana has sadly closed

        1. re: e_ting

          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

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

      3. 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

          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. 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

            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

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

          2. 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. 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

                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

                  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

                    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

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

                      1. re: Charles Yu

                        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

                      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

                        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

                            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?