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Apr 5, 2009 12:26 PM

Bombana Umberto (former chef of Toscana) returns!!

Bombana Umberto (former chef of Toscana) returns!! at the new Italian restaurant "The Drawing Room", read here ... nt-open-april-13th/

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  1. Great! In Causeway bay too! That should give Da Domanico some stiff competition. Ha!
    No doubt you will give it a try! Do report back!

    20 Replies
    1. re: Charles Yu

      trying to gather people ATM =P

      well The Drawing Room will be a ristorante compared to DD being a trattoria...

      wonder what will happen to Aspasia?

      1. re: Sher.eats

        ha! I thought it was the other way round (BU running Aspasia) - my parents must have heard Roland wrong when they were at Aspasia over the weekend - need to edit blog now!!

        According to Roland he will be running back and forth Asp and TDR - hope my folks didn't hear that wrong as well!

        1. re: e_ting

          just subscribed to your RSS =P

          exec. chef at two restaurants seems unlikely though?

          1. re: Sher.eats

            thanks! re exec cheffing - as a naive outsider, i would have thought exec chef was a semi-management-like position? feel free to educate me...

            1. re: e_ting

              it depends if it's an exec. chef of a hotel (= he won't actually cook, but does the menus,finance and management etc) or a restaurant (he will cook as well as doing everything else)

              Roland definitely cooks in Aspasia but might not cook as much in Drawing Room as they have Tony as Chef de Cuisine. If he's part owner of Aspasia it makes a little sense for him to not leave completly, although I can't see how the conflicts of interests works out...

              made your reservation?

              1. re: Sher.eats

                oh my! called at 7pm today - voicemail was already full!! tried email...

                1. re: e_ting

                  the voicemail was already full at 9am yesterday (monday) =)

                  all my calls between 2pm and 6pm were answered.

                  there's no chef's table but apparently the kitchen is semi open so there are tables with a good view of the kitchen.

                  which day you planning to go?

                  1. re: Sher.eats

                    trying to go the week after easter, friday ideally, but as much as i'm keen to go i'm not going to let myself stress over a restaurant booking! will try to call between 2 and 6 then. and did you say callS, plural?! thanks for the tip on seating

                    1. re: e_ting

                      friday week after easter is...17th? we're going on the 27th

                      yeah multiple calls to ask if there's special menus, maximum table size, made and amended my reservation...

        2. re: Sher.eats

          Unless the place is run down and utterly uncomfortable, IMO, whether its a ristorante or a trattoria is only secondary. Ultimately, its the food that counts. When I was living in Europe, I've eaten in so many scantly decorated places in rural areas, some of them even Michelin star rated whose food were way better than some of those palatial city hotel restaurants. Laurent in Paris is a fine example. 2*, ultra decadent and posh but unimpressive food!
          Are you going to have Umberto's famous all truffles tasting menu?! As Peech says - 'so Bull Market! ". Ha!

          1. re: Charles Yu

            yes but it's like a brasserie vs haute cusine, it's not directly comparable? like The Press Room vs Caprice.

            they haven't finalized their menus yet....

            how's Charles Noodles Ltd? =P

            1. re: Sher.eats

              Good Morning, Sher.eats! Up so early?!
              Better luck with the won-ton the second time round. Still cannot find fine enough noodles though. May be I'll have to send Mak's or Tasty an e-mail and ask them to send some of their noodles to me by courier! Ha!
              BTW, believe it or not, Fourseasons and I are already exchanging e-mail chatting and exchanging ideas/schedule about our next HK chowmeet ( Mid-March 2010 ). Any suggestion/idea for somewhere really good?! How about a Macau meet instead?

              1. re: Charles Yu

                haha 9:40am is late! normally work starts at 10 (wake at 9) but today I get to arrive at 12pm =)

                Seafood @ Po Toi Island!

       guys wanna do a 1 day 30 restaurant marathon?

                1. re: Sher.eats

                  Considering the richness of Macanese food (if that's what you're going for), one meal is enough to fill me up for the entire day. But then, I'm no spring chicken as you are I'm sure, and my middle-aged digestive system needs time to crank up.

                  And good heavens, Sher-eats, why would you ever want to do 30 restaurants in a day? Each meal is meant to be deliciously savoured. I spend 15-20 minutes perusing through a menu, at least half an hour enjoying a pre-dinner drink before I'd even order. And I'd love to take my time to enjoy each & every course set down before me. I was at one of the last meals cooked by Chef Bombana at Toscana before they dreadfully decide to close down the place & pull down the beautiful hotel. My friends & I spent 4 hours in there, paying tribute to one of the greatest Italian chefs HK has ever seen, and enjoying a delightful dinner as no other we've had since.

                  1. re: M_Gomez

                    hmmm dunno how I came up with 30, but I was refering to street food / small restaurants that specialise in one thing.

                    OR we can do 30 courses in Galera haha

                    1. re: Sher.eats

                      Unfortunately it has been proven to me time and again that I do not have a bottomless stomach... so the Macau tour with you is out...

                      I'm going on a diet after I come back from my trip...

                      1. re: Peech

                        Sorry, Peech, looking at your postings in your blogspot, I THOUGHT you had a bottomless stomach!

                        1. re: klyeoh

                          From our one meal together, I didn't get the sense that Sher.eats has one of these...but everytime she talks about Macau, I cannot come to any conclusion other than that she must have a bottomless stomach!

                          Will try to visit the Drawing Room in a month or so after things have settled down

                  2. re: Sher.eats

                    Seafood @ Po Toi Island?! Sounds very intriguing. Do tell us more!

                    1 day 30 restaurants?!!!!! Ah! Its nice to be young!!

                    If you know the folks in Galera's kitchen, don't mind having a mega-course tasting menu there! Fourseasons, Peech and HK traveller will no doubt be interested?!!

                    1. re: Charles Yu

                      Po Toi Island

                      Ming Kee (the only restaurant there) are one of the few license holders which allow them to serve rare deep water fishes (I can't find my notes), the owners drive their speedboat to collect seafood from fisher boats while still at sea, eliminating the wholesale process. Their cooking is "classic" but refined like having different blends of soy for different steamed fishes, having different steam temperatures for different sized fishes, a homemade black bean sauce for clams that is aromatic yet does not covering the sweetness of the clams, and deep fried squid that uses fresh oil (each batch of squid gets new oil) and "steeping" lobsters (boil for a few seconds then chill, remove raw meat from shell, then gently cooked. The owner's daughter is a trained patisserier and a well traveled foodie like you guys, but she helps out in the restaurant on sundays. I only realised how "tourist trappy" Sai Kung/Lamma seafood places were after I ate

                      read more here and pics here


                      mid march is the black truffle gala @ Galera!!

        3. Thanks so much for the update, Sher.eats! I've been a great fan of Umberto Bombana during his Toscana years. His impending return is very, very good news indeed!

          Drawing Room, 1/F Jia Boutique Hotel
          1-5 Irving Street, Causeway Bay, Hong Kong

          2 Replies
          1. re: klyeoh

            Heard great reviews from trial runs at The Drawing Room this week!! and heard booking is hard and voicemail already full!! I'm definitely going to try it out soon.

            1. re: Connoisseur K

              I was among the lucky ones who was there for the trial. The restaurant is beautiful and the food really really good. Tried to make a booking for the weekend but was told that they are fully booked for the first 2 weeks.

          2. Time Out HK's review of The Drawing Room just out: