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Italian besides Da Domenico, Gaia maybe??

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niawu Oct 28, 2009 02:08 AM

I will be travelling to HK this Dec.
My cousin told me that Da Domenico is good, but super expensive (ie. pasta for hkd500).
I love pasta but I dont think hkd500 for pasta is reasonable, although Im really temped to try DD.
So any suggestion for reasonable-price Italian?
I tried Isola at IFC, and I think the food there was just okay. How about Gaia?
Tried to browse their web but they didnt mention the price.

Thanks!!

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  1. HKTraveler RE: niawu Oct 29, 2009 12:15 AM

    My fav reasonably priced Italian is Rughetta in Central. For a more upscale/expensive experience, you can also try Aspasia or Drawing Room.

    1 Reply
    1. re: HKTraveler
      e_ting RE: HKTraveler Oct 29, 2009 01:05 AM

      Aspasia and TDR are more modern Italian than traditional. Gaia & Isola are by the same owners and their food imo is so-so. Cecconi's in Central is ok, Tuscany by H does a good pasta, but pricey ($200-300), around that price range you can also try Nicholini and Grissini. There was a huuuuge discussion on this board re Italian eateries (mostly 'Is Da Domenico worth it?') and you'll find many other places listed there.

    2. Peech RE: niawu Nov 2, 2009 08:58 AM

      Tuscany by H gets my vote as having some of the best pasta in town. Isola/Gaia/Va Bene are all run by the same people, so theoretically there's no difference in food. I no longer go to Nicholini's nor Grissini.

      5 Replies
      1. re: Peech
        Charles Yu RE: Peech Nov 2, 2009 06:06 PM

        IMO, pasta at Hong Kong's Italian restaurants especially those located in major hotels can be great if one's timing is right. The reason being that the 'turnaround rate' of those residing/visiting chefs are quite brisk! If one is lucky, as in my case a couple of years ago at Grand Hyatt's Grissini, one can even savour amazing pasta prepared by visiting Michelin 2 or 3* Italian chef!
        I agree with Peech that Tuscany by H or Harlans can offer some great pasta. However, I'd like to mention the time I ate at Aqua Roma on Peking Road. I was surprised by how tasty the 'South China sea Seafood linguine' I had! So, any thing can happen!

        1. re: Charles Yu
          e_ting RE: Charles Yu Nov 2, 2009 06:54 PM

          for a short time, there was a brilliant Australian chef (he was supposed to be permanent) at Aqua - you may have had the good fortune of having one of his creations!

          Adding to the list - I know you can buy fresh pasta at the Italian deli Il Bel Paese. They also seem to have a restaurant, but I don't know about the quality of their cooking... You might have to borrow someone's kitchen and DIY!

          1. re: e_ting
            Charles Yu RE: e_ting Nov 3, 2009 04:27 PM

            You may be right?
            BTW, is the Italian deli you mentioned located in Wan Chai? I remember reading a positive article of a deli in Ming Pao. And that deli was located in Wan Chai. Could be the same one?!

            1. re: Charles Yu
              e_ting RE: Charles Yu Nov 4, 2009 12:02 AM

              Il Bel Paese has several locations, including 1 in Wanchai. There's also one in the mid-levels and maybe one more too but I forget... It's been around for a while and the local papers/mags do cover it occasionally, so it could well be the one!

            2. re: e_ting
              m
              mikey8811 RE: e_ting Nov 6, 2009 12:47 AM

              I think you are referring to Eugenio Riva previously of Ristorante Riva in Sydney. I have fond memories of that place - v good rustic comfort food. I was wondering what had happened to him and a friend said he was attached to the Aqua Group.

        2. FourSeasons RE: niawu Nov 3, 2009 07:47 PM

          A friend just informed me that Grissini has greatly improved and is awesome now. Has anybody tried there recently?

          1. s
            scfinson RE: niawu Nov 4, 2009 03:12 PM

            Has anyone tried Domani in Pacific Place. Looks like trendy high end Italian. Menu looks good also pricey. Wondering if anyone thins it is worth it compared to the other places mentioned in this thread. Thanks.

            1 Reply
            1. re: scfinson
              c
              chinmoy.lad RE: scfinson Nov 6, 2009 05:05 AM

              Domani is pricey, but food is excellent. I would rather visit Domani than places like Grissini.

            2. n
              niawu RE: niawu Nov 4, 2009 07:48 PM

              Thanks for all the info guys..
              Im planning to go to the Drawing Room this Dec.
              I choose TDR because its in Causeway Bay area, close to the hotel where I'll be staying, since my itinerary for Italian food is on the very last night, so I choose the one that is nearby so that I have time for packing..
              Hows the quality there lately? Is it still good? Do they change the menu often?
              Do they have a la carte menu as well?

              1 Reply
              1. re: niawu
                m
                mikey8811 RE: niawu Nov 5, 2009 08:45 PM

                I haven't been there lately but was there a few months ago. The quality is good but as others have mentioned it is more contemporary than trad Italian. I think the menu depends on seasonal produce. You can always e-mail them for a sample menu. As far as I recall, you can have ala carte but it makes more sense to have the tasting menu or prix fixe.

              2. Charles Yu RE: niawu Nov 5, 2009 05:14 PM

                The 'new' W52 is getting thumbs up from foodies posting on facebook. Said home-made pasta rivals those by 'Tuscan by H'. Food photos posted looked very appealing!!

                1. c
                  chinmoy.lad RE: niawu Nov 6, 2009 05:07 AM

                  Gaia (and va Bene) is good and will cost you about $400-600 permitting for dishes per person for a 3 course meal (not including drinks).

                  Have a go at Cecconi's (in Soho) - I love the food there, service is excellent and usually costs us no more than $500/person with a glass or two of wine.

                  I'm guessing price is a big factor, otherwise try Nicholini's in Conrad or Mistral in Intercontinental Stanford.

                  1. Charles Yu RE: niawu Nov 6, 2009 02:34 PM

                    Interesting no one's mentioning Angelini?! The Linguine Pascatore I had there a while back was very good! But then, they are one of those establishment with ever revolving visiting chefs from Italy. So, whats good then may not be good now?!

                    4 Replies
                    1. re: Charles Yu
                      HKTraveler RE: Charles Yu Nov 8, 2009 07:03 AM

                      I want to try W52 as well. Has anyone else tried the place?

                      1. re: HKTraveler
                        big_apple_ken RE: HKTraveler Nov 9, 2009 03:42 AM

                        I went to W52 back in October 1st for lunch with friends and thought the food (I ordered their famous Mantis Shrimp & Mussels risotto) there was very so-so. The risotto was done 'onde style which is rare in HK but I personally don't like my risotto that runny. The risotto taste wise was flavorful. The mantis shrimp tasted decent but the appearance kind of looked like 2 slugs on your risotto (maybe pink colored shrimps is a better choice than brown colored mantis shrimps). The mussels was ok but I kind of felt it didn't really add anything to the dish.

                        Although to be very fair they had only opened for 1 month at that time and still as in their 'soft opening' phase (seems a little long for a soft opening period). Service was a little slow back then but I do agree I have recently read a few positive reviews about the place.

                        1. re: big_apple_ken
                          HKTraveler RE: big_apple_ken Nov 9, 2009 09:21 AM

                          Thanks. Sounds like at least worth a try. Will report back when I get around to trying it.

                          La Taverna was good but the last time I went was 10 years ago! Have you been recently?

                      2. re: Charles Yu
                        jason.bonvivant RE: Charles Yu Nov 9, 2009 12:57 AM

                        how about La Taverna @ TST? I actually think the place has pretty decent pasta as well.

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