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Italian besides Da Domenico, Gaia maybe??

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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. 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

      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. 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

        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

          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

            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

              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

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

          1. 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

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

            2. 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

                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.