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Jan 8, 2010 06:40 AM

Otto e Mezzo @ Alexandra House

'Otto e Mezzo', a new Italian restaurant by former Toscana's chef Umberto Bombana has opened finally. It is not a fine dining restaurant and it's more casual than Toscana, but I was so happy to see chef Bombana again after all these years.

I thoroughly enjoyed chef Bombana's pasta and the pear tart that I used to love at old Ritz Carlton Hong Kong. Looking forward to my next trip to Hong Kong so that I could be there again, I heard grand opening will be Jan.26.

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  1. Named after the Fellini flick - that should be interesting. When did it open? Was there till the last weekend - shame I missed it.

    1. Thanks for the update! I'll have to check this out the next time I'm in town.
      I was also a very avid fan of Chef Bombana & simply loved Toscana in the past (been resident at the Ritz-Carlton regularly for years). I was actually sort of hoping he'd go more upmarket!

      8 Replies
      1. re: klyeoh

        Hello klyeoh! Mind if I tag along?! May be a nice venue for one of our upcoming chowmeet?!
        Hope it'll give Da Domenico a run for their money!! Doubt it''ll serve HK$550 a plate pasta?! Ha!

        1. re: Charles Yu

          Charles, of course! How many venues do you have in mind for the Chowmeet? Fu Sing, Hoi King Heen, Caprice, ...

          1. re: klyeoh

            Number of venues will depend on how committed you, me, Calvin... et al are willing to get on a weight loss program after you return home or regular routine?! Ha!!

            - Based on feed back from my wife who is in HK now, I'm actually contemplating bypassing Fu Sing for dim sum and opt for something else?! Love to give 'The Manor' or 'Sun Tung Lok' a try.

            - Calvin's experience with Hoi King Heen definitely makes it worthy for consideration. However, his latest rave review of Tak Lung might trump that?! Also, I got a hunch that 'The Chairman' might be a dark horse and might offer a few nice surprises! ( Both chowhounders Peech and skylineR33 will be giving it a try within the next week! )

            - If our 'Foodie Master/Empress' Sherman is still working at Caprice or still in HK , then obviously, Caprice is a must! If not?! Then, Ummmmmm?! ?????

            - Lastly, as an outing of sort, I don't mind heading out to the fishing village of Sai Kung on a weekend and try out their new Michelin 1* seafood restaurant. ( Luk Fook? )

            So far, how many?! 5!!!!!!! Wow!!! Better start ordering my probiotics, apple cider vinegar pills and Crestor!! Ha!!

            1. re: Charles Yu

              Count me in too mate, if I'm in town. The Chairman looks interesting I would have tried it if I had known of it when I was in town recently.

          2. re: Charles Yu

            Well, I was there for lunch today, take 2. I had gone with Auntie for lunch a couple of months back, and I thought it was pretty good, but not quite sure if it was really a wow experience, like Toscana sometimes was.

            But we decided to give it another try. In one word, it was fantastic. Auntie had the 330 HKD set lunch, which had a very nice artichoke soup and a roasted monkfish that were excellent. I stuck to my November guns and had the homemade fettucine with truffles (and not 550 HKD, but a more reasonable 540 HKD). As one would expect, and in keeping with Toscana tradition, the boss comes out and literally smothers the pasta with truffle. Good call, and excellent.

            I had the classic pear tart for dessert, as good as always.

            So overall a very good experience, much better than the first time there, and worth a repeat, even at those prices. One thing that was different is that the boss was nowhere to be seen the first time I went (day off, maybe?), but was all over the room this time around. I have a sense this does make a difference.

              1. re: klyeoh

                I've been to Toscana a number of times since that initial report almost a year ago, and the evidence points to a better food and service experience when the boss is around than when he isn't. That tells me that he's too hands on to have his place run at "excellent" as opposed to just "very good" without him. Nothing wrong with that, but this means he has to be in the house to get a memorable experience.

            1. re: Charles Yu

              Latest from fellow chowhounder Fourseasons!
              Price for a plate of 'Pasta with Scampi' at Da Domenico is now a whopping $680!!!!!
              They must be vying for a place in the Guiness Book of World Record???!!! With Global recession just around the corner?? What the @#$%$ are they thinking?

          3. Had a lovely dinner there last night - the tagliatelli pork ragout pasta was really wonderful as was the lasagnette - beautifully infused with shrimp flavor. The Colorado lamb rack was perfectly cooked and very juicy but my most memorable lamb experience in HK still has to be the French lamb at Cepage. The lobster cassoulet was very tasty and also perfectly executed - the texture and taste was perfect. Usually am disappointed by the super expensive very chewy, over cooked lobster that they tend to serve up at most fine dining establishments, so was very pleased with that. The only dish I found disappointing was the deep fried veal cutlet. The meat was also juicy and the texture was wonderful but it fell short on taste - it was really quite bland. Was rather puzzled that the maitre'd pushed it so hard when the braised veal cheek would probably have been a better choice.

            Based on what I've tried in one visit, its a wonderful restaurant with lovely pastas but nothing so far that distinguished itself so much that I'd go back again and again so I am not convinced this will give DD a run for the money. Their corkage policy however is amazingly fair - HK$100 per person! That is beyond fair for anyone who likes to bring their own bottles - would definitely go back again and again just for that! Also, some of the reviews on openrice and luxe about the portion size are quite unfair - while not super large (c'mon, this is not Dan Ryan!), overall the portions were quite satisfying to me and while not cheap, the food is not absurdly priced like DD. The decor is quite lovely but they have a big sound problem - its VERY loud in there, too loud for the price range they are in. Anyway, going back next weekend to try more dishes...