Giando Italian Restaurant and Bar [Hong Kong] - a proper Italian, Italian restaurant
Finally, on our weekend sampling new openings, we head out to “Giando Italian Restaurant and Bar” a new place opened by Gianni Caprioli ex chef from the IFC’s Isola. It is in quite a unique location in Fenwick Pier (Wan Chai), which is by the water (I know it is a pier but with the amount of land reclamation nothing is certain in HK) and serves as the gateway to HK for visiting navel personnel. Getting into the building doesn’t really build much in the way of expectation but once up in the modern space and after being greeted by the great maître d and chef we start to feel good about the place.
They have a short ALC and a set menu with good options – 2 courses $238, three at $298, and four at $348 lots of good choices makes it tricky to choose. The buffala mozzarella with four different tomatoes was simple perfection, the imported tomatoes tasted amazing and really set off the cheese. Fettuccine with prawns and cherry tomatoes was again spot-on. The cod on a cauliflower puree was perfectly cooked, and the cheese to end was simple but excellent. A good wine list, a nice selection of bread and decent coffee completed the meal.
The ALC looks great and I can’t wait until I try a dinner, the view is a bit dodgy as the landscaping on the new road system and littoral park is still under construction, but at night you won’t see that and the lights of the harbour will be great. This is a strong, genuine classic Italian restaurant; there are no concepts, gimmicks or large chains behind it. It not a US import, it seems to be an Italian chef and his Italian maître d who love what they do best - cooking and serving great simple Italian food – and that is what great Italian food should be. Perfect.
Have now tried Giando for a lightish dinner and I thought it scrubbed up well. Not as refined as Otto e Mezzo with slightly scratchy service. A side by side comparison of the Beef Carpaccio had O&M ahead as the balance of flavours was better and the overall quality of every element shone through. But, Giando had the edge with a fantastic beetroot salad, really fresh and moreish. Maybe a better way to separate them is to say O&M is a fine diner for a big night out, whilst Giando is a place to kick back and enjoy great Italian cooking. Hats off to the sommelier who directed us to a fantastic bottle of red.