Monday, February 13, 2012

Viva Italiano

Food and travel guest blogger hkLifestyleGeek gives us her next scoop on fantastic restaurants around town and travel tips. Contact her at

208 Duecento Otto chef Enzo Carbone has revamped its menu of the trendy Sheung Wan restaurant and if you're hankering for a hearty delicious meal, this place will hit the spot. He serves up some updated dishes or innovative twists to classics that will take a few return trips to sample them all.
We started with something I've never tried before -- langoustine carpaccio (HK$168) that was seasoned with pepper, lemon and extra virgin olive oil on a bed of rocket leaves. The langoustines were presented whole to demonstrate their freshness, except for the tail which was sliced in half. It's a good refreshing spring dish.
Another starter was a large piece of burrata d'Andria (HK$208) that looked like a sac. The outer shell is mozzarella and inside is more mozzarella with cream. As you can imagine the taste is very creamy. We had it with some heirloom tomatoes, including ones in purple colour, accompanied with rocket leaves and balsamic vinegar.
208 Duecento Otto is well known for its pizzas, and Carbone takes the classic parmigiano dish and turns it into a pizza -- and it works. The hearty Parmigiano di Melanzane (HK$168) is a hearty combination of tomato, mozzarella, basil, eggplant and Parmesan. And you must eat it the Neopolitan way -- take a pizza slice, fold it in half with your fingers and take a bite.

Another hearty dish is the homemade ricotta and spinach tortellini (HK$178) that was filled with burnt walnut pesto cream and garnished with a piece of dried proscuitto. There was lots of minced spinach in there mixed with the pesto cream for a light green coloured filling.

Meat eaters will savour the braised Wagyu cheek (HK$188), melt-in-the-mouth heartiness that's perfect for cold weather, with carrots, tomatoes, creamy celaric puree garnished with turnip crisps.

Fish fans will enjoy the line caught black cod fish cartoccio (HK$248). It's baked in paper to cook the fish in its own juices along with charred peppers, cherry tomatoes, lemon, parsley and anchovy bread crumbs. The dish was served sealed at the table and we were given scissors to open it up and the smells erupted from the paper parchment pouch. Delish.
If that's not enough fruits from the sea, try the seafood platter of grilled seabream, Boston lobster, red shrimps, scallops from Hokkaido, with a lemon and chilli "citronette" (HK$888). It's good for at least three to four people to sample, though this time the shrimps were slightly overcooked as well as the seabream.
For dessert, a definite winner is the warm venohi chocolate pudding with rhubarb compote and vanilla ice cream (HK$98). Served in a relatively large ramekin, the pudding is to die for. Once you spoon it out, the warm thick chocolate sauce oozes out and goes well with the rhubarb compote and vanilla ice cream.

Alternatively the apple tarte tartin is a delicate piece of pastry that gets a strong kick from the honey ginger ice cream (HK$98).

208 Duecento Otto continues to draw in customers not only from the neighbourhood but also those who are fans of Italian cuisine. Even the bella signora Italian Consul-General was dining at the next table.

So you know the food's gotta be pretty good.

208 Duecento Otto
208 Hollywood Road
Sheung Wan
2549 0208

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