Monday, December 16, 2013

Effortless Chic Italian at CIAK

hkLifestyleGeek visits CIAK

If three-star Michelin chef Umberto Bombana was a fashion designer with Otto e Mezzo as his signature line, CIAK -- In The Kitchen would be his diffusion or secondary line.

The casual Italian restaurant is located in the space formerly occupied by Three-Sixty on the third floor of LANDMARK, and Pret A Manger and Urban Bakery Works are there too.

Despite the lower prices relative to Otto e Mezzo, quality is not compromised here, with pizza, fresh pasta and grilling stations preparing dishes a la minute. Diners can either order take out, grab a bite to eat there, or even make reservations in the restaurant. Customers make their orders at the various stations, go pay for them and then by the time they return the food should be just about ready.

The pizzas are fantastic, thick, but light and crispy crusts with fresh ingredients, such as the Margharita and Norcina with mushrooms, or a spicy sausage version. Soups range from pumpkin to split pea and minestrone.

Appetisers include thinly sliced beef tongue with dollops of tuna sauce topped with fresh greens that's light, and fritto misto, calimari, white bait and zucchini deep fried in a light batter accompanied with tartar sauce.

Pastas here are top notch. The Trenette with linguine and small but plump clams were delicious as well as the deconstructed lasagne called lasagette with homemade sausage, mushroom and mozzarella that featured what looked like ravioli squares and was very hearty.

For mains, carnivores will enjoy digging into the steaks with meats from the United States, grilled on the Texas-style charcoal grill in the open kitchen.

Gourmets can also attempt to recreate their dining experiences by buying CIAK-branded items such as dry pasta, tomato sauce, olive oil, caper berries, artichokes and anchovies.

Set menus seem to be the way to go with set lunches priced at HK$238 for two dishes, and brunch buffet on weekends and public holidays are HK$298 for adults, HK$188 for children. Otherwise the a la carte prices can seem more upscale than casual...

Shop 327-333
2522 8869

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