8 1/2 Otto e Mezzo Bombana
This is the only Italian restaurant outside of Italy to have three Michelin stars, and consistently ranks highly on Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants list. Although that’s no surprise coming from Chef Umberto Bombana, who helmed the kitchens of Toscana at the Ritz-Carlton for years, and was beloved for his heavily truffled dishes and rustic cooking. Now, in a classic space with a mirrored ceiling in Alexandra House, overlooking Chater Road, his restaurant has become the yardstick with which to measure fine Italian cuisine in the city. The pastas here are all delicately hand-rolled and filled with quality ingredients like his burrata ravioli with cherry tomatoes and aubergine.
Shop 202, Alexandra House, 18 Chater Rd, Central; ottoemezzobombana.com
Pici is charmingly casual and serves up good, fresh handmade pastas at affordable prices. The menu is simple, featuring a cacio e pepe with its eponymous pici, a thick, hand-rolled pasta that originates in the Tuscan town of Siena in Tuscany, orecchiette with a spicy n’duja, and a tagliolini with fresh shaved black truffle. Sides and starters are a simple affair, celebrating carefully sourced produce — burrata is seriously creamy, while a radicchio salad balances out the pasta perfectly. The service is always friendly, and gluten-free pastas are available upon request. There are locations in Central, TST, Sha Tin and Lai Chi Kok, but it’s a pew at the indoor-outdoor tables in Wan Chai on St Francis Yard, opposite an art gallery and cha chaan teng, that get our vote.
GF, 16 St Francis Yard, Wan Chai; 24, 26 Aberdeen St, Central; pici.hk
208 Duecento Otto
A Sheung Wan staple, Duecento Otto combines delicious food with stylish interiors — it sits in a two-level converted meat warehouse designed by Turkish designers Autoban, with large sharing tables and deep-set seats. Pastas are all handmade, hearty yet refined: there’s a pardalle wagyu Bolognese, parsley gnocchi with roasted grouper and capers, or the 208 Fettuccine all’Astice with Boston lobster, bisque and cherry tomatoes. The lunchtime set menu is excellent, featuring an antipasti buffet that has a daily changing selection of salads, meats and breads, plus your choice of pasta and dessert.
208 Hollywood Rd, Sheung Wan; 208.com.hk
Born in Sydney before opening on Peel Street in Hong Kong, this Italian wine bar and enoteca has recently reopened after moving to a new location on Hollywood Road. While the wine list is extensive — there’s an in-house sommelier to guide you through the menu of all-Italian wines from a variety of regions — the food menu is short and curated, with zeitgeist-y small plates that use seasonal produce sourced from local organic growers and sustainable seafood suppliers. The menu changes regularly, but you can rest assured that the pastas will always be made in-house.
49 Hollywood Road, Hilltop Plaza LG/F Via, Graham St, Central 121bc.hk