To name your restaurant after a movie, this movie must rather be your favorite of all time, or it carries special sentimental value to you. I may not find out the answer to that, but one thing is for sure, Chef Umberto Bombana not only can cook, but also has good taste in movies.
I waited a long time to try out 8 1/2 Otto e Mezzo because I refused to believe that there aren’t other less known but excellent Italian restaurants in this metropolitan city. But the road to great Italian cuisine in Hong Kong was not an easy one. After many disappointments, I was thrilled that Mario Batali brought Lupa to Hong Kong, and finally, with a one month in-advance booking, I have finally made it to 8 1/2 Otto e Mezzo, after all it is the only 3 michelin star Italian restaurant outside of Italy.
The decor of 8 1/2 Otto e Mezzo is your typical, elegant and high-end Hong Kong restaurants. The service is very friendly and accommodating, even Chef Umberto Bombana himself was seen numerous times in the dining room greeting customers.
Now onto the food, since the white asparagus season has just begun, my companion and I started our dinner with a simple yet perfectly flavored plate of white asparagus, accented with Iberico ham, a sprinkle of black pepper, a drizzle of orange citrus sauce and olive oil; this amazing dish was effortless, a true inspiration for my home-cooking efforts. The second dish we had was the Pappardelle with lamb ragout, an entree I shared with my companion (so we can count it as an appetizer!) It was irresistibly delicious, it made us drool even after finishing it. For our real entree, we had Lobster with sea urchin and the Tajima beef cheeks with beef tongue. Since it’s a 3 Michelin star restaurant, I didn’t feel bad about being overly picky, I thought the lobster was good, the sauce and the little sea urchin added great flavor to the dish, but the lobster meat was slightly overcooked. On the other hand, the beef cheek and tongue was incredibly soft and well-cooked, even my grandma can eat it without her dentures. Lastly for dessert, the Vanilla panna cotta was light and very smooth, it blended very well with the sourness of the wild strawberries; the Grand cru chocolate in five styles consists of the chocolate souffle, chocolate creme brulee and the chocolate gelato with chocolate jelly. Yes there were lots of chocolates in this dish, if you are a chocolate lover, you just cannot pass on this.
Overall, food at 8 1/2 Otto e Mezzo was excellent. I hate to say that if you want great Italian cuisine, it seems like you have to go the expensive route and go to these well-known establishments in Hong Kong. Good news is that 8 1/2 Otto e Mezzo alters their menu from time to time, so it will never be boring to come back.
Shop 202, Alexandra House, 18 Charter Rd, Central
852 2537 8859