As a sort of impromtu birthday dinner (wanted to keep it low profile this year), last Friday four of us went to this place I tried once before in The One, An-Tico. Even before we were seated there was a hiccup – ended up waiting 40 minutes even though I’d booked, for 8pm! We were told they’d overbooked. Oops. At least the manager apologised (in both English and Chinese) and offered us a free pizza of our choice. Not a bad deal cause this place has a fine array of Neapolitan pizzas. We chose the $138 carne triplo (意式風情) with Italian sausage, sopressata (a type of salami), meatball, mozzarella and tomato sauce.
So finally the previous table finished their leisurely dessert and they ushered us in, apologising all the way. The open, vintage design meant you could see it was packed wall to wall.
Putting the past behind us, we dove into the menu and came up with the calamari with spicy pimento sauce (炸魷魚)($118), wild mushroom risotto with black truffle oil (意大利雜菌飯)($138), fettucine with duck ragu, arugula and marinara sauce (濃汁鴨肉意大利闊麵)($158), and a jug of sangria ($158).
The bread basket came first, but there were only three unequally-sized pieces. It sat for awhile before I had a piece but it’d already gone cold. The taste was OK.
Soon after, as we’d ordered it before sitting down, came our free carne triplo pizza! The meat was good and plentiful with a hint of spice, and a nice thin crust, but the layers fell apart a bit too easily.
The calamari had a thin batter and was a bit soft. My friend preferred the one at Grappa’s.
The sangria was alright, I mean it’s cheap red wine with sugar. It came with two lemon slices, and more ice than I’d like, which meant we got just about eight small, diluted glasses out of the jug.
The duck ragu fettucine was done well, al dente with tender flakes of duck meat. Bravo.
Unfortunately the wild mushroom risotto wasn’t very creamy, or mushroomy. Not sure but it seemed they used long grain rice instead of the usual short grain, which is stickier. I had to add salt and pepper near the end.
We needed a little bit more, so we opted for a simple margherita (番茄香草) pizza with basil, mozzarella and tomato sauce ($98) to finish off. Hard to go wrong with this and I enjoyed the subtle cheese flavour.
Total was $737 ($184 each). Discounting the free pizza, prices were pretty reasonable for dinner around this area.
Conclusion: I’d come here again, probably to try another pizza. It’s a nice, buzzing place to hang out, but don’t expect any deep conversations due to the hustle and bustle.
Note: this place is part of the Windy City group, which also has Amaroni’s in Festival Walk, MET Cafe in Pacific Place, Dan Ryan’s, and Union Bar & Grille in Elements. Pretty good coverage there, and I especially like the square pizza at Amaroni’s; most of the group offers decent but not spectacular food. Well, as long as it’s in line with the price, I’m happy.
Restaurant rating: NOM NOM NOM N- (out of five).
Address: Shop 504, 5/F, The ONE, 100 Nathan Road, Tsim Sha Tsui 尖沙咀彌敦道100號The ONE 5樓L504號舖
Tel: 2760 0988
Opening hours: Mon-Sun, noon-11pm