By: Sarah Richard
Carbone may just be the most talked about Italian restaurant in Hong Kong, and with a hefty price tag and private dining options we went to find out if it lived up to its reputation. The New York-style jaunt is headed by Black Sheep Restaurants who have teamed up with Major Food Group trio, Mario Carbone, Rich Torrisi and Jeff Zalaznick, to create a unique slice of the big apple right here in HK.
It’s now open for lunch, so we headed down on a hot summer’s afternoon to shelter from the HK humidity, which really was all just an excuse to not have to return to the office on a Friday. The interior is old-school and contemporary, with plush leather chairs and chandeliers which gives a little bit of an over-the-top feel to an otherwise sleek-looking restaurant. However, it’s all about the food, and when the waiter comes over dressed in a wide-lapelled burgundy tux with the hum of Frank Sinatra playing in the background, I felt like I was anywhere but in Hong Kong at that moment.
The set lunch is $388 (+10%) based on two people sharing, yet do not underestimate the amount of food you will receive – we could have almost shared between three. Of course, when you’re in an Italian restaurant you have to start with carpaccio with walnut and black truffle. Mario’s Meatballs (added $68 per person) are the talk of the town and when something comes that highly recommended it would be a sin not to order it. Juicy and smothered in fresh tomato sauce with a healthy helping of parmesan, they were everything they had been talked up to be and more. Back to the menu, our entreé was spicy vodka rigatoni which complimented the lighter starters and worked great with the meatballs.
Now on to the good stuff; dessert. Hailed as one of the best cheesecakes in town there was no way I was leaving Carbone without digging into their NY lemon cheesecake which exceeds its title, with every bite a creamy, lemony delight. When one dessert is that good, you just have to try another right? The carrot cake didn’t have anything on the ones my mum used to bake us back in the UK but was great compared to other bad attempts I had tried in Hong Kong.
I’ve yet to try Carbone’s dinner menu but have my eye on the lobster ravioli ($268) made with homemade ravioli, vermouth, fine herbs, and of course the lemon cheesecake again.
LKF Tower 33 Wyndham Street | 2593 2593 | carbone.com.hk