No. 5 Italian

Been obsessed with discovering restaurants in TAI HANG lately so today I will write about this lovely little pizzeria tucked away in Brown Street. I meant to write about this place a few months ago when I first tried it with my good friend K but ever since I started my first proper job I forgot about blogging … now that I have stopped working full time HERE I AM AGAIN. 😀 20120909-202829.jpg

Always jam-packed past 7:30pm, it’s definitely better if you either arrive early or make a reservation beforehand. The young chefs and waitresses seemed cheerful and enthusiastic at work so I was hyped up and ready to scoff down the entire menu!! 20120909-202754.jpgInterestingly, prices are listed in EUROs (1 Euro = 10HKD) in effort to make you believe that you are actually in Italy. lol. 20120909-202726.jpgToday’s salad was this figs & parma ham salad with parmesan cheese. OK this wasn’t a particularly innovative combo but the figs were indeed juicy and sweet. I love figs. 20120909-195953.jpg

Next came this 8 inch “spicy pepperoni pate” pizza which was supposedly one of their new ones. The waitress told us that since we were ordering other things it would be better to have an 8 inch instead of 12 inch one but SERIOUSLY THIS WAS TINY and the whole thing was devoured within seconds so never get the 8 inch one unless you want to pretend you’re on a diet. 20120909-200115.jpg

Then it was Soup time! – some of you may find this a bit salty but as my tastebuds have a relatively high threshold for sodium (uhh sodium chloride for you chem freaks) I thoroughly enjoyed this clear lobster soup. 20120909-200139.jpg

Then came this Burrata cheese with cherry tomatoes starter that I have ordered every single time since my first visit. 20120909-200155.jpg

I did not like burrata cheese before but after a while I realized that it started to grow on me when I found myself missing it at random hours of the day. And look how cute it is! Round and white. Everything round and white are cute. Round and black too before anyone calls me racist 20120909-200750.jpg

Anyway I love this creamy burrata that oozes out of its equally yummy rubbery skin, so so good with the balsamic vinegar balanced with sweet tomatoes, also given an edge with basil leaves. 20120909-200851.jpg

**Sadly though, if you check this pic of the same dish that I took on my previous visit, you’ll see that they used to use different cherry tomatoes (some red some yellow) which were a LOT sweeter and worked to made this dish phenomenal. Today’s “red tomatoes only” version was not quite as good, but still good enough to warrant an order next time, I suppose?

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So NEXT !! Shared this onion soup with my mom. This did not disappoint. The onions were cooked to perfect consistency – soft whilst retaining enough shape for a bite.The cheesy crouton added a zing that matched very nicely with the subtle sweet-smokey flavour imparted by the wine in the soup. Nommms. I wanted a portion to myself but only held back in order to reserve more tummy space for the rest of the meal.20120909-201035.jpg

Then came our second pizza (this time a 12 inch one). This was the “Johnny’s style” pizza with white truffle, parma ham, and rucola leaves. Am happy to say that although (as expected) there were no actual, visible pieces of white truffle on this pizza, the earthy, sensual aroma of truffle oil was clearly present. Crust was crisp and thin and the parma ham was fresh, too 🙂 20120909-201053.jpg

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Then we ordered the FISH STEW which consisted of a king prawn, giant scallop, cod fish, squid rings and baby clams all cooked in a tomato-based sauce topped with italian parsley. This was definitely one of tonight’s highlights. I wanted to scrape out all the sauce and drink it like an intense, extra-rich seafood soup. 20120909-202539.jpg

Next was the Uni Linguine in white truffle cream sauce. They make their own pasta here so you get that hearty homemade texture. Tonight was the second time I had this and I think I remember the uni being sweeter with more umami last time but I guess with uni there is always an element of luck as to whether or not you are getting a good batch. This is a comparatively heavy dish – not to the degree that it is sickening but I would suggest sharing it! 20120909-202551.jpg

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And I personally have a thing for vongole pasta (I don’t feel like I have tried enough at an Italian restaurant unless I have had their linguine vongole) so I had to get this. Yum!20120909-202614.jpg

The next 2 are pastas I’ve had in previous visits – this one below is the pappardelle with stewed wagyu cheek. Flavourwise it was not my favourite but the wagyu cheek was very, very tender. I think it also tasted better as I went through the dish, as much of the sauce (which in retrospect was actually pretty good) sank to the bottom. 20120909-202934.jpg

And this was the Spaghetti with tiger prawn in lobster sauce 😀 20120909-203427.jpg

Finally for dessert tonight I opted for the white chocolate fondant (not really a fondant, but it was somewhat meltier inside) with rasberry sauce and caramel ice cream. The roasted pine nuts were a pleasant touch – this made a simple yet satisfying end to my lovely meal tonight – I’ll be back for sure 😀 20120909-205125.jpgAddress: G/F, 21 Brown Street, Tai Hang, Hong Kong 大坑布朗街21號地下

Tel: 2504 2111