Friday, June 20, 2014

A 3 Michelin Star Italian Restaurant in Hong Kong? That's 8 ½ Otto e Mezzo Bombana!

Moo, the male human and
Chef Umberto Bombana
After having practically nothing other than Chinese food or a bad facsimile of Western food for over two weeks, the humans and I were dying for some quality Italian food. We had found out about 8 ½ Otto e Mezzo Bombana through the Top 100 Restaurants in the World list, sitting at number 39 in 2013, and hoped that a dinner there would finally satiate us. Reservations turned out to be harder to get than we thought via our usual means, the Visa Concierge service. However, a quick in person trip to the restaurant proved fruitful, as we were told that dining after 9:30pm any night of the week would be possible. Given that it's the only 3 1/2 Michelin Star Italian restaurant located outside of Italy, it's no wonder it was so popular! Plus they were running their special alba white truffle menu, which the staff informed us was incredibly popular.

Alba White Truffle was kept in the crystal jar,
then shaved tableside
Located in The Landmark building, the restaurant itself was not very large. When we arrived we were caught a bit off guard to be welcomed at the door of the restaurant by Chef Bombana himself! The menu was quite extensive, and the only restaurant we’d been to anywhere in the world so far that would allow us to order the tasting menu for just one person instead of making the entire table to partake. It gave us the freedom to try what we wanted, including a rather pricy item off their special alba white truffle menu.

They started off with an amuse bouche of a salmon roll with coconut cream and caviar. Literally a single, small bite, of smooth, melt in your mouth salmon and a hint of saltiness from the caviar.
Egg in Raviolo with Alba White Truffle
I opted to try the egg in raviolo with white truffle, although it was an insanely expensive dish even with the exchange rate - $880 HKD, which roughly translated into $125 CAD….  Yup, just think about that for a second, one single raviolo with white truffle cost three figures, most definitely the single most expensive dish I have ever consumed in my life! It was approximately half the cost of the tasting menu which was $1380 HKD per person or roughly $197 CAD.

Where's the Raviolo????
I was not disappointed however as the raviolo was brought out and the alba white truffle shaved atop directly in front of me. I thought perhaps I would just get a few small shavings but instead I got an absolutely obscene amount of alba white truffle, so much so that I couldn’t even see the raviolo beneath the truffle! When we spoke with Chef Bombana later that evening, he said they only have the truffle menu on during truffle season and it’s quite popular. His belief was that there must be at least 8 to 10 grams of alba white truffle on a dish in order to taste the alba white truffle properly. I most definitely wasn’t complaining considering the price of the dish, as well as given the fact that I had never experienced so much truffle in my life! The pasta itself was delicate and light, while the creamy egg yolk within oozed and coated the pasta perfectly. Despite the obscene amount of truffle, the taste was still delicately earthy, while the ricotta cheese and spinach within the ravioli were detectable and mild.

Roast Kinki Fish with Calvisius Elite Caviar

The roast kinki fish with fruit tomato, Calvisius elite caviar, herb and citrus dressing, was very light with a hint of saltiness coming from the caviar, while the royal scampi with confit purple potato and chanterelle mushroom were perfectly cooked, meaty and juicy, balanced with the mushrooms. The artisanal trenette with testun cheese, roast porcini mushroom was cooked al dente, lightly dressed in a creamy cheesy sauce with nicely sautéed earthy tasting mushrooms. 

Royal Scampi
The Colorado rack of lamb with artichoke puree, black olive and lamb jus was tender and decadent, with a hint of fat, minus the gamey taste that I often find lamb can have. Meanwhile the female human said that the M9 sirloin and feeb cheek melted in their mouth, fully of natural feeb flavor, with a hint of sweetness from the red wine and plum sauce. The mashed potatoes were incredibly rich and velvety smooth.

For dessert I had tiramisu, which was served deconstructed as the lady fingers and cream were plated separately on the plate, but when eaten together was the perfect balance between crispy and creamy. The hazelnut chocolate bar with orange ricotta ice cream had a very crunchy sacher biscuit layer on the bottom, and a hazelnut chocolate bar that tasted similar to a Ferrero Rocher. The orange ricotta ice cream was the only part of the meal that disappointed as the flavor of the orange was overwhelming.

Overall we enjoyed our meal and I will never forget that amazing alba white truffle raviolo, as it’s not likely that I’ll have the chance to eat that much alba white truffle ever again in my life. Although their prices are on the higher end that I'm used to for Italian food, if you ever find yourself in Hong Kong hankering for a classy Western meal that most definitely will not disappoint, give 8 ½ Otto e Mezzo Bombana a try, as it will definitely satisfy your cravings.

More photos at PhotoBucket!

8 ½ Otto e Mezzo Bombana
Shop 202, Landmark Alexandra
18 Chater Road
Central, Hong Kong

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