Jul 31, 2012|
I discovered a whole new world the other day while media-lunching at Divino Patio (Shop 11, 1/F, Brim 28, Causeway Centre, 28 Harbour Rd., Wan Chai, 2877-3552), Divino Group’s latest Italian venture in a little-known dining haven on the outskirts of the Wanch.
I wrote about Brim 28—an upper-level alfresco dining destination on Harbour Road—and its crop of new restaurants when it first opened late last year, but I actually never had a chance to really see it for myself until last week. I’m guessing the clientele is mainly businesspeople who work in the surrounding office buildings, since it’s a bit of a chore to get to (taxis aside). Brim 28’s a fair distance from the MTR, and the network of overpasses that eventually take you there can get quite confusing. (I got lost on my way, and it ended up taking more than 20 minutes to get from the station to the restaurant.)
On the other hand, if you live on Kowloon side, it’s an easy trip there on the ferry from TST to Wan Chai pier. Anyway, chances are you haven’t been to Brim 28 if you don’t already work around the area, and that’s a shame because there are actually a lot of spacious options that are hard to find in a busy district like Wan Chai. Chains such as Frites and Chez Patrick Deli have branches there alongside one-offs like Divino Patio.
On the very first day Divino Patio opened, I got to sample plenty of amazing dishes prepared by chef Angelo Vecchio at this casual and comfortable pizzeria-deli-restaurant with high ceilings, brick walls and a tantalizing salad bar smack in the middle. Home-baked bread; an exciting selection of salumi (bull’s meat, anyone?); sautéed mushrooms of all kinds; rich and creamy gorgonzola pennes and unbelievably large portions of fatty, flavorful porchetta are just an example of what’s on the menu. And don’t even get me started on the cannolis, which are extremely satisfying yet extremely light (or so they tell me) at the same time. I didn’t get to try the hand-tossed pizzas, but if they’re anything like the ones at Goccia (which is also part of Divino Group), then you’re in pretty safe hands. You can also buy cheeses and cold cuts for takeaway if you don’t want to dine in.
Popular Japanese bakery Bologne is no stranger to our city, but its newest concept, called Boulangerie Bologne (Shop 1027, 1/F, Elements, 1 Austin Rd. West, West Kowloon, www.bolognehk.com), plans to blow the competition out of the water with an offering of mouthwatering French pastries and danishes as well as beautifully decorated cakes and even gourmet sandwiches. Head baker Masato Hosokawa, whose resume includes working for Joel Robuchon, will be heading the operation and making sure all of BB’s signature danish loaves come with the requisite 81 folds.
The owners of Prive have decided to diversify their portfolio yet again with the opening of Masu (UG/F, On Hing Building, 1 On Hing Terrace, Central, 2537-7787), a sleek-chic Japanese robatayaki and sushi joint that’s situated just under rival group Play. Watch this space for a future review.
The setting is comfy, the food is great and the music is live if you come on the right day—do I need another reason to love Lobster Bar and Grill (Island Shangri-La, 88 Queensway, Admiralty, 2820-8560)? But I got one anyway: now they’re even offering afternoon tea with—you guessed it—lobster-themed treats. At $238 per person or $428 for two, patrons will get to enjoy a delicate selection of lobster breads, rolls and buns alongside decadent sweets such as caramel macarons, raisin scones with clotted cream and dark chocolate cake. If you’re the sort who needs some bubbly to go with it, $788 will get you the entire two-person set along with a bottle of Veuve rose. I’ve taste-tested the whole deal and can assure you: it’s solid. But I’d also advise bringing a sweet-tooth along to take full advantage of the tea, because the desserts easily outnumber the savories two to one. Available from 3pm to 5:30pm on weekends and public holidays.
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