Isola, Shop 3071-75, IFC Mall, 8 Finance St, Central, Hong Kong, Hong Kong S.A.R., China
Nearest Train:Hong Kong
Opening Hours:daily noon-5:30pm, 6:30-11pm
Price Range:$$ - $$$
Isola closed and supposedly underwent a major renovation last year, but when we visited the newly revamped digs this week, the look and feel were remarkably similar, if not identical, to the old Isola. Which is more than OK with: lots of white, lots of sun, same glamorous views—what’s not to like?
What we especially appreciated was the fact we could drop in without a reservation last-minute on a Saturday afternoon and not be rejected (although we did have to sit at their upper floor bar instead of the main dining room). Isola is all Italian, and boasts a wide selection of thin-crust pizzas and homemade pastas for lunch and dinner. But there’s a set lunch menu with an optional appetizer and desserts buffet that we highly recommend—you can fill yourself up on the colorful selection of cold cuts, salads and antipasti alone. Plus, the pizzas at the other tables didn’t do much to tempt us, so set lunch made the most sense.
The parma ham at the appetizer station is freshly cut into razor-thin slices, and the greens are fresh and varied. Don’t go more than two rounds though, or your main will be wasted. We had a ravioli with buffalo ricotta, homemade spinach and truffle sage butter and relished every thin and velvety piece—it helped that the whole dish was dotted with fragrant black truffle specks and glazed over with butter. Our partner also enjoyed their slightly less ostentatious but equally indulgent seabass baked filet with capers, tomatoes and oregano.
After a brief break, we went down to the desserts station and filled up the rest of our stomachs with cake and fruit. (We liked the very refreshing berry jelly pudding, but the rest weren’t very memorable.) Great value for this part of town, and the atmosphere can’t be beat.