Lupa, 3/F, LHT Tower, 31 Queen's Rd. Central, Central, Hong Kong, Hong Kong S.A.R., China
Opening Hours:daily noon-3pm, 6-11pm
Price Range:$$$ - $$$$
Open Since:April, 2012
Alfresco: Dinner and cocktails available on terrace , Reservation recommended: firstname.lastname@example.org, Dress requirements: Smart casual
We have to say we weren’t in the best of moods when the lady at the desk told us they couldn’t find our reservation. Luckily, they did, and we were ushered in without further incident.
Opened by Dining Concepts in collaboration with American celeb chef Mario Batali, Lupa is a lovely and sprawling space complete with dark wood floors, floor-to-ceiling windows, an impressive wine cellar and two outdoor terraces. The menu consists of everything Italian—pastas, pizzas (which are separate from the main menu, and are actually a deviation from the original Lupa in NYC), seafood, steak and fritti.
We decided the pastas looked the most attractive, and ordered linguine with cheese and black pepper and tonarelli (square-shaped spaghetti) with crab, fennel and chilies to go with our prosciutto and parmesan fritters and Angus hanger steak mains. The prosciutto fritti were crisp and sharp, but a bit on the heavy side since they were both deep-fried and intensely savory—two elements that can be overwhelming when combined together.
We really loved our cheesy, feisty yet exquisitely simple linguine. And while the tonarelli tasted fine, it reminded us more of Chinese-style egg noodles than an Italian dish. As for the hanger steak, we’ve definitely had better. The outside of the steak was so charred that it was like scraping bits straight off a used barbecue grill; it also covered the taste of the meat itself.
Our dessert of bourbon flourless cake with vanilla cream had great texture, but didn’t really make an impression. Verdict? We wish Mario was really here.