I went to Otto e Mezzo Bombana for the 3rd time this month, the first was for a quick late dinner with PB. We strolled in at 9.45pm with no reservations, and the manager, Mr. A, kindly let us take a seat for the last order at 10.30pm. My mother then made a lunch booking in advance with no one in particular (seeing that reservations are increasingly difficult to get), anticipating that someone would go with her – that someone ended up (gladly) being me! Finally, we went again for Valentine’s Day lunch on Tuesday (with PB, not my mum). Each time was a well-rounded and tasty experience.
Otto e Mezzo opened in January 2010 and was awarded two Michelin stars within two months. Dare I say that this new rating was perhaps not 100% due to 8 1/2’s magnificence on the global Michelin stage, but also due to the relatively new presence of the Michelin Guide in Hong Kong. But The Guide can give, and The Guide can take – what is more notable is that 8 1/2 has not only kept it’s stars, but collected a third in December 2011, making it the only 3 star Italian restaurant outside of Italy.
The lunch set is $360 for a starter and a main. It’s not the most affordable lunch on the block but hey, for a 3-star lunch, it’s a bargain! You can add an extra $80 for a glass of red or white, and/or $70 for a dessert, there are 3 choices for each course.
|The bread basket: tomato focaccia, sour dough, olive bread and my personal favorite, the salty crisp bread.|
|Starter: Taiyouren organic egg with cauliflower emulsion and roasted herb bread.|
I ordered this starter for my first lunch, and I went back to it again the second time – it’s one of my two favorite things on the lunch menu. These taiyouren eggs are from Japan and it’s said that they are favoured by chef Bombana for their sweet yolks, they are slow-cooked at 65 degrees for 45 minutes. The manager joked that it would be a bit difficult to lend me the machine to try it at home – it’s cumbersome and costs a small fortune!
|Artichoke soup with mint and pecorino cheese|
|“Cotechino” winter sausage, pork cheek, pumpkin.|
This dish was gorgeous and the perfect choice for meat lovers. I particularly enjoyed the slow-cooked pork cheek, it melts in your mouth and the flavour is intense. It is nice to have the contrasting flavour and texture of the winter sausage, but I would have been happy with one larger piece of pork cheek too!
|Pacific Cod, orange tomato fondue, chives mash.|
|Homemade pasta with a pesto tomato sauce|
|Aloe lime granita, passionfruit sorbet and cream cheese|
If you’d like to check out the full wine list, here it is!
One thing that I am still pondering is why Bombana chose to name his restaurant 8 1/2 – after Federico Fellini’s movie with veiled autobiographical references. I haven’t seen the movie but having read some of the critiques, some say it was his greatest masterpiece yet, while others say it was the start of his directorial demise. For Otto e mezzo Bombana, I’m definitely going to go with the former description!
I’ve added it to my list of top three favorite Italians in town, I hope you’ll check it out and love it too.
Otto e Mezzo Bombana
Shop 202, 2/F Alexandra House, 5-17 Des Voeux Road Central
Reservations: +852 2537 8859