Casa Don Al­fonso

Crave - - FEAST - Words Iris Wong

THE SPACE

Din­ing at Casa Don Al­fonso is like a pri­vate in­vi­ta­tion to an aris­to­cratic Ital­ian grand­mother’s liv­ing room. Think big flo­ral couches, vel­vet cush­ions, a gi­ant chan­de­lier with white shades, oil paint­ings in gold-leaf frames and walls hand-painted by Euro­pean artists. Com­fort­able, spa­cious seat­ing in the main din­ing area and the two swanky pri­vate rooms, which can ac­com­mo­date eight and 12 guests re­spec­tively, make Casa Don Al­fonso a choice lo­ca­tion for fam­i­lies and big groups. And the staff ’s stylish teal uni­forms blended so har­mo­niously with the rest of the es­tab­lish­ment that we could not help but ad­mire the level of at­ten­tion to de­tail.

THE FOOD

Re­vamped from fine-din­ing south­ern Ital­ian restau­rant Don Al­fonso 1890, which pre­vi­ously oc­cu­pied the same space, Casa Don Al­fonso is a ca­sual din­ing con­cept serv­ing rus­tic Ital­ian fare by chef de cui­sine Clau­dio Favero. We had been told the Neapoli­tan piz­zas – crafted by piz­zaiolo Mau­r­izio Fer­rini – are a must-try, so we started with pizza al tartufo bianco ($160).

The white pizza was topped with ri­cotta, moz­zarella and a gen­er­ous shav­ing of white truf­fles. The lush creami­ness of the cheese ac­cen­tu­ated the earthy aroma of the truf­fles, while the pie had good char­ring and a stretchy chew. Struck with a se­ri­ous crav­ing, we or­dered the tagliatelle alla bolog­nese ($180). It ex­ceeded our ex­pec­ta­tions: the house-made egg pasta had just the right bite, while the meat sauce was topped with cubes of crispy pancetta for ex­tra tex­ture and flavour. Crispy suck­ling pig ($250) was served with sea­sonal veg­eta­bles and mus­tard sauce, and while the suck­ling pig was well done with juicy, ten­der flesh and crispy skin, ev­ery bite re­minded us of Chi­nese suck­ling pig. An Ital­ian meal would not be com­plete with­out dolci, and the sfogli­atella napo­le­tana ($80), a del­i­cate puff pas­try filled with cin­na­mon cream and sour cherry, rounded off the meal nicely.

THE VERDICT

The spa­cious, snazzy in­te­rior and au­then­tic Ital­ian fare at af­ford­able prices are more than enough rea­sons to re­turn to Casa Don Al­fonso, de­spite the bumpy ferry ride. The tagliatelle and sfogli­atella were par­tic­u­larly mem­o­rable. Next time we’re in Ma­cau, we’ll try the restau­rant’s fa­mous an­tipasti semi-buf­fet lunch.

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