Casa Don Alfonso
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.
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 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.