European. 4/F, Ovolo Southside, 64 Wong Chuk Hang Rd., 3460-8157. Out of the dearth of food options in Wong Chuk Hang, Cirqle at Ovolo Southside is like a mirage in a desert, serving up modern European fare in a casual, semi-alfresco setting.
HIT Starting off with a tapas-style appetizer, the crispy quail egg ($75) included five breaded, semi-runny eggs, topped with maple bacon chunks and microgreens. It tasted great on its own, but the pond of sriracha mayo that it was sitting on overpowered the dish. The bolognese ($120; made with a pork, lamb and beef sauce) with rigatoni was al dente and a solid crowd pleaser, though a touch more pecorino wouldn’t have hurt. The sauteed mushrooms and gai lan in soy butter ($48; actually soy sauce and butter) was an interesting fusion, and the gai lan retained a fresh crunch. We also enjoyed the unique smoked eel carbonara ($135), as the sweet teriyaki flavor of the eel and its soft texture balanced nicely with the egginess of the carbonara sauce. However, it felt strange slurping down an Italian classic with thick and heavy Chinesestyle noodles.
MISS The seating arrangement on the terrace outside may be pleasant and even romantic in the evenings, but the indoor space feels slightly cafeteria-like, with plastic chair seating and bright fluorescent lights.
BOTTOM LINE There’s nothing that breaks the bank—or necessarily breaks boundaries—at Cirqle, which makes it an easy and reliable choice if you’re checking out galleries nearby or staying at the hotel. Open daily 6:30-10am, noon-3pm, 6-11pm. $$