Be­come a pasta­far­ian with the city’s best carbs

Beach sea­son’s over, so what are you wait­ing for? Grab a fork and dig into the ul­ti­mate com­fort food as we count down eight of the best pasta dishes in Hong Kong. By Leslie Yeh

HK Magazine - - PAGE 3 -

3 Vodka Ri­ga­toni Car­bone

No list of best pasta dishes in Hong Kong would be com­plete with­out Car­bone’s spicy vodka ri­ga­toni, a dish that cap­tures the bold fla­vors, gen­eros­ity and sim­ple artistry of Ital­ian cook­ing in one bright or­ange tum­ble of glis­ten­ing pasta tubes. The key here is the Cal­abrian chilies, which add a com­plex­ity of fla­vor and sub­tle spici­ness to balance out the lus­cious vodka cream sauce. $208. 9/F, LKF Tower, 33 Wyn­d­ham St., Cen­tral, 2593-2593.

1 Squid Ink Lin­guine with Sea Urchin Fish & Meat

Wrapped around in a bun­dle vaguely re­sem­bling a bird’s nest, the squid ink lin­guine at Fish & Meat un­folds into de­li­cious, black strands of smooth al dente noo­dles, with red cara­bineros prawns, sea urchin and sal­mon roe lend­ing a salty, oceanic pop to ev­ery fork­ful. It’s sim­ple yet stun­ning, and proves what can be done when just a few key in­gre­di­ents are left to shine. $385. 2/F, 32 Wyn­d­ham St., Cen­tral, 2565-6788.

5 Ra­di­a­tore alla Vodka Lin­guini Fini

A jazzed up ver­sion of penne alla vodka, which tra­di­tion­ally con­tains vodka, heavy cream and toma­toes, Lin­guini Fini’s take on the dish sub­sti­tutes ra­di­a­tore, “ra­di­a­tor”-shaped pasta with ruf­fled edges and grooves that are per­fect for catch­ing the thick, tomato-based sauce. The ad­di­tion of spicy ‘nduja, or spread­able salami, and a layer of melted moz­zarella puts this pasta over the top. $149. 49 El­gin St., Cen­tral, 2387-6338.

2 Mac ‘n’ Cheese Stone Nul­lah Tav­ern

Stone Nul­lah Tav­ern’s in­fa­mous mac ‘n’ cheese is a nearper­fect bowl of carbs and not much else—save a sprin­kling of chives. The aged white ched­dar cheese sauce takes on an­other layer of creami­ness once the or­ganic egg yolk is bro­ken over the mac­a­roni, re­sult­ing in the ul­ti­mate mash-up of cheesy carbs. Add on black truf­fle, pick­led jalapeno or homemade ba­con for an ex­tra charge ($10-30). $128. 69 Stone Nul­lah Lane, Wan Chai, 3182-0128.

4 Mac­cheroni with Blue Lob­ster Ragout 8 ½ Otto e Mezzo Bom­bana

More re­fined but just as com­fort­ing as the other con­tenders on the list, chef Um­berto Bom­bana’s homemade mac­cheroni with blue lob­ster ragout fea­tures creamy lobes of sea urchin com­ple­ment­ing sweet chunks of lob­ster, and a quenelle of raw diced crus­tacean adding an­other di­men­sion to the dish. The rus­tic pasta tubes are, as ex­pected from a three­Miche­lin-starred chef, fault­less—cooked all the way through yet still tooth­some to the bite. $420. Shop 202, Land­mark Alexan­dra, 18 Chater Rd., Cen­tral, 2537-8859.

6 Capellini with Golden Gar­lic Mer­cato

A new­comer to the Ital­ian scene with a some­what lighter take on the cui­sine, Mer­cato’s pas­tas are all made in-house, with fresh in­gre­di­ents driven by sea­son­al­ity. While the ri­ga­toni and meat­balls is a classic crowd-pleaser, we’re more en­am­ored with the capellini, a thin va­ri­ety of pasta that stands up well against fla­vors like gar­lic and lemon. Mer­cato’s ver­sion has all the com­fort with­out the heavy cream, with fresh ri­cotta cre­at­ing a smooth coat­ing, and golden gar­lic and jalapeno adding an ex­tra kick. $108 small por­tion, $128 large. 8/F, Cal­i­for­nia Tower, 30-32 D’Aguilar St., Cen­tral, 3706-8567.

But­ter­nut squash lends its nat­u­ral sweet­ness to a sim­ple fill­ing in chef Mick Bo­lam’s pa­per-thin ravi­oli, with grated ch­est­nut, nut­meg and pecorino round­ing out the fla­vors of fall. For large groups, also go for the wagyu Bolog­nese pap­pardelle and lob­ster fet­tucini, or the porcini and wild mush­room risotto which is fin­ished off in the kitchen’s lat­est toy— a giant Parme­san wheel used to in­fuse creamy cheese into ev­ery bite. $178. 208 Hol­ly­wood Rd., She­ung Wan, 2549-0208. Homey Ital­ian restau­rant Pi­rata’s “liq­uid” ravi­o­loni sounds much too tempt­ing not to try, and in­deed the dish is just as de­li­cious as you’d ex­pect. The “liq­uid” por­tion comes from the melted parme­san sauce that gushes out of the hearty­sized ravi­o­loni; to­gether with the meaty ragu and fried sage, the com­bi­na­tion is up there with the best. $180. 29-30/F, 239 Hennessy Rd., Wan Chai, 2887-0270.

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