The original Paper Moon opened in Milan 40 years ago and now has eight restaurants spanning the globe, from Istanbul to Dubai. The chain’s new
Hong Kong branch was opened in collaboration with restaurant group 1957 & Co, among whose partners are renowned architect Steve Leung and lighting designer Tino Kwan. The space is enormous, with 110 seats indoors and 50 outdoors, outfitted in warm brown tones against concrete walls. Stylish details include orange cushions that pop against the banquettes and a filmstrip of old black-andwhite Hollywood stills lining the walls. But the real wow factor is the view: a vast panorama of Victoria Harbour from Ocean Terminal’s newest extension.
Italian cuisine is all about the quality of the few ingredients on the plate and there is no hiding behind elaborate techniques. At Paper Moon, this is perhaps best represented by the burrata alla caprese ($178). The handmade burrata cheese is silky, creamy and melts in the mouth. Eaten together with fresh heirloom tomatoes, basil leaves and a generous drizzle of olive oil, it’s all of the flavours of Italy in one bite. The kitchen is outfitted with a 1,400-kg Ambrogi pizza oven, so our expectations were high. Of the two pizzas we sampled, we preferred the pizza edi ($178), which had a nice kick from thick rounds of spicy beef pepperoni and fresh chilli. Pizza porcini e tartufo ($228) sounded delicious but underwhelmed: the cheese was too thick and the flavours muted. Pappardelle Paper Moon ($168) was the dish that won our hearts. Soft, springy pasta smothered in a pink sauce of tomato and cream, it was the ultimate Italian comfort food. Risotto alla certosina ($228) was also generous, with fat rice grains plumped up by seafood sauce and littered with mussels, cuttlefish and large prawns, although the broth lacked richness. The main course of grilled jumbo prawns ($278) were jumbo indeed – some of the largest we’ve had – and very juicy. Served with soft fennel and zucchini, it was simple food prepared flawlessly. For dessert, tiramisu ($98) was a light and airy stack of light cream and cocoa, though we were hoping for more coffee kick.
Paper Moon won’t surprise in food, service or décor, but we’d return for the fresh pasta and the view is hard to beat.