Paper Moon

Crave - - FEAST - Words Tif­fany Chan Food photo Mike Ho

The res­tau­rant

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.

The Food

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.

The Ver­dict

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.

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