Thursday, October 11, 2018

Pre-Concert, Pre-Typhoon Dinner

We have always wanted to try the new Pici in Tsimshatsui since they open a few weeks ago and we decided to go on one evening for an early dinner when we had to attend a music concert nearby, just as the super typhoon loomed.

We have been to its original restaurant in Wanchai’s Star Street Precinct a few times and love their simple Italian fare and casual atmosphere, and was happy to find out their new branch in Tsimshatsui East features a similar menu and décor, but with a much bigger dining area. Hence there’s no problem for us to be seated right away when we arrived at around 6pm before the place soon filled up with customers midway through our meal. (a point to note though, their entrance is actually nested in the side street of Hart Avenue instead of the main street)

It didn’t take long for us to decide on going for the tasting menu which came with a bit of everything in sharing portion. (they also got the a la carte menu available but we just couldn't be bothered to choose) We began with a pair of starters, both classic trattoria-style dishes. The burrata was fine, served with cherry tomatoes, rocket and drizzle of olive oil, but my favorite was the meatballs, handmade with pork and beef, and served with a rich tomato sauce and grated parmesan cheese. I love its hearty flavor and the soft and fluffy texture.

The restaurant is famous for its pasta (even named after the signature noodles from Tuscany) – all made fresh in-house daily and prepared in classic style. And we had three different dishes to share. The Tagliolini, or Tajarin as it’s better known as in its native Piedmont region, was cooked with butter and served with truffle sauce, shallot and generous portion of sliced summer black truffles on top. While the aroma was not as profound as the white truffles which are coming into season just now, but I love the hint of earthiness matched with the creamy butter sauce.

We both love the texture of the Orecchiette pasta, which was our second dish. The pasta, so named because of its ear shape, has a firm and bouncy texture, which went well with the kick of heat from the small chunks of n’duja sausages in the sauce (along with Italian sausages and cherry tomatoes) Completing our pasta courses were pappardelle, served with duck ragu. I personally prefer my ragu to be richer in meat flavor but one definitely can’t complain about the noodles, bouncy with rich eggy taste.

Desserts were served in individual portions, and I definitely prefer the Tiramisu over the Panna Cotta. The berry compote on top of the panna cotta was a tad bit too sweet for me, but the tiramisu was excellent, with the rich and creamy egg-mascarpone mousse and soaked lady fingers served in a water tumbler.

It’s a peculiar choice of location when they decided to open up in this area filled with sports bars and cheap eats, but this certainly filled the void of a decent western restaurant serving casual yet well-executed dishes in this neighborhood popular with tourists. It’s a perfect venue for a quick pre-concert/pre-theater meal with both Cultural Center and Coliseum nearby, or with its proximity to our church, we should be back for brunch sometimes on Sundays when we were craving for some good pasta.

When? September 15 2018
Where? Pici, G/F, 29-31 Chatham Road South, Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong
Menu Highlights? Tagliolini with Truffle Sauce, Shallot, Butter, Shaved Fresh Truffle
Drink? 2016 Borgo Tesis Fantinel Pinot Grigio, Friuli DOC Grave

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