Friday, June 7, 2019

Four Pizzas, One Wine

On her brief return to Hong Kong, my friend V organized a few get-together meals around town and I managed to join her and some others over dinner at Kytaly, the “new-ish” pizza joint at Wyndham that many has said made the best pizza in Hong Kong.

When the restaurant first opened a few months ago, it’s said the place got so popular that people had to wait in line for hours in order to get a table or have a bite of their pizzas fresh off the specialty oven. But as people soon flocked to the next trend coming on, we managed to walk in and get a table immediately, though the place was still filled as the evening progressed.

Not wanting to let our food sit on our table and go soggy, we decided to order one by one. All their pizzas were made “a la minute” and took only a few quick minutes in the specialty oven, we got our food quite quickly. Our first one was the Margherita, done in the most traditional way with San Marzano Tomatoes, Mozzarella, Extra Virgin Olive Oil and topped with basil leaves. The dough was done on the soft side including the crust. And all of us agreed that we could live with the dough slightly more burned on the surface - we half-joking said perhaps we ordered too soon with the oven not yet reaching the optimal temperature for that effect. Other than that there’s no complaint with the fresh ingredients used with equal balance of tomato and mozzarella, and it was delivered to us as soon as it came out of the oven in the kitchen.

Next was the Calzone Fritti – “deep-fried” as we were reminded by the service staff when she took our order for the second course. The crust was crispier this time and definitely better – we figured that’s because of the different preparation method and the oven was brought up to a better temperature – and the filling was a milder cheese (fior di latte) and thin slices of ham. It’s of perfect size for a one-person, one-dish meal but equally enjoyable splitting among the four of us.

Scarpetta pizza was next. Now the crust is closer to what we expected to be a good pizza – spots of burnt dough, crispy outside and soft inside. What looked like a mild-flavored dish was rich with three cheeses and three tomatoes added on. Melted in the center was a mixture of mozzarella and cream of 12-month Grana Padano, along with a generous dollop of tomato compote on every piece with shaved 24-month-aged Grana Padano. Sprinkled across was powder of freeze-dried pesto for the extra flavor. Other than the fact that the tomato compote was slightly cold on top, this was by far the best, from the crust to the filling.

We went for one final course as we were looking for something more meaty to wrap up our meal. Alifana was a white pizza with a mixture of Fior di latte and smoked scamorza cheese giving this a hint of nutty flavor, plus bits of bacons and onions. The onions were only slightly cooked so that gave a mild kick as well. Again, now the crust was done to the level we wanted. Thought they toned down on the wine list – well who would order an expensive bottle at a pizza joint anyway – and we went for a simple white. Refreshing, racy with good acidity. Skipped dessert at the restaurant and went up to Soho for a sumptuous bowl of Japanese shaved ice – well-suited for such hot and humid night. And oh, love the live music on the balcony too - that's a nice touch.

When? May 30 2019
Where? Kytaly Hong Kong, 5/F, 77 Wyndham Street, Central, Hong Kong
Menu Highlights? Scarpetta Pizza - with Mozzarella di Bufala Campana DOP, Cream of Grana Padano DOP 12 months aged cheese, 3 tomatoes compote, shavings of Grana Padano 24 months aged cheese, freeze dried pesto
Drinks? 2017 Gianni Masciarelli Trebbiano d'Abruzzo

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