Friday, March 27, 2020

Catching a Breather

We were genuinely surprised when we saw the packed dining room at Paper Moon at Harbour City just the other day. We knew the place has always been popular with its killer harbor view and decent classic Italian dishes, but with business clearly slowed down just about anywhere else we were glad to see they seem relatively unaffected.

It’s our first visit to this 2-year-old restaurant, which is an off-shoot of the Milan-based group started a few decades ago. The modern trattoria décor seems to match perfectly with the metropolitan Central skyline as backdrop through the large glass door panels – we did regret not asking for the outdoor seating which would have given us the even better view than our table just by the window.

We went for a slightly customized menu than their promotional dinner for 2 with a few simple dishes. Started off was the pan-seared scallops. Their sizes may not be the biggest I have seen, but they were well-cooked with the seared crispy crust and had great flavor. They were served with salad greens, creamy porcini sauce and shaved black truffles on top. With the menu describing our next courses as tomato and basil soup – I thought it was missing something. The soup – served in a deep dish – served without any garnishes, and I didn’t taste any basil either. This reminded me of a minestrone without the vegetables and probably not our favorite dish of the evening. Problem with the busy night, I guess.

The main course was served in individual portion but we decided to share everything. The sea bass fillet was seared skin-on and served with tomato compote and spinach puree. Straight forward cooking but well executed. Same can be said about the bistecca. The piece of porterhouse was grilled in high temperature with a well-charred crust, yet inside was tender and pinkish, just as what we have asked for. Probably just missing a dash of salt at the end to make this even better but they did serve  some on the side to make it up. The steak came with a bowl of poached vegetables on the side – I thought roasting would have been a better idea to give them a rustic, smoky edge but they did taste good on its own.

Dessert was beautifully plated – panna cotta surrounded by mixed berries. Something light and sweet to end our meal with. Wine menu was dominated by Italian choices, as expected, and the nice bottle of chianti worked just fine, medium to full-bodied, easy going with cherries and blackcurrant, light tannins and some wood.

Good to catch a breather on the other side of the harbor with a delightful scene of a lively restaurant where everyone's enjoying their food.

(Dinner was by invitation)

When? March 17 2020
Where? Paper Moon Hong Kong, Shop OTE301, Level 3, Ocean Terminal, Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong
Menu Highlights? Fiorentina alla Griglia con Verdure
Drinks? 2017 Peppoli Chianti Classico DOCG

United We Dine
As part of the Hong Kong food community, I felt strongly that we should all stand together to support our fellow restauranteurs, hoteliers, and passionate people which made our dining scene one of the best in the world. "United We Dine" is a city-wide restaurant campaign that calls on Hong Kong food lovers to dine out. In March and April, over 100 dining destinations across town (including Paper Moon and a few others under the same group!) offered limited time menu or special promotions to customers, not to mention a lucky draw with some attractive prizes. Go visit for more details.

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