208 | Duecento Otto, Hong Kong

3 Apr

Image source: Duecento Otto

I’m rewriting my review of 208. The first night I went was quite frankly,  as we Italians like to say, “un casino” (a mess). My experience since then has proven that it was definitely a one-off. Giulio, the manager, has since ensured an unrivalled Italian dining experience in Hong Kong. For honest, authentic and creative flavours of Italy, this is the real deal. After watching the Milan derby at 2.45 am, a perfectly mixed Negroni sbagliato cocktail of Italian sweet vermouth, Campari and Prosecco was just what the doctor ordered.

Rarely are Italian restaurants able to balance a sophisticated menu and superb pizza. 208 does both.To start, we enjoyed an ‘Arugulasalad of peppery rocket in an aged balsamic vinaigrette, sharpened with shavings of  matured parmigiano reggiano and delicate specks of broken roasted garlic. The pizza is perfection. The dough was light and airy with a slightly puffed crust, wood-fired with D.O.C quality ingredients. You can (and I do) eat one on your own. For me? A Margherita.. 3 toppings – tomato sauce, mozzarella di buffala and basilico- unviolated by any other ingredient. My husband ordered the Diavola (spicy Italian sausage, chilli, tomato sauce and mozzarella).

Easily, two of the bests pizzas we’ve had out of Italy (and we travel a lot). Compliments to the pizzaiolo. 208 has become a fortnightly regular for us, and each time we promise to try other dishes but we’re so deprived of decent pizza in Hong Kong that we keep coming back for more. Next time.

I suggest you don’t eat before you come. You absolutely have to make room for perhaps one of the most simple, yet exotic desserts I’ve ever tasted. My husband and I have nicknamed it “The Med on a Plate”. The Roasted Figs in Saba dish presents caramelized figs served with homemade cookie crumble and a chunk of gorgonzola dolce. The perfect marriage of textures, tastes and fragrances. If you prefer something a little less naughty but equally delectable, try the Campari Orange Sorbet for an icy treat that is not too sweet and has a bit of kick. To finish – an espresso which is ‘ristretto’ with the perfect layer of crema.

Image source: Duecento Otto

The interior design is a fresh fusion of east and west, Chinoise wall tiles and warm dark timber are perfectly framed  by a striking iron façade. The connection between indoors and the external environment makes for a wonderful alfresco dining experience or apertivo setting.

Image Source: Habitat Property

The Verdict? A rockstar menu, and attentive service in an intimate, yet very cool loft-like setting. It’s also refreshing to see Italian staff bouncing around the place who always has time to stop for a chat. Buon appetito! Well-done 208.


One Response to “208 | Duecento Otto, Hong Kong”

  1. Maby March 9, 2011 at 9:44 am #

    I can’t stop reading your blog! You are wonderful, this is my favourite post!
    Absolutely love your posts about fashion and design! Go on!
    Un abbraccio!
    Maby =)

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