Monday, December 31, 2012

Amico Italian Ristorante - ( Hong Kong )

 Thanks to blogger friend ChocolateMuiMui and of course our locally renowned Italian food, pasta and wine specialist Esther Au from Donna Dolce Kitchen studio ( who holds her own cooking classes in Kwun Tong,  for organizing this tasting dinner at this brand new Italian restaurant but only charging trattoria prices.   The Head Chef at Amico honed his cooking craft during a long tenure at Sabatini HK,  as well as Bella Vita and Nicholini’s,  all star Italian kitchens in town.   The menu here due to their bar location is priced to suit the TST clientele but there are no compromises taken -  you will still see Truffles and Sicilian red sea prawns on the menu.  If you still want a budget orientated spot for partying or for dating during the New Years period,  this is a really decently priced option.


The Credenza table -
Antipasti table is reminiscent of Sabatini or even the old Toscana at the old Ritz Carlton.


The Food Offering -
Presentation is one thing.  Food quality is another..  Hope it is all good
Winking smile


The Antipasti Table -  $158 with Unlimited Refills
One can spot from here fresh Salami,  Capocollo ham and marbled Prosciutto ham.  For some reason my 1st round of hams tasted sweetish and nutty just like Spanish Jamon and was all melty.  The 2nd and 3rd rounds were more Italian parma like in performance but still flavorful.


Also included in Antipasti buffet at $158 -
Brussels sprouts with ham.    There were more options like Caesar Salad with a proper anchovies based dressing and bacons.  Or a Caponata,  Sauteed Mushrooms, Smoked Salmon amongst other things.   Ooops,  I was too busy eating them & forgot to take photos.  A bargain.



Bread Basket -
Nicely done Ciabatta,  proper crispy Grissini indeed!  The Baguette like bread was a little dry when toasted in the bread warmer though.  May do better with more water steam?    ~ 7/10


Truffled Butter and Fagioli Borlotti with Chili & Seasonings Dip -
Some thought the truffled butter was too weak in buttery taste yet I guess I liked it for it’s subtlety and taking time to show it’s true character over time in the mouth... ?    The Borlotti beans spread fooled me initially for being chestnut in color but it was definitely beans derived in flavour and even slightly grittily good.  Rather appreciated for it’s balance.  ~  8/10



Beef Carpaccio prepared A La Minute on the table – $108
Pounded beef was hammered thin,  prepared by the table-side then drizzled with olive oil,  lemon juice,  topped with Parmesan and Rucola leaves.  The texture was just right and didn’t stick to the serving plate.  The beef taste wasn’t weak per se but I think usually customers want a more punch-in-your-face experience in beef flavour even when served raw.     ~  7/10

Extra Dry Prosecco -
Very balanced to my palate.  Minerality, stone fruits, lemon,  grapefruit &  lime stone.  Sparkling wines can cover a very wide range in taste but this was definitely more of an adult version and not just a 1 dimensional aperitivo.  Seems like they do respect their wines here..


Boston Lobster Bisque & Cappuccino Cream – $88
This was nicely sweet and again on the subtle side.  I enjoyed the balance of this as it wasn’t alcoholic bitter and wasn’t trying too hard to impress.  The only downside I can think of is their lack of lobster meat.  Not even a single bite and even at a lowly $88,  surely a few pieces will please the crowd much more  ~  6.5/10


Tagliolini Al Forno with Pancetta, Bechamel Sauce & Parmersan Cheese – $138
This reminds me of the Venetian dish Tagliolini Gratinati.   This dish hits your senses with the gratinated cheesy aroma and the heated pork oil from the fried pancetta,  with a white sauce which is so Wintery.   It’s like eating a Pasticcio or Baked Ziti but minus the ragu meat,  very yummy dish and priced so reasonably.  ~  9/10  


Tonnarelli Pasta with Sea Urchin in light Lobster Cream – $168
This is obviously a tasting portion size after our shared plating.   The in-house made pasta was quite eggy but surprisingly tasted like Tajarin pasta with that softer springy texture.  The Sea Urchin was fresh,  we thought the lobster cream could have been stronger.  In fact,  I suggest the shop to incorporate some urchin into the sauce to enhance it just like some other shops do to bring up the umami hit.  ~  6/10




Linguine with Sicilian Red Prawns & Datterino Tomatoes – $298
*Again, Tasting portion.   Using imported Italian ingredients this was cooked pretty decent and al dente.  The red prawns are packed with umami and tasting like prawn and lobster both at once.  The meat was good but the prawn head texture is expectedly slightly softer than when eating it inside Italy or Spain,  so no complaints here as Hong Kong can’t supply such powerful prawns and there will always be sacrifices.   We thought the pasta sauce could have handled more prawns taste but it’s getting there...   ~  7/10

Trying out some huge Grilled NZ Scampi,  Lamb Chop and Free-Range Baby Chicken -
Meat main courses start from around $188 to $298 range,  reasonable.   They were generally grilled pretty well.  The black pepper is quite powerful however especially on the chicken.  The best for me was definitely the Scampi,  which was really sweet and surprisingly firm – considering that even fresh Scampis can be mealy even when cooked from alive.  

Lemon Tartufo with Raspberry Sauce – $58
A lemon ice cream dessert,  this was the best sweet on the night and rather refreshing !  It also didn’t suffer the same problem as the other Tartufi in town which are always dense.  Will come back just for this and it’s only $58 Surprised smile ~  10/10




Amico Tiramisu – $58
A newer style of creamy tiramisu trifle in verrine glass without alcohol.  Surprisingly the bottom was soaked with good coffee flavour,  but overall this was lacking eggs or cheesy taste,  and the chocolate piece on top was like a rocher but too hard to break up and needed to be taken in one go,  I would rather revert back to the ubiquitous Choco powder.   I prefer the original Tiramisu versions with much more mascarpone cheese and eggs and no excuses for not having any marsala or rum.   Tiramisu means ‘pick me up’ and carries sexual connotations,  it is not designed for kids..   ~  3/10


Semifreddo with Crispy Chocolate & Mixed Berries – $58
This was more normal and tasted just ok.  Pastas here seem to be their strongest points for now,  although we did loved the Lemon Tartufo above.   If they could impress more in the Desserts department,  they will attract a lot more girl customers  ~  6.9/10



Restaurant Setting is very Cozy..
Ideal for a date and quiet conversation between partners and close friends.


Private Room caters for either 20 People or 40 in a Group -
*If you book for 20 people, you will get a whole Prime Ribs for FREE to share.
*If you book for 40 people, you will get a Prime Ribs and whole Parma Ham leg for FREE carving all night long.   Price per person is around $400,  which is a good bargain indeed and has many Courses included.  Please speak to the restaurant for more details.


Shopping Shelves near the Reception Area -
The Chef came from Sabatini and Bella Vita.   That huge Antipasti Credenza table and the retail section of the shop definitely carries shadows of both places!   The food here is aimed at the lower price end of the market but the food was aiming to perform at 1 notch above this pricing point.  It is definitely a good alternative spot for holding a party or a casual date.   I mean it is all about CP Value at the end of the day.   For me and judging here Horses for Courses,  at this price range it is definitely punching above it’s weight.  




Price: Approx HKD $200 – $300 Per Person.
Ease of Access:   4/5  (MTR Tsim Sha Tsui Station, at Knutsford Terrace the famous Kowloon Bars Area.)
Food:  Meal was by Invitation

Opening Hours -
Mon – Sun  12:00pm - 15:00pm, 18:00pm - 02:00pm

Address:  尖沙咀諾士佛臺1號7樓
7/F, 1 Knutsford Terrace, Tsim Sha Tsui
Ph:  2311 2368

1 comment:

  1. Wow! They are all look delicious and yummy. It'll definitely took you a good investment in kitchen pieces and equipment to manage serving all this delectable foods.



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