Monday, August 14, 2017

CIAK [Hong Kong] - Everyday Italian Dining by Chef Umberto Bombana, at Two HK Locations

  CIAK was opened by Chef Umberto Bombana of Michelin 3 Star 8 1/2 Otto e Mezzo's fame,  aimed to be a smart casual, almost trattoria style Italian Dining for everyday dining.  This is a concept which is popular nowadays within Italy and Europe, where a Fine Dining restaurant is accompanied by a more relaxed restaurant accessible for customers on a regular basis.  CIAK received a Michelin 1 Star rating itself,  and subsequently CIAK also opened another branch in Taikoo City,  which is also awarded with a Bib Gourmand status.  I have periodically enjoyed quite a few dishes here and than are shown below,  but here is a glimpse of some of their offerings for your reference.

Fermented Dough Bread with Olive Oil -
The bread, like the pizzas here, are artisanal and well hydrated with overnight fermentation

Wagyu Ragu with Tagliatelle Pasta - $140 (Small)
This came with plenty of meat ragu, which has been cooked until it's almost gelatinous - in comparison with the versions I eat in Bologna in my visits, this is more on the lubricated side.  The wagyu beef flavour is actually quite pronounced,  and needs a glass of red Italian wine to pair with,  and surprisingly there wasn't much herbs taste beneath.  Pasta was cooked to the perfect degree.  ~  8.0/10

Spaghetti Carbonara with Guanciale, Eggs, Pecorino Cheese and Black Pepper - $130 (Small)
A few foodies believe this is the best, traditional recipe Carbonara pasta in Hong Kong.  I agree,  as each strand of pasta is evenly coated with a melted cheesy and eggy sauce,  with the almost fried guanciale pork cheek pieces crispy and fragrant with rendered fat.  I personally think this is not as seasoned as I expect,  so despite the look it could be even saltier and carry more cheese,  as per the ones served in Rome.  If you want another great authentic tasting Carbonara in town,  you can also try out Tom Aiken's The Fat Pig version,  which is similar in a sense but slightly heavier.  ~ 8/10

36 Hours Fermented Dough Pizza,  the Norcina with Pork Sausage & Mushrooms -
I have had the full round size,  or this Pizza by the Slice al taglio style many times,  and it remains one of the best pizza's in town.  The dough has a wheaty taste from the careful fermentation,  and despite the abundance of melted cheese on top,  the sausage meat and mushrooms always stand out.  And per slice is only $58 and makes for a good lunch option.  ~ 9/10

Chorizo & Tomato Tagliatelle -
This is eaten at the Taikoo's CIAK All Day Italian outside,  which serves some simpler pasta's at the open tables.  It's priced around the $78-88 dollar range and is quite affordable for a Michelin grade Italian venue.  Obviously,  dining inside at the finer tables is more sophisticated, but customers can get to choose on the day of dining.  ~ 6.9/10

All Day Focaccia's Sandwiches -
This is the Wagyu Beef version,  which was served in Taikoo but nowadays has been replaced with other flavors,  and occasionally I chomp on a vegetarian version with peppers and pumpkin.  Priced at the $58-68 range,  it even comes with a salad and soup during Lunch hours.  So for a Bib Gourmand or Michelin 1 Star rated venue,  you can still grab a decent affordable lunch.

Tiramisu -
There are two versions served here,  this one is the take out version.  It also happens to be the best Tiramisu I have ever had in Hong Kong,  to the point I rated it above 8 1/2 Otto e Mezzo's own tiramisu.  Nowadays they are only making an eat in version in the main dining area,  but apparently this works on rotation and I wished they brought this recipe back to the open tables section since sometimes, we all just want a casual relaxed meal and a great dessert made very well to finish!

CIAK In The Kitchen, Central  (Michelin 1 Star) :
Price:  HKD $58 to $500 + 10%
Food:   ♕♕♕♕ to ♕♕♕♕♕

Address: Shop 327-333, 3/F., The Landmark, 15 Queen's Road, Central
Ph:  25228869

CIAK All Day Italian, Taikoo (Michelin Bib Gourmand) :
Price:  HKD $58 to $500 + 10%
Food:   ♕♕♕ 1/2 to ♕♕♕♕♕

Address: 太古太古城道18號太古城中心2樓265號舖
Shop 265, 2/F, Cityplaza, 18 Taikoo Shing Road, Tai Koo
Ph:  21165128

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