Al Molo by the waterfront

Updated: 2011-09-25 07:56

By Donna Mah (China Daily)

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Al Molo by the waterfront

Al Molo offers al fresco dining and impressive harbor views.

Al Molo by the waterfront

This is prime waterfront location in Tsim Sha Tsui. Add live opera singers performing on an outdoor stage and many many eager diners and you have Hong Kong's newest Italian restaurant. Al Molo is Italian for "The Pier" and offers al fresco dining and a view of the nightly Symphony of Lights show across Victoria Harbor.

Staffed by chefs trained by the award-winning Michael White who helms Marea, Alto, Convivio and most recently, Osteria Morini to New York, Al Molo has quickly gained popularity with those who work or those who attend events at the Hong Kong Cultural Center.

Under White, Alto received a three-star review from The New York Times and earned the restaurant two Michelin stars for the 2009, 2010 and 2011 guides. Marea was also awarded two Michelin stars in the 2011 guide and garnered the James Beard Foundation award for Best New Restaurant 2010 in America.

Chef White is famed for his freshly made pasta and dedication to researching authentic, traditional recipes.

"I eat, sleep, live and die Italian food," he says.

The menu reflect his passion. There is an extensive pasta list including maccheroni with Italian sausage, tomato, cream, and pecorino, the traditional Emilia-Romagna region's tagliatelle with bolognese ragu and parmigiano cheese, and a spicy favorite - casarecci semolina pasta, clams, squid, and spicy tomato.

There are seasonal fish dishes including wild seabass, artichokes, roasted peppers, riso nero, and dates, as well as New Zealand John Dory with grilled peach, almonds, salsa verde and roasted shallots.

"We don't use any farm-raised fish," White declares.

Hand-selected meats include a bistecca, roasted guinea hen with celery root, asparagus, and cippolini agrodolce (sweet and sour onions), and osso buco with saffron risotto and sauted spinach.

A new item on the menu for White is pizza. At his restaurants in New York, pizza is not something they serve.

However, for Al Molo, there are traditional oven-flamed crispy pizzas that are definitely crowd pleasers. Served fresh and hot from the oven, it's hard to go wrong with one of these. The funghi pizza is made with crimini, porcini, chiodini, and gorgonzola, and the prosciutto pizza is made with prosciutto di San Daniele, mozzarella, and rucola. The pizzas are simple and made with only a few quality ingredients.

Al Molo is in a 650-square-meter venue with a walk-in bread-baking oven, and has three separate dining areas - relaxed casual dining, a more opulent mid-section, and the al fresco tables on the outdoor terrace overlooking the water.

Lunch (buffet is available) is approximately HK$150-250 ($19-32) per person and dinner is approximately HK$400-600 ($51-77) per person. A weekend brunch is served from noon to 4 pm on Saturdays, Sundays, and public holidays.

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For China Daily