Sha Tin's casual Italian
Updated: 2011-06-26 07:39
By Donna Mah (China Daily)
When I first walked into Bene Italian in Sha Tin, I was reminded of the sitcom, Happy Days, where most of the scenes were shot at an all-American diner with booth seating and chrome accents. But Bene Italian is part of the Gaia Group, and the dcor is inspired by the retro Italian design of the '50s to '70s reminiscent of Vespas and Alpha Romeos.
The menu at Bene Italian was created by Gianni Caprioli, the executive chef of sister restaurant Isola's in IFC Mall to "capture the essence of Italy".
The pizza and pasta menu is extensive and dishes are prepared in the restaurant's modern open kitchen equipped with traditional Italian pizza ovens.
A few highlights from the menu include appetizers such as air dried beef with arugula, lemon and shaved Parmigiano, aged Parma ham with melon and poached shrimp with green and pink mayonnaise.
The pizzas here are thin-crusted, but not too thin. The dough is the same recipe used at Isola, already famous for its pizza. The pizza with tomatoes, Italian sausages and mushrooms is hearty with a crust that is wonderfully crisp on the outside and soft inside.
There is a small selection of main courses here with the braised sausage and white wine, tomatoes, and onions highly recommended.
But the highlight for most diners will be the extensive pasta offerings.
You won't find spaghetti here though. The homemade pasta on offer are gnocchi, strozzapreti, and tagliatelli. The classic Bolognese sauce is served with tagliatelle, the pesto sauce is paired with gnocchi, and the Parma ham, aged cheese, and mushrooms is served with strozzapreti. There is a total of 12 different pasta dishes served at Bene Italian, and they have a separate menu for the little ones.
Bene Italian also serves salads, soups and sandwiches. The dessert list is decent with classic tiramisu, pannacotta with mixed berry sauce, crme caramel and chocolate mouse with whipped cream, to name a few. Pizza by the slice is also available for takeaway.
A glass of prosecco with your meal is a very reasonable HK$58 ($7.50). There is even a small selection of brandy and grappa, which is unexpected but welcome.
If you happen to be in the Sha Tin area, a visit to Bene Italian is definitely worth the effort. The food is good and prices are affordable. Lunch and tea sets are also available daily.
Expect to spend HK$150-300 if you order a la carte. Portions are large enough to share.
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