8 1/2 Otto e Mezzo Bombana

Hong Kong, China

On the pass:

Umberto Bombana

Pastry chef:

Fabio Bardi

Style of food:

Contemporary Italian

Standout dish:

Fassone veal tenderloin, braised celery with black winter truffle, truffle jus and whipped potato


Shop 202, Landmark Alexandra, 18 Chater Road, Central, Hong Kong

+852 2537 8859

Elegant Italian from the ‘King of White Truffles’ in Hong Kong

Why it’s special: Award-winning chef Umberto Bombana opened 8½ Otto e Mezzo Bombana after the closure in 2008 of Toscana and The Ritz Carlton Hong Kong, where he had worked since 1993. The restaurant was awarded two Michelin stars after just 11 months of opening, and quickly achieved further critical acclaim. The chef now has branches of 8½ in Shanghai and Macau, as well as Opera Bombana in Beijing and Italian trattoria Ciak in Hong Kong.

What’s in the name? The restaurant was christened in tribute to Italian film director Federico Fellini’s 1963 movie 8½, where a film director retreats into his memories and fantasies. Bombana says the naming is a tribute to Italian lifestyle and art.

On the menu: Otto e Mezzo’s tasting menu starts with confit abalone carpaccio and moves on to blue lobster, three species of Hokkaido sea urchin and M9 sirloin and beef cheek, finishing with ‘Caprese’ of chocolate cake, chocolate sorbet and orange blossom white chocolate Chantilly or marinated wild strawberry.

Bonus point: Adding to a collection of awards that includes the title of Worldwide Ambassador of the white truffle from the Piedmontese Regional Enoteca Cavour, Chef Bombana this year adds The Diners Club Lifetime Achievement Award for his work across Asia. All hail the King of White Truffles!

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