Padzli Bin Ahmad
Baby lamb from Aveyron, aromatic herbs, black olive, barley and vegetables
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, Italian trattoria Ciak in Hong Kong and, since 2016, Ciak in Taikoo Shing.
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 black truffle risotto, blue lobster and baby lamb from Aveyron, finishing with limoncello soufflé, grand cru chocolate five styles or marinated wild strawberry. The wine list was expanded at the beginning of 2018 with over 400 new Italian wines by renowned sommelier and general manager Marino Braccu.
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 added the Diners Club® Lifetime Achievement Award for his work across Asia in 2017 and, the same year, he was also bestowed an Order of Merit by the Italian government. All hail the King of White Truffles!