GBA Lifestyle News
Food & Drink Section
By Andrea Lo | May 22nd, 2017
  • Bar, Restaurant
  • Central, HK Island

A Taste of Italy: Taking up most of the lobby level at boutique hotel The Pottinger, Gradini Ristorante E Bar Italiano serves authentic Italian fare alongside some pretty solid cocktails. You won’t find any fusion touches or modern twists here — Gradini is all about the classics done right.

Look & Feel: The classy, stylishly decorated space features light, pastel colors throughout, giving it a gentle, relaxing feel. It’s neither imposing nor stuffy — at the lounge bar, you’re just as likely to sit next to yogis sipping on tea as well-dressed couples enjoying aperitifs. The dining space boasts floor-to-ceiling windows with a view of bustling Queen’s Road Central below.

On the Menu: If you love hearty, rustic Italian cuisine that’s beautifully presented, Gradini is where it’s at. Signatures include roasted rack of lamb with an herb crust and chianti mustard ($438). Gradini also has a great selection of pastas, including rigatoni with Tuscan sausage ($268) and homemade tagliolini with Maine lobster ($410).

Roasted rack of lamb with herbs crust, Chianti mustard

Service: Servers are very attentive without being overbearing. They also seem to anticipate guests’ needs — we were offered shawls to combat the AC.

Jeng: The dishes are well-executed, and it’s evident that a lot of thought went into each one. Grilled Mediterranean octopus ($158) served with baby spinach salad is tender, firm and packed with flavor. The subtle, slightly sweet flavors of smoked Iberico pork tenderloin ($428) is well complemented by the rich assortment of ingredients it’s paired with (parmesan potatoes, sautéed porcini and black truffle foam). You have to save space for dessert: the only non-Italian dish on the menu, the gai daan jai served with Hong Kong milk tea gelato, is a must-try.

Not So Jeng: We didn’t find the roasted eggplant, tomatoes, buffalo cheese and crispy cannelloni ($168) to be particularly exciting.

Great For: Romantic dinner for two, serious foodies; for impressing out-of-towners, .

FYI: Gradini is the Italian word for “steps” — an apt name as it’s located right by the historic steps of Pottinger Street.

Check out Hong Kong’s newest restaurants here.

This writeup was based on a complimentary media tasting. The Loop HK doesn’t guarantee/sell restaurant review coverage. See our editorial policy here.