Home-Style Italian: Remember La Piola on Lyndhurst Terrace, where diners would spill onto the street while enjoying drinks and aperitifs at the bar? This is the Italian trattoria’s new location, its first move since opening in 2010.
Look & Feel: Walking the line between casual and sophisticated is tough. Go too fine-dine and you run the risk of losing the convivial trattoria feel; tone it down too much and you might end up looking more like a grab-n-go. La Piola maintains a beautiful balance, with contemporary yet comfortable interiors filled with conversation-starting details (exposed brick, chandeliers made with series of glass tubes, artsy photographs by the bar).
The restaurant is situated in the same heritage building as The Pawn, on the ground floor where upscale home decor store Tang Tang Tang Tang used to be. But while the shop was closed off, La Piola is open, allowing diners to watch the rest of Hong Kong go by — much like its first location.
On the Menu: Rich and hearty fare from the northwestern Italian region of Piedmont, courtesy of co-founder Enrico Gili’s Piedmontese background. Think contemporary-traditional dishes, from cold cuts to pastas, created with fresh Italian ingredients.
Jeng: The cauliflower flan ($98) is delicately smooth and cheesy (but not too cheesy) goodness, while the deceptively simple homemade tajarin pasta with sausage, leek and burrata cheese ($195) is a carnival of textures and fresh, savory flavors.
Not So Jeng: The kurobuta pork schnitzel with mashed potatoes ($248) and selection of daily fresh seafood ($258) are solid, but nothing to write home about. (The fact that we have to rack our brains to think of an aspect of the meal we didn’t like, though, is telling.)
Great For: Catching up with friends over dinner and drinks.
FYI: For a leisurely, affordable lunch, go for the set lunch, which comes with semi-buffet antipasti and salad (along the bar, the true Italian way) or soup to start, a main, and a dessert.
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This writeup was based on a complimentary media tasting. The Loop HK doesn’t guarantee/sell restaurant review coverage. See our editorial policy here.