- Central, HK Island, Lyndhurst Terrace
- Address: 3/F,8 Lyndhurst Terrace,Central
- Website: https://www.testina.hk
- Capacity: 47
- Open Since: February 26th, 2023
- Phone: 2798 0668
- Rating: 4.5
- Cuisine: Italian, Western
- Ambience: Fancy, Intimate, Trendy
Refined Authenticity: Testina, which translates to “head” from Italian, is a modern Italian eatery featuring authentic, time-honored flavors transformed into elevated dishes with an extra dash of refinement. The newest addition to ZS Hospitality Group’s illustrious line-up of restaurants, Testina opened in early February as a partnership restaurant with Milan-based restaurant Trippa Milano. Known for its nose-to-tail ethos, Trippa has enamored diners with its unique take on under-utilized cuts of meat since its inception in 2015, and Testina now brings a taste of this unique modern Italian trattoria to Hong Kong.
Look & Feel: The ambiance at Testina is a juxtaposition of old and new, with rustic Palladiana floors and mustard yellow walls giving the space a retro vibe while plush olive-hued soft furnishings and marble counters add organic, mineral-toned touches. Walnut wood sidings add coziness while short linen curtains bring a dash of quaintness to the space. The main dining room seats 34 guests, with an additional row of seating along the bar. There’s also a private dining room that can accommodate a meal for up to eight guests.
On The Menu: A sip of the bicicletta ($108) cocktail, a blend of Campari, dry wine and club soda conjures up images of a leisurely Italian summer. A classic Italian dish, the “lingua tonnata” veers slightly from tradition by using veal tongue instead of meat. The result is equally delicious to the classic with a slightly heartier chew thanks to the robust texture of the tongue.
The “trippa fritta” ($198) is dusted in salt and pepper, and scented with rosemary. At first bite, the fried honeycomb beef tripe reminds us of pork crackling, although with a chewier texture.
The sweet Montoro roasted onion ($168), adorned with capers, sun-dried tomatoes and crunchy bread is intensely flavorful while the tagliatelle with duck ragu ($228) is comfort eating at its best. The pumpkin gnocchi ($178), sprinkled with crumbled sausage and nestled in Parmesan fondue, strikes a delicious balance between sweet and savory notes.
Something we rarely see in an Italian restaurant, the codfish tripe ($288) packs a spicy punch with bell peppers, and fresh oregano amidst a creamy bed of white polenta. The pig’s head terrine with salsa verde ($258) is tender and sticky thanks to the rich abundance of collagen and the charcoal-grilled bone marrow ($188) is heart-stoppingly indulgent. You’d be a fool to pass up the hazelnut cake ($148), sitting in a pool of creamy hazelnut zabaione. Served warm and delicately crumbly, this dessert is simply irresistible.
Jeng: Classic Italian flavors translated into more elevated, refined dishes. There’s plenty of finesse and refinement in each dish, and that patience and precision in flawless execution shows in each bite.
Not So Jeng: Testina bravely opened at the cusp of the fifth Covid wave in Hong Kong, and we hope the dining restrictions don’t dampen the restaurant’s flame.
Meet the Chef: Chef Marco Xodo has over 20 years of experience working in Italian kitchens across Europe, the Middle East and Asia, and was most recently the chef de cuisine at two Michelin-starred 81/2 Otto e Mezzo BOMBANA in Shanghai. He spent several months at Trippa in Milan alongside Head Chef Diego Rossi to understand the concept before bringing it to Hong Kong.
Great For: Ideal for all occasions where you’d like to impress with good Italian food that’s also refined, yet is outside the confines of fine dining.
This writeup was based on a complimentary media tasting. See our editorial policy here.