We know how fast-changing the dining scene here in Hong Kong is. Restaurants come and go in a flash. Yet, this beautiful two-storey New York style Italian house, 208 Duecento Otto, situated a little far off Central on Hollywood Road, has been in the neighbourhood since 2010 and its populartiy hasn’t faded out a bit. It surely does have its charm and magic.
Timeless & Modish Industrial Interior
The 4,000 square foot space is mainly industrial with steel pillars, marble table surfaces and walnut floors and ceilings, which makes it so timeless and never goes out of trend. Whereas their iconic blue and white ceramic walls, with Chinese illustrations that symbolise the heritage of Hong Kong, added a playful element to the interior.
The two-storey establishment consists of a lively bar downstairs (with the best happy hour deal – two-for-one from 3pm to 7pm), and a fancier and more intimate dining setting upstairs, both with semi-alfresco seating that overlooks Hollywood Road.
We first started off with their insalate (HK$118). It was lovely to see the poached egg yolk oozing out and the juices blended gorgeously with the bed of veg. The crispy bacon and crunchy bread crumbs added a nice flavour and texture to the salad. A satisfying plate to kick off the dinner.
Of course we couldn’t miss out on their signature Le Pizze. We ordered Gamberi (HK$198), which has a tomato base with mozzarella, prawn, chilli, riesling and salsa verde. The pizza is one of the best in town, in which only buffalo mozzarella imported from Italy is used and the pizza is baked in a custom-designed pizza oven that was shipped in from Italy, ensuring that the aromas of Italy penetrate the venue.
Next up, we had the dry rubbed 8oz ribeye served with prosecco potatoes and mustard mayonnaise (HK$368). The steak was nicely grilled and that pinkish colour was lovely, yet it would be even more satisfying if the savour was more robust and beefy. We especially loved the grilled potatoes, it tasted gorgeous itself and even more enticing with the mustard mayonnaise.
Moving on to the pasta, their 208 Fettunccine (HK$218) is a must-order. Look at that juicy Boston lobster, the picture says it all! The fat ribbons of handmade pasta were cooked to perfection. The bisque was very rich and creamy, and the cherry tomatoes gave it a little sour and refreshing taste which tingled our taste buds. We just couldn’t help but wanted more.
208 also serves a selection of pasta, in which the pasta fiends will be spoilt for choice for sure. The Tagliolini with Burrata and Sicilian cheese (HK$ 198) tasted fantastic. The amount of shrimps was generous and the sauce was flavourful and it was a little spicy that gave a little kick to our palates. We especially loved the burrata cheese, it was light yet creamy that sang in harmony with the sauce, definitely lit up the whole dish.
The Risotto ai Funghi Porcini 208 porcini and mushroom risotto (HK$208) was probably the coolest dish we had of the night. I mean, we did not expect a waitress to bring over a big ceramic pot wheel and watch parmesan cheese on flame and being mixed with the already cooked risotto! That was such a surprise, and it wasn’t just the look, the risotto indeed tasted heavenly with that melted parmesen cheese!
208 Duecento Otto is an upscale yet unpretentious and comfortable Italian dining, where tasty food, good wine and a great atmosphere blend together to create a charming and inviting neighbourhood hangout. It is a perfect spot for any occasions, whether it be a friends’ gathering, a family dinner, or a romantic date night!
208 Duecento Otto
208 Hollywood Road, SOHO, Sheung Wan ; +852 2549 0208 www.208.com.hk