Honouring traditional, family-style Italian cuisine, Pirata has injected seafood-infused dishes into the menu’s starters and pasta sections. A member of the Pirata Group restaurant family, Pirata serves homey, hearty Italian classics made for sharing.
Before we get into the food, I can’t forget my initial impressions upon walking into the restaurant. First, the interior glowed as it approached sunset. The atmosphere is warm and welcoming, slowly easing guests into an intimate setting for dinner. The upper level is a place for casual bar snacks and drinks, while downstairs offers a quieter dining space.
Our dinner was filled with an array of small dishes to share. To begin, smoked swordfish carpaccio ($180) and salmon tartare ($170) were served – fresh and delicious go-to dishes for everybody to share.
Next came the scallop gratin ($160) and bone marrow ($140). We enjoyed the earthy scent of the Mediterranean herbs in which the scallops were seasoned, but the breadcrumbs and acidic tomato sauce overpowered the delicate texture of the scallops themselves, which were a tad overcooked. The bone marrow, on the other hand, was rich in flavour and smooth in texture, but it wasn’t as well seasoned as I thought it would be, and the green sauce was on the oily side.
The tagliolini with Sicilian red prawns and zucchini ($220) rolled out with the flank steak ($340). We were pleased with the creamy texture that the prawn heads had given to the sauce and loved the copious amounts of fresh courgette and grape tomato that were tossed with the small prawns. I was also impressed with the quality of the flank steak – cooked to medium-rare perfection and served with a mound of rocket tossed with fresh tomato.
The linguine vongole ($210) was the last savoury dish served. Mixed with fresh clams, garlic, chilli and parsley, the overall flavour was too salty for my palate. The clams gave the dish a fresh flavour of the sea, but we couldn’t taste the chilli whatsoever.
To end the meal, classic tiramisu ($70) and semifreddo ($70) were served. I might have been full to bursting, but I always have a second stomach ready for dessert. I love the tiramisu at Pirata, which is creamy with hints of cocoa and coffee, while the semifreddo is nutty and crunchy, with lots of drizzled chocolate.
The seafood dishes at Pirata give the menu a fresh revamp for the summer months while remaining consistent with the eatery’s hearty approach and generous portion sizes. However, the pastas are a little on the salty side and could be dialled down. I recommend Pirata for casual get-togethers with large groups, and if you work in Wanchai, it’s an ideal place to grab a few after-office drinks, ending the night with dinner downstairs.
29–30/F, 239 Hennessy Road, Wanchai, 2887 0270, book online
This write-up is based on a complimentary media tasting provided in exchange for an honest review and no monetary compensation. The opinions expressed here represent the author’s.
For more reviews like this, like Foodie on Facebook