Taking its quirky name from a tomato grown in Puglia, Ramato offers us an authentic flare and taste of the coastal, South of Italy. Under Chef Antimo Maria Merone and Chef Matteo Caripoli, the land and sea menu has a family style charm.
Before arriving in Asia, both Chef Merone and Chef Caripoli have worked with some of the most legendary chefs in Europe and built their rapport at globally known institutions. Merone is best known for launching L’ Altro, which was quick to receive its Michelin Star, and worked as an Executive Chef in Macau at Umberto Bombana’s 8 ½ Otto E Mezzo for six years. Giving an authentic taste of Italy to the Hong Kong masses, Chef Merone also opened Neapolitan, fine dining restaurant Estro on Duddell Street.
Chef Caripoli worked under one Michelin starred Ristorante D’O and L’Imbottito de Le 4 Ciacole and two Michelin starred restaurant La Gavroche in London. In Asia, he was Head Chef at La Locanda, Divino, and helped open LucAle led by Hong Kong’s veteran Italian Chefs.
Versus Chef Merone’s upscale eateries, Ramato takes a casual approach and serves popular, familiar dishes that we all love. Italian burrata ($188) can never go wrong on any table, and is surrounded by dark, blood red tomatoes.
One dish that stood out to me was the amberjack carpaccio ($208). Thin slices of fennel, orange, and black olives add a refreshing and well-balanced twist.
The pastas steal the show. Handmade and divine, this must be included as part of your dinner. I’m not a huge fan of ordering ragu, but the pappardelle ($178) has changed my mind. It’s one of the best I’ve had in the city! Finely minced pork and eggplant are combined with fennel pollen and versus other chunky sauces, this one was delicate and intertwined among the thin, wide pieces of pasta cooked at al dente.
The mezze maniche carbonara ($168) is utterly silky with the pasta coated in a light pecorino romano. Black pepper and smoky guanciale dominate the dish delivering salty and earthy flavours. Truly comforting!
The mains are quite large, and the baked whole seabass (1.5 kg. $548) with acqua pazza sauce is perfect for large groups (serving four, very hungry people but better for six), while the medium rare wagyu rib eye (500g, $588) is better for two or three, with multiple sides to choose from.
The fish is cooked with fresh herbs such as rosemary, basil, grape tomatoes and whole garlic cloves and the acqua pazza sauce contains earthy, fresh herbs quintessential to Italian cuisine.
If you still have room for dessert, then the Sicilian cannoli’s ($38) are the perfect ending. Deep fried shells are filled with ricotta and pistachio, with some hints of orange in the mix to catch the taste of summer.
There aren’t a lot of restaurants that offer southern Italian dishes, and Ramato is a unique spot that moves away from all the American-esque pizzas and pasta dishes that are common to Hong Kong. The food is well priced and large in portion, making it an easy spot for large groups.
208 Hollywood Road, Sheung Wan, 2549 0208
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.