What is it? Sharing servings of comfort food that every Italian grandmother would be proud of, Pirata is a new Italian joint on the 39th floor of the culinary tower that houses the likes of Quest and Zahrabel, located at the enigmatic 239 Hennessy Road, Wan Chai.
A quintessential Italian joint, the menu is a result of exploration and meticulous taste testing with evident passion and enthusiasm poured into each dish. Guests are greeted with affability and the kind of gregariousness that those from Italy are famed for, mirroring the cuisine that Priata champions, and a recent trend we’re in Hong Kong: sharing plates.
The Drinks: The unique concept of highlighting Vermouth at the hands of bar manager Matt makes sitting on the top floor bar area (the restaurant is split over two floors with an internal staircase joining the restaurant to the upstairs bar), a very rustic yet chic experience. Being Hong Kong’s first ‘Vermuteria’, or vermouth bar, Pirata celebrates the unsung hero of classic cocktails with a creative cocktail menu dedicated to showcasing the spirit that typically hails from Italy. Traditionally enjoyed as an aperitif, customers are invited to select from over twenty vermouths ranging from classic Torinos to boutique New World varieties.
The Eats: Nostalgic dishes like My Mamma’s Meatballs (MMM) ($95), a pecorino cheese frittata ($80), burrata and Parma Ham (24 months and so very creamy) ($180) and the arancini bucket ($75) evoke Italy, as do all the pastas, made fresh in the restaurant each day in a state of art machine. The pastas in the tagliatelle with Sicilian red prawns and zucchini ($210) dish and pappardelle with duck ragu ($150) absorbed the flavours very well, with the textured ribbons holding just enough bite to provide deep chewy satisfaction for the eater.
The Butcher’s Cut ($310) features an impressive Italian tagliata style flank steak, and the Bistecca alla Fiorentina ($750) is a colossal 1kg t-bone steak with simple olive oil, thyme and rosemary aromatics. Dolci in the form of classic tiramisu ($65), chocolate semifreddo ($70) and a to-die-for 72% Valrhona chocolate fondant ($75) all provided for a splendid finish.
The Verdict: “We cook for our guests as we cook for our families – with loving care” is the vision of Manuel Palacio Ramos, whose deep-rooted passion for quality service has taken his career to some of the most coveted international hot spots in London, New York, Ibiza and Hong Kong. And particularly apparent in this hot new eatery is the level of care the staff possesses in catering to their guests. The intimate atmosphere and alluring scents instantly impress, and we have no doubt these epicurean pirates (Pirata is Italian for pirate), will set a tone of exploration and discovery in the Italian dining scene in Hong Kong.
Website or Tel: 2887 0270
Lunch from 12:00pm to 2:30pm; Aperitivo from 5:00pm to 7:00pm; Dinner from 6:30pm to 11:00pm; Daily