What is it: The first Venetian concept to cross Hong Kong’s dining scene, SEPA: Bacaro Veneziano is inspired by the 15th century Venetian concept of casual “bacaro” dining offering “cicheti” which are bite-sized expressions of the region’s culinary landscape aiming to give a modern interpretation to traditional regional recipes.
The décor: The restaurant’s look features four characters from a famous Venetian play from the eighteenth century and gives the restaurant a quirky spin amidst the décor designed to look like the streets and alleys of Venice with shuttered windows and open cabinets stocked with ancient literature, artefacts and classic Venetian masks that set the scene and deliver a heavy dose of heritage to the interior.
The food: On our visit we sampled the beetroot tartare and tuna with Jerusalem artichoke sauce, a ruby red sphere that looked like a plate of jewels had been laid on the table. Venetian meatballs followed, then a “Basotto” egg with “bagna cauda” sauce, zucchini and a delectable potato foam. A tiny pizza-style focaccia arrived topped with anchovies, tomatoes and stracciatella cheese that was delicious and we ached for a larger sized portion of the meagre dish. A mortadella ricotta cheese and black truffle bomb sandwich was a tasty and innovative snack while the spaghetti with smoked eel was a favourite around the table. A sea urchin spaghetti, octopus al caciucco and sepa (cuttlefish) with black cuttlefish ink finished off the array of sea creatures to finish our meal. With the youngest two Michelin-starred chef in Italy at the helm, the prices on these sharing dishes are similarly Michelin priced for his Venetian fare that makes use of plenty of exotic ingredients.
The verdict: Much thought has gone into the concept here and there is plenty to gander at over the course of your meal but the portions are small and the prices are not, so watch out as they’ll add up quickly with so many options on the menu.
61 Caine Road, Central, 2521 9800