They’ve done it again! Red Sauce Hospitality (previously Integrated Hospitality Management, which also operates Posto Pubblico and Linguini Fini) has landed on Wyndham Street with Franks, a two-storey Italian-American bar and restaurant, and it has all the hallmarks of becoming an HK institution over time.
Related: Franks wins Readers Choice Best New Restaurant at the Foodie Forks awards
As soon as you enter, you know Franks will become your Hong Kong home away from home for the next few hours. The bar staff are friendly and welcoming, and the music (funk, jazz and hip hop on the night) perfectly sets the vibe. The restaurant is upstairs, and its dark red interior and dim lighting make it feel both intimate and relaxed.
Italian is one of my favourite cuisines, and I couldn’t wait to order.
For starters, we tucked into the fritto misto ($138) – fried seafood and veggies with aioli. This dish was savoury and fresh, with a delicious crunchy finish (the result of a secret technique that won’t be disclosed).
Next up was the baked cherrystone clams ($128 for 6). I was slightly disappointed by the petite size of the clams, but I was assured that they are sourcing bigger ones.
There were four of us eating at Franks, and I mention this because the ricotta gnudi ($178) lasted one minute on the table. These fluffy ricotta dumplings, dressed in a luscious, velvety Parmesan fonduta, are a must-order.
The pappardelle alla vodka ($208) was comfort food at its finest. This pasta dish with firm rock shrimp in a subtle vodka-laced tomato sauce went down a treat.
As a bona-fide meat lover, the short rib ($248) was carnivorous perfection. Slow-cooked for more than four hours, the beef was served with creamy polenta and mirepoix. The flavourful, tender meat fell off the bone.
For once, I had no room left for dessert (although temptation nearly got the better of me, looking at all the goodies on offer).
The food at Franks is tremendous. I will return just to try the dessert, not that any excuse is needed to go back. Franks has something for everyone – with the 30-seater restaurant upstairs and the bar downstairs (which has bar snacks served from a separate kitchen), this is a place for all occasions, every day.
EDIT: Franks now has a brunch option - 'our best selection of seafood to go with 2 hours of free flow champagne for HK$268 + 10% per person. Order individual raw bar items or go for our seafood platter with king crab legs, Boston lobster, oysters, Sicilian red prawns, and tuna ceviche for HK$830 + 10%. Every Saturday, Sunday, and Public Holiday at #FranksHKG'
79 Wyndham Street, Central, 9097 9730
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.
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