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Nissa la Bella (Nice the Beautiful) is the new venue in Sheung Wan by Pastis Group, the French duo of Jérôme Spitzer and Olivier Caisson, who are also behind French hotspots FAB, Le Boudoir and Metropolitain, just to name a few.
Pastis Group bring the French Riveria to Hong Kong with Nissa la Bella’s bright and airy interior, featuring the cool blues and greens of the Cote d’Azur. The menu is inspired by flavours from southern France and northern Italy, meant to whisk you back to summers spent on the Mediterranean coast (I spent my summers on a beach in Blackpool, so I’ll have to take their word on this).
The bistro is cosy and inviting, a place for many occasions. I can see one glass of vino turning into a few bottles here.
The food here is unpretentious – fresh, simple but very tasty. We shared a regional dish called socca ($88), or chickpea pizza. Then for our starter, we had the petits farcis Niçois ($148), stuffed vegetables with pork filling.
For our mains, we first opted for the risotto aux homard ($278). This was by far the best dish of the meal, and we fought over every last bite. A generous portion of lobster with basil in a creamy sauce – this is reason enough to return.
Last but not least was the filet d’agneau ($248), lamb loin with a Parmesan crust with basil and lamb juice. The loin was heavenly and melted in the mouth.
For dessert, we had the gratin de framboises ($98), but by the time we got to this, I was so full that I only mustered a spoonful. Nice, but a step too far.
I hope, once all restrictions are lifted, that Nissa la Bella will turn out to be a great neigbourhood restaurant. The atmosphere is relaxed and the food delicious and reasonably priced.
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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