Situated at the top of Stanley Street’s latest skyscraper – 28 Stanley Street – are two new dining concepts: ORO (a Manhattan-Italian restaurant) and Top Town (an American seafood bar). Co-founded by Italian native Gian Franco Razzani, who has managed some of Hong Kong’s top Italian restaurants, both venues are a passionate tribute to the tales, tastes and traditions from Razzani’s upbringing and heritage.
ORO (“gold” in Italian) celebrates the ethos of the Italians who ventured abroad for a better future while continuing to cherish and commemorate their cultural and culinary customs. Razzani was also inspired by childhood meals in his grandmother’s home, where her best crocheted tablecloths would be brought out and no effort would be spared.
Instead of a pocket square, every staff member wears a crocheted doily that they call “grandmother’s best” in their breast pocket, a reminder of Razzani’s vision for heartfelt hospitality. The resulting ambience is elegant but cosy – pristine white tablecloths pressed carefully before each service, warm hues, comfortable upholstery and suited waitstaff who greet guests with “welcome home”.
The menu is inspired by the Abruzzo region of central Italy (where Razzani is from) and features premium ingredients and traditional Italian cooking methods, brought together with a refined finish. We visited for dinner and tried out a range of the restaurant’s signature dishes.
We began with the gambero rosso e foie gras (HK$298), a flavourful start. Seared foie gras is served with raw red prawn, crowned with a beetroot crisp and dotted with melon gazpacho. The sweetness of the prawn and melon gazpacho balance the richness of the foie gras, and the beetroot crisp provides an additional dimension of texture.
We also tried the St Jacques e caviale Osietra (HK$368) – sashimi-grade scallop with 10g of Osietra caviar, drizzled with basil-infused olive oil. The saltiness of the caviar accentuates the delicate flavour of the scallop without overpowering it, with the quality of the ingredients shining through.
Moving to the pasta dishes, we began with the chitarra Abruzzese al granchio reale (HK$398). Chitarra is a “guitar” pasta that originates from Abruzzo, made using a wooden frame strung with wire that resembles a guitar, hence the name. At ORO, the chitarra is made fresh daily and served with king crab and Datterini tomatoes (named after “little dates” owing to their elongated shape and sweet taste). This is an aromatic, hearty dish that’s bound to be a crowd-pleaser.
Inspired by American classics like mac ‘n’ cheese as well as penne alla vodka, the fusilli alla bava di taleggio e tartufo nero (HK$288) is a must for cheese lovers – and for the 'gram. A giant wheel of taleggio cheese is brought tableside and set ablaze with a vodka flambé. The fusilli is then stirred in for a cheesy finish and topped with shaved black truffle. Decadent!
For our first main, we tried the merluzzo Atlantico e peperoni (HK$428) – seared Patagonian toothfish served with a roasted red pepper purée. The fish was perfectly cooked, with a firm, flaky texture. The flavour of this fish is delicate and slightly buttery, pairing well with the tartness of the red pepper sauce.
Next up was the arrosticino Abruzzese ($428) – grilled Irish lamb loin skewers served with green and red peppers from Abruzzo. I’m not normally a fan of lamb, but this iteration is surprisingly enjoyable; the lamb is lean yet tender and not overly gamy.
We finished our meal with the baked Alaska (HK$128) and a selection of popsicle ice cream (HK$88). The former is a mix of sponge cake, strawberries and vanilla cream, set aflame tableside with Tuscan alchermes liqueur, while the ice lollies are a playful tribute to Razzani’s childhood. Both are delicious, so be sure to leave room for dessert.
While we didn’t have the chance (or room left in our stomachs) to try the food at Top Town, we did stop by for a negroni sbagliato nightcap and a peek at the rooftop views – and it’s every bit as stunning as it looks in the photos. Remember to take the stairs from ORO (30th floor) to Top Town (31st floor); the two floors are connected by a mirrored staircase that provides the perfect backdrop for all your social media selfies.
Elegant but not stuffy, ORO is a heartwarming tribute to Razzani’s best memories of home, and it delivers an authentic, delicious and enjoyable Italian dining experience. The pricing is not unreasonable given the location, quality and ambience (the soaring skyline views certainly don’t hurt).
Where: 30/F & 31/F, 28 Stanley Street, Central
For reservations: phone 2133 7517/3464 0989 to contact ORO or book ORO online; phone 2133 5769 to contact Top Town or book Top Town online
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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