Al Molo launched at Harbour City, Hong Kong, serving Italian cuisine by New York restauranteur and king of pasta Michael White, on the ground level next to BLT Steak. I went with a friend and we had a good time at the Al Molo launch. Can’t say no to free food and making new friends :)
This is just a quick note to my own friends of what I’ve tried for reference when we revisit, and also a glimpse of the menu for anyone who wasn’t able to get food through crowds. It was ridiculous: women bearing talon like nails snatched pizza in handfuls losing all composure despite their diamonds and pearls, and the lines covered most of the walls of the spacious restaurant as if there was a famine going on. If it weren’t for my starving friend’s fervor, I wouldn’t have been motivated to fight for food.
oysters – didn’t try
tuna – didn’t try
amiebi – good
(Sashimi were served on skewers, omitting chopsticks, quite clever.)
Beef tartare with shaved parmesan and radish – good, no chewy ligaments in my serving.
Veal ravioli – cooked in broth, strong flavour, very juicy. If you don’t want to imagine your food pre-slaughter, don’t highlight the following to read. [It is made from calves younger than three month old to ensure tenderness] and involved seasoning with nutmeg. Friend’s and my favourite.
Tomato sauce gnocchi – springy, good texture, sauce not too tangy.
Mushroom soup with truffle oil – standard with a dollop of cream, but I am biased towards mushroom soups. Pictured above in shot glasses.
Deep fried risotto balls with parmesan sauce – At first bite it seemed like tater tots because it was starchy. After inspection under dim lighting, I concluded it was risotto, served with white creamy parmesan sauce. Good snack but not my kind of thing.
Pizza – straight from the oven behind the open counter, there were never two pizzas resting on the counter. They were immediately snatched up. They were cut into tiny squares and gobbled up quickly as we were hungry and food was scarce! Hence the famine-like situation. Review not available.
Brownie – not overbearingly sweet, not too cakey, not too fudgey, one friend loved it
Cheesecake – a bit too creamy and sweet for me (I prefer baked NY cheesecake), but it was at a good level of moistness and graham base didn’t fall apart even being jostled through crowds, nice. One friend’s favourite.
Tiramisu – the base resembled coffee grind, which is probably coffee biscuit but it was a good effect. Mostly liquid-y cream on top, a bit sweet for me.
Strawberry panna cotta (not sure) – I only had one teaspoon, it had fresh strawberries and I think I saw vanilla beans. Quite light.
Cake with raspberry – very moist, my favourite.
Watermelon cube with balsamic vinegar – nice palette cleanser!
And of course, free flowing alcohol. They served champagne and rose as well as the usual red and white, and mojitos in red plastic lantern like balls with lighting in the base! (See the red orb captured in dessert photo.) The mojito tasted sweeter than usual, good enough for me during patio season and girls’ night out :)
Performers from the Venetian played guitars and walked on stilts (not too high) amongst guests. The ceremonial lion dance was surprisingly exciting and quite cheeky. Chef Michael White mingled with the crowds and brought a little girl I assume to be his daughter out to watch the lion dance. Then opera singers and Venetian perfomers keep the sociable atmosphere going, under a clear sky and perfectly rare spring weather with the Hong Kong island skyline as backdrop. It was a good effect reminding us we were at an Italian restaurant set in Hong Kong. By the end of the night I saw a few really flushed faces (Asians, of course), and a drunk girl held up by another drunk girl. They can tell you it was a successful restaurant launch party.
From the bite size servings and large crowd, the staff prepared quality food efficiently. I believe they are ready to get into full swing. In terms of food, seems like the exact type of restaurant you would expect to find in Harbour City: not pretentious as Hong Kong side, great for a comfortable, cozy, affordable night out.
Ugh. This became a lengthy post and I am still hungry. Okay when we go, we need to order veal ravioli!