Sunday, February 26, 2012

Hong Kong - Trattoria Doppio Zero

Following the real foodies has its advantages.  They help suss out the places worth visiting and leave out a lot of the non-value hard work of weeding out commercially driven reviews from the non.  Best of all, they support the ones who are really trying to do it right, bringing cuisine authenticity rather than compromising to suit local palates.  I know it's a delicate balancing act in trying to make a foreign concept work, but in a city like Hong Kong, the general populace is probably well-traveled enough to know.  (*hope)

My weekend experience at Doppio Zero was soundly authentic.  At least, I didn't come away feeling bastardized.  That I would be able to experience a very similar taste somewhere in the long and narrow strip that is Italy.  

Service was also knowledgeable and impeccable.  Polite without being intrusive, engaging without being overbearing.  Even a little dedication thrown in as the next table wanted a photo taken..  I rarely see a server willing to get down on his knees to get a perfect shot - what a pleasant surprise.  

Affettati - Prosciutto, speck, whipped lardo, grilled focaccia
The whipped lardo was really the star of the starters.  It's not something readily in restaurants here.  It really is just finely reground fat from a pig.  So simple, so sinful, so good, especially on a hot grilled piece of focaccia.  The cuts were alright (the prosciutto more enjoyable than the speck) and there to add a little complexity to the sodium they bring, but the lardo, yes the lardo, did it for me.

Grilled focaccia with the Affetatti

Chitarra - sea urchin, crab roe, tarragon
Since they tout possibly the freshest pastas in Hong Kong, and made no less with 00 grade flour from Italy, no justice is done unless you leave only after trying a pasta dish.  My choice of the chitarra did not disappoint for the quality of the artisanal pasta was very good.  Perfect bite and chew and able to soak in the flavors of the sea urchin, crab roe and tarragon.  I hazard a comment here because the pasta was good.  However, I would have preferred a different dimension to break the otherwise very heavy sea flavor of the dish.  I would return just to try the Bolognese and the Amatriciana..

Milk braised boneless suckling pig - roasted mushrooms, black truffle, toasted hazelnuts
This was just decadent comfort food.  You can't really see the pork but they are 2 rounds of very tender and baby fat coated pieces of meat richly coated in a heavy sauce, that is richly good.  Fans of bread can have a field day mopping up the sauce.  The mushrooms and hazelnuts added earthiness and 2 types of crunch.  This dish is best shared though since the decadence can get to you after a while.

Flowering baby cabbage - sausage, garlic, EVOO
I like that Doppio Zero has contorni or sides.  The flowering baby cabbage here is probably locally sourced Choi Sum, but given a twist with sausage and garlic.  But then again anything with sausage and garlic is yummers.  I did forget Italians like their vegetables a little more well cooked so Cantonese beware.  It is not overcooked.  Just different.

Chocolate Semi-freddo Sundae - salted caramel, brittle, amarena cherries
The dessert menu was a little small and the sundae was the only thing which attracted.  Quality was faultless although I think I prefer a full frozen ice cream.  But the accompanying salted caramel and brittle were brilliant.  And I do like well soaked cherries (in fact I'm having cherries soaked in coca cola while typing this... yes, a real cherry coke).

Thanks @e_ting and @g4gary for introducing the place.  Keep 'em coming!

G/F, The Pemberton
22 Bonham Strand
Sheung Wan
Tel: +852-2851 0682


  1. oh yes, i love this place! And do try the Bolognese next time - their version's tomato-less (hence all meat) and it's almost as evil as the lardo.

  2. Thanks Gary, I will certainly do that. Evil is good in this case!!

  3. Dear Edena,

    Thank you for the lovely writeup - we are happy you enjoyed your meal!

    Best regards,
    Kevin from Doppio Zero