Italian

Where:
Cecconi’s Italian
2/F, 77 Wyndham Street
Central, Hong Kong

Phone:
+852 2565 5300

Price:
HKD750 each for three courses and a bottle of wine between two people.

The deal:
Cecconi’s has moved from its Elgin Street digs to the cursed second floor of 77 Wyndham Street. There’s some bad mojo going on that floor because I’ve been to so many different unmemorable restaurants at that location. I heard a rumour that it’s now haunted by the Ghost of David Laris, who slaps steaks and choreographs awkward dances for leggy models while screaming in anguish the names of restaurants past, before fixing his steely gaze upon you.

MeatMeAtPorterhousedavidlaris
Sauce

“LAAAAAAAARIS”, The Ghost of David Laris shouts in a double barrelled reference to his former Laris restaurant and his last name. Cries of “THE BELLBROOK!” have also been known to ricochet across the floor before The Ghost of David Laris rhythmically slaps another steak while shouting “NO PRETENCE! NO PRETENCE!” at all that dare to pass. Regardless of the rumoured second floor hauntings, Cecconi’s has rebooted itself less than two months ago, shipping in Chef Michael Fox (of Cecconi’s Melbourne and Vue de Monde fame) to flog their contemporary Italian fare.

We’re seated by our slick head waiter and settle on our choices from a menu which at least seems interesting. Cecconi’s bread game was on good form and I’m shovelling their fuck yeah bread and grassy, intense olive oil into my head while I settle on the “Poached veal, fried tuna mayonnaise, caper berries” (HKD178 +10%) for my entree, pondering whether there should be a comma between fried tuna and mayonnaise. I always fucking love that classic Italian veal vs tuna vitello tonnato combo and I was looking forward to checking Cecconi’s shit out, even while I did think that HKD178 is not an insignificant amount of cash for a starter.

However, while leaning towards being expen$ive, Cecconi’s starter was a beautiful fuck yeah – poached slices of medium-rare veal against the deep fried cubes of creamy, shredded tuna. This fuck yeah combination of proteins was set against a herb sauce, mayonnaise and briney, punchy capers. Fuck yeahhhhh, even at the price point I can get behind this substantial serving of masterfully balanced ingredients with its fuck yeah presentation. It was fucking great, I would most definitely order this again and I’d recommend it to anyone who is never happy with just the one animal on their plate.

Although the secondi dishes looked really interesting I always judge an Italian restaurant by their pasta and I decided to give one of their less traditional pastas, ordering the “Pumpkin ravioli, red mullet, bouillabaisse sauce, shiso” which clocks in at at a solid HKD238 (+10% service charge). It arrived looking pretty rad – packets of ravioli against several precisely poached pieces of red mullet. This dish was interesting in the sense that I’ve never had pumpkin ravioli with bouillabaisse and shiso but while I was ok with this dish I can imagine that a lot of people would not be down with this fairly fishy dish. The bouillabaisse sauce is giving off some big seafood feels which I can jive with but I could imagine some people don’t appreciate being socked in the face with a shellfish broth when they’re getting their pasta on. I get what was meant to be happening here – salty bouillabaisse sauce reminiscent of the ocean is meant to play against the sweet red mullet and the pumpkin filling of the pasta, with a fresh herbal shiso note thrown over the top of it all. While I liked it enough at the time, I certainly wouldn’t be telling anyone that they have to get involved with this dish if they were to come to Cecconi’s. I always think that a fuck yeah pasta should involve deep, primal emotions where every fiber in your body is desperate to cram every last piece into your being while you force yourself to eat slowly so this carb-filled dream can last as long as possible. I didn’t get such feelings from Cecconi’s pasta, which means that sure, you can file this one under an interesting dish where I’ve never had that flavour combination before but fuck me, I don’t know if my lifetime ever needs me to revisit said flavour combination. My dining homie ordered the duck parpadelle which he was more underwhelmed with, declaring it to be only a 6/10. So I’m assessing that Cecconi’s pasta performance hasn’t exactly killed it and for an Italian place, they’re on the edge of a FYN fuck no death knell because I’m of the view that Italian restaurants need to slay on the pasta front if they want to claim they’re the shiz at what they do.

While the entree and main servings had been of a decent fuck yeah size, I stayed true to my FYN motto and decided to power on though pudding. While I wanted to get the tiramisu (fuck yeahhh, cream, coffee and liquor – what’s not to love?), I decided to mix shit up and go for the “Mango panna cotta, macadamia, coconut sorbet” (HKD78 +10%).  After one bite, I knew that this is where Cecconi’s was going to stave off the fuck no death knell of an only adequate pasta course through their monumental fuck yeah efforts on the pudding front. Cecconi’s panna cotta game was off the fucking hook with every component pounding its fist down in a resolute FUCK YEAH. Even though I’d been served a very generous scoop of coconut sorbet, I desperately wanted at least two more scoops of that fuck yeah, delicately flavoured snow white coconut beauty in my life. Then you pair that good sorbet shiz with a perfectly smooth panna cotta which wasn’t a gelatinous mess (fuck no to over-gelatinised rock hard panna cottas), sweet mango and some toasted macadamias and you know you’re having a major FUCK YEAH dessert moment which makes up for the interesting though not amazing pasta experience.

Aside from the major fuck yeah entree and dessert that I had here, the staff at Cecconi’s were definitely on their shit all night and get a big fuck yeah for consistent, attentive service. In a HK rarity, our waitress was even able to remember who ordered what and accurately presented all our plates without checking, so I gotta give props to that. Cecconi’s head homie was a solid fuck yeah host – checking in at appropriate points to see if everything was ok and keeping us well watered all night. What a novelty for HK – a restaurant which actually kept my wine glass filled all the time instead of my normal go to move of where I cast desperate eyes trying to find anyone to help me, while my parched tongue lies thick and boozeless, a victim of apathetic and inattentive service.

Verdict:
Fuck yeah! While Cecconi’s might not have nailed the pasta dish, everything else I ate there was a fuck yeah and I gotta throw my full hearted support behind waitstaff who are on their A game from start to finish. I’d definitely brave the chance of running into The Ghost of David Laris again, even if it was just to have that veal and tuna dish and mango panna cotta in my life again.

Where:
Giando
1/F The Fleet Arcade
1 Lung King Street Fenwick Pier
Wan Chai, Hong Kong

Phone:
+852 2511 8912

Price:
Set lunch costs HKD268 (+10%) – three courses plus tea or coffee.

The deal:
Giando is run by Gianni Caprioli, who used to be the Head Chef at Isola.  Not that I give that much fucking weight because that Isola style of two super overpriced agnolottis chilling in some cream sauce, masquerading as a main size serving in a ridiculously huge white plate with a big-ass rim that resembles a comedic ceramic sun hat doesn’t really float my boat.  Giando is going for that casual, elegant dining vibe and claims its focus is on “minimalist, classic Italian dining” using largely Italian produce and was no doubt banking on getting some of that sweet HK harbour view to tempt the punters to their venue.  Unfortunately for them, the foreshore is currently a mess at the moment so instead you get to peer out through the large glass windows at a not-so-scenic construction site.  That’s an unlucky fuck no bummer, Giando.

We sat down and got started on the bag of housemade bread which was a combination of foccacia, bread and crackers.  The staff forgot to ask if we wanted any olive oil or butter but that was the only minor issue with the service during lunch, with Giando’s service staff being largely on top of their shit.  Giando’s bread was ok and not served warm, but it was definitely not that next-level bread game which makes you want to fist handfuls of carbohydrates into your face, throwing all caution about ruining your lunch appetite to the wind.

The lunch set at Giando is a very reasonable HKD268 (+10%) for three courses and a tea or coffee at the end.  Nice touch Giando in not gouging another HKD40 out of your customers for post-lunch coffee.  To start, I went with the Sicilian octopus olive salad.  It was a fuck yeah combination of tender octopus and some freshness provided by the olives, thinly sliced radishes and the lemon in the smashed potato that the octopus was served on. My optimism levels regarding the rest of my meal were fairly good at this stage.

For main, I ordered the black squid ink tagliolini vongole.  The pasta didn’t scrimp on the seafood, providing lots of fuck yeah fresh clams and octopus pieces.  Fuck yeah, I can get behind restaurants which don’t stinge on the quality items.  However the pasta itself was so middle of the road that I’m starting to fucking yawn just thinking about it.  The taglioni was very fine (as it should be) but may have been slightly overcooked, meaning it had barely any texture or al dente bite to it.  The actual flavouring of the pasta was just ok but there wasn’t much going on to bring this dish together.  To be clear, my main wasn’t fucking terrible and I was fine to eat almost all of it but I was just so fucking bored of eating this dish by the end.

Dessert was a pannacotta with a berry sauce which was absolutely inoffensive.  The texture of the panna cotta wasn’t as soft as I prefer but it wasn’t a gelatinous rock hard lump either.  It did the job, qualifying comfortably as an adequate dessert. At least the Americano I ordered was pretty decent, which is a bit of a HK lunch rarity given the shitty coffee you generally get served post meal.

So this is the drum, Giando’s food is fine (I think I’ve used the word fine about 2,368 times in this review) and I’d describe everything as “very edible”.  Which isn’t the highest praise to heap upon a restaurant.  Nothing was a total disaster but shit just wasn’t exciting enough for me to want to come back to see more of what Giando can do and nothing was executed well enough for you to lump Giando’s food into the category of “fuck yeah examples of classic dishes”.  It really was the sort of meal that you eat because you had to eat lunch without being offended, rather one that makes any sort of long lasting impression.

housefeelnothing

I gotta note too that Giando is in a super awkward location in the middle of nowhere which isn’t really close to public transport so you’ll probably have to cab there.  That’s not too bad when you’re getting there but when it’s time to leave, you’re gonna be forced to schlep through Wan Chai before you actually find a cab.  So weighing up the inconvenient location and logistical transport issues against an inoffensive meal that has a sweeping vista of HK’s best cranes, tarpaulins and excavated earth, shit just doesn’t stack up for Giando.  Maybe it’s because I was ordering off a set lunch menu but I don’t make excuses for restaurants – cause fuck, if you serve me a mediocre lunch menu I ain’t coming back to give you another chance at dinner.

Verdict:
Fuck no – because I can’t be fucked with sufficing, unobjectionable meals with construction site views.  There’s simply better restaurant experiences in HK at this price point and style.

Where:
Linguini Fini (Dear IHM, I hope to fucking God you are not paying someone actual hard currency to make your websites.  Y U only have mobile version even for browsers?  Y UR menu section not actually contain a menu??)
49 Elgin Street
Central / Soho, Hong Kong

Phone:
+852 2387 6338

Price:
We got out at HKD340ish per person, including an adequate amount of booze – BEFORE TIP.  No service charge is included (A++ the waiters don’t point this out like assholes as they angle for a tip, hey Yardbird + Little Bao, imma lookin’ at you) – but hey FYN homies, don’t be a ballbag, pay tips to your fuck yeah waiter homies, ok?

The deal:
Linguini Fini has ditched The L Place and moved into a new massive space on Elgin Street, right near the escalators.  You know what that means for any new restaurant – fuck yeah, you gotta have your own vegetable / herb garden (see also: NUR, Arcane, The Pawn, Sohofama) because the latest hot as fuck trend is LOCAL PRODUCE FROM THE KONG (to be fair, Linguini Fini + the gang started that bandwagon a long fucking time ago) but still flying in your water from Italy.  But FYN is not just about GIFs and f-bombs, FYN is pleased to announce that we’re also branching into Research services, so check out this scientific as fuck HK forecast from FYN Research (#1 Non-RMB Research House in Absolutely Jack Shit for 2014):

growingshit

FUCK YEAH,  DISCLAIMER:  
The performance figures contained herein are net of any sort of accurate or statistical content.  Past performance is not any sort of fucking indication of future performance or actual realised forecasts of rooftop herb gardens in HK restaurants (which may be affected by a number of factors including, but not limited to, applicable trends, asshole restaurateurs and a fickle as fuck HK public).

But shit, my fuck yeah love for IHM’s Stone Nullah Tavern is well documented (check it out, here and here yo) so it’s rad times that Linguini Fini is back open for business.  When I called to book, I was told that I was #1 on the waitlist and I thought for a split second that I was trying to get my #soblessed ass into a Saturday Vinyasa class at Pure vs booking a table for gluten filled times on a Saturday night.  But shit worked out, waitlist confirmed and Linguini Fini was rammed on a Saturday night despite it still being in “soft open”.  While Linguini Fini’s stark industrial exposed walls and ceilings look cool as fuck, when you combine it with hard floors, no table cloths, a rock and roll soundtrack and wall to wall punters, it means that if you’re a) over 15 years old b) not a dog, you’re gonna be fucked cause shit is loud.  I know soft furnishings are so passé these days but fuckkkkk, it prevents you from eating in a goddamn echo chamber and being able to hear what your homies are saying across a small table.  Yo Linguini Fini homies, time to invest in some acoustic foam cones for your ceiling cause the home-made pasta which is hangin’ out to air dry doesn’t have the acoustic muffling qualities that you might have been hoping for.

Squeezed into our booth, Mrs Ain’t No Mountain High Enough gingerly peered through the remnants of a hangover and spotted the menu’s disclaimer that pizzas take 30 minutes.  Accordingly, she came storming out of the blocks ordering an 18″ Bronx pizza for an appetiser before we’d even ordered drinks.   Fuck yeah times born out of irresponsible necessity cause get dat homemade tomato sauce, pizza dough and pepperoni in my life.  Shit was huge and could easily feed eight people – fuck yeahhh cause expensive, mediocre food for ants pizza$ favoured by HK restaurants can fuck right off already. Later on we closed our meal with another pizza, the Sausage one which was good but I’d say the Bronx had the upper hand on the Sausage.

Ms Two Serves is back on the scene which means we ordered a shit tonne of food.  The garlic bread comes either with or without melted mozzarella and we foolishly ordered one serve of each.  Don’t make the same fucking mistakes we did, of course melted cheese was going to make things fucking superior.  The vegetable options weren’t just fucking afterthoughts and didn’t just feel like HKD78 exercises in steamed string beans or steamed choy sum.  The misti plate and the salad were all fuck yeahs, but the biggest fuck yeah for me was the kale side.  I know, motherfucking kale, what a fucking hip healthful vegetable stereotype – but the acidic lemon / salty anchovies Linguini Fini paired with it was a fuck yeah.  Pass me my goddamn coconut water already, I got this.

I had been fucking pumped all week to get Linguini Fini’s signature slow roasted  porchetta / pork belly, but as soon as we sat down, our waiter let us know IMMEDIATELY that the porchetta was sold out.  A tragedy of insurmountable proportions – FYN’s reaction at this fuck no news:

pandasad

However, we went with the hanger steak instead which I thought was really fucking reasonably priced at HKD188 and it arrived cut into eight pieces for easy sharing and was a brief fuck yeah (I guess that’s what happens when you share a singular steak with SEVEN people). Every other HK food blog would describe it as “grilled to absolute perfection” – imma gonna settle with tasty as fuck.

But really, if you call yourself “Linguini Fini”, obviously the pasta is gonna be your star attraction and they make everything fresh and on site.  We ordered the Radiatori Alla Vodka, the Ravioli and the Pappardelle Bolo. The Pappardelle is a LF classic using the “nose to tail” of the animal, a mix of pork / beef bolognese style sauce (I’m not 100% sure exactly which bits in between the nose to tail were in it – I would check the menu on their website for details except THERE’S NOTHING THERE) and a reliable performer.  The ravioli stuffed with ricotta was probably the crowd favourite and I can’t lie, I wanted to spoon six of them into my face, but instead settled with half a ravioli given that we were sharing one plate between seven people.  However, I thought the Radiatori Alla Vodka was actually the most interesting.

FYN Fun Fact: Radiatori means ‘radiator’ in Italian and is a relatively new world pasta shape.  This extruded pasta is modelled on an “old industrial heating fixture (a straight pipe with concentric, parallel fins)” – this maximises the surface area which means it’s a fuck yeah pasta shape for catching thick pasta sauces.

But aside from giving you some talking wank-off points for your next meal regarding radiatori pasta (if this gets you laid, please let me know), I was just so fucking down with the radiatori because its dense layered shape gives them a toothy fuck yeah texture. It’s also a spicy fucker of a dish which means some of my boring ass pussy homies were not so into as they made dramatic coughing sounds while chugging water, but because I have massive balls, I fucking loved it.

We closed out with apple pie and cinnamon ice-cream, and predictably Ms Two Serves ordered two serves.  As soon as it arrived though, Ms Two Serves got her judgey pie face on and immediately critiqued it loudly and openly for it having chunky apples and lacking adequate thickness to the base. However, this is a girl who takes her pie making really fucking seriously. Once I was making my own goddamn pie and I sent her a pic of the apples I was preparing and she spotted that I’d par-cooked my apples and I received one message which started with “GODDAMNIT WOMAN, HOW COULD YOU BE SO FUCKING STUPID? NEVER COOK APPLES BEFORE PUTTING THEM IN A PIE” before a tirade of messages regarding how I was going to end up with an Apple Sauce Fail Pie relentlessly washed over me.  I ended up making apple sauce out of the 10 apples with a side of self-loathing before I bought, peeled and prepared another 10 fucking apples just to calm her the fuck down.  Ms Two Serves’ reservations were accurate though and I gotta say that Linguini Fini’s pie was a fuck no – overworked pastry, cold apple filling and the cinnamon ice-cream was grainy and full of large ice crystals.  Pro tip from the  Carbohydrate Supercoach – skip dessert and double down on pasta.

Just prior to the bill, our table had a minor panic moment when we realise that the water bottle we’ve been drinking from has potentially the wankiest water bottle label ever which is a key leading indicator for bank-breaking times for plain water.  Not only does the Beyond O2 label have to be viewed through the bottle, it also claims it has “micro cluster capabilities”, “Über Hydrating, 9+ pH” and “This is Harmony in a Bottle”.  Fuck, for a horrible moment we think we’ve fallen to many a restaurant’s go-to dick move which consists of some asshole waiter cracking open bottle after bottle of expensive imported water without asking the table if that’s what they want until BOOM they make the grand reveal, slamming down a massive final fucking bill where 50%+ of the bill is attributable to nine bottles of imported still water from Italy (HKD98 each, motherfuckers).  Which results in me staring at the asshole waiter, eyes large with hydration, despair and tight-assed sadness:

helpme

Luckily, Linguini Fini are alkalising that shit themselves using locally sourced, sustainable water from Guangdong (ie. HK tap water) so we dodged water-related bankruptcy.  Overall, I can totally fucking get behind a price point of just under HKD400 for a shit-tonne of fuck yeah food (excluding the dud pie), booze, uber-hyrdating alkaline water and relatively attentive service. Next time though, Porchetta, my love, my darling, my moon, my stars – IMMA COMIN’ FOR YOU.

Verdict:
FUCK YEAHHHH.  Thank fuck, because I don’t think I have the mental fortitude to face another HKD600+ average-ass meal at a new/renovated HK Island restaurant before 2014 ends.  Yes, my HK struggle truly is real.

Where:
Carbone Hong Kong
9/F, LKF Tower
33 Wyndham Street
Central / Lan Kwai Fong, Hong Kong

Side note:  this is undoubtedly, the worst social media effort I’ve ever seen made by a new restaurant in HK.  And by effort, I mean, SFA = SWEET FUCK ALL, cause there is jackshit available about them officially online.  Edit – they actually do appear to have a website, I had to get it direct from Black Sheep Restaurants via their Twitter given that it didn’t appear after googling.

Phone:
+852 2593 2593

Price:
We got out at HKD625 each – one cocktail each plus entree + pasta + main + dessert split between two.

The deal:
Carbone NYC has brought its Italian-American red-sauced game to Hong Kong, as a result of a partnership between the US Major Food Group (Mario Carbone, Rich Torrisi and Jeff Zalaznick) and Black Sheep Restaurants (Ho Lee Fook, Chom Chom and Motorino).  I really fucking feared the worst because trendy restaurant shit usually tends to end in overpriced food which is inoffensive enough at the time, but in the taxi home you generally realise you’ve been had because when you pay that much fucking coin, you don’t want “mildly satisfying” or “perfectly inoffensive” you want to feel like shit was fucking worthwhile.

I’d been warned by someone who went over the weekend that Carbone HK was a bit stiff (as in formally stiff, not as in erotically “I’ve got half a chubby for you” stiff) and after reading about how Carbone HK is replicating that old school NYC vibe I was anticipating quiet service and mahogany wood panelling.  However, despite the brown leather banquettes, formal as fuck white tablecloths and most noticeably, the waitstaff in their highly tailored, really fucking over the top magenta tuxedos – it didn’t feel too awkward.  I was getting my nom on with Ms Siuwaaan (hey you tardy thot – update your goddamn website) for the first time ever and while our booking was slated for 9pm, they were pretty much ready to seat us at 8:30pm.  Despite this, we still took a drink at the old school bar, making thirsty face for some time before we were able to order classic fuck yeah cocktails from the barman who was resplendent in his full, stiff white jacket – making a welcome goddamn change from the HK Barman’s go-to-uniform of a vulgar display of tattoos and biceps, poured into a skinny black tee.

Once seated, a super slick, tuxedoed waiter swooped upon us, producing menus which were 500% larger than they had to be and instructed us that we should probably get a starter, a pasta main and a meat to share.  We ordered the octopus pizzaiolo, the linguine vongole and the lamb chop.  FAIR WARNING – I fucking love that Carbone don’t do bullshit serving sizes – no fucking food for ants here.

While we waited for our order, Carbone provided us with some fuck yeah freebies – garlic bread, prosciutto and hunks of 24 month parmesan cheese.  I wasn’t exactly sure if I was meant to be chowing down on this substantial chunk of parmesan “as is” – because that’s the sort of shit I’d do at home in my underwear on the couch vs what I thought should be going down in Tuxedo Land.  However, our waiter gave us the green light and I’m always DTC (down to cheese).

The octopus pizzaiola was fucking great – toasted charred bread, chillies and big ass pieces of tender octopus.  The linguine vongole was a serious fuck yeah too with our waiter splitting it into two very decent portions so we could get our share shizz on.  Fair disclosure though, it’s one of my all-time fuck yeah variations of pasta and this was a beautiful garlicy bitch with dem salty clams and Italian parsley.  But the true star of the masterpiece was the innocently described lamb chop (not cheap at a hefty HKD428).  When we had ordered the lamb chop the waiter stated that the chef recommends that the lamb chop be done medium and neither Ms Siuwaaan and I wanted to make the awkward first move, until we both broke down and blurted out at each other “GODDAMNIT, I WANT IT RARE” and “JUST RUN IT PAST ME AND I’LL GRAB A BITE OUT OF IT’.  Thank fuck for that, because I’ve fucking played that stupid ass game before when I follow the chef’s recommendation (I mean, he’s the fucking expert, right?), order it medium and when my meat arrives I’m all:

hugemistake

However, no mistake times here because while lamb can be such a goddamn disappointment in HK, this bad boy came out bloody and beautiful, with this magnificent motherfucker sliced at the table with the mint leaves chopped afterwards, in its fuck yeah juices.  With the fresh mint sauce, I wanted to have this lamb-filled kiss forever but my trademark greediness prevailed and soon all I was left with was two bones which I proceeded to gnaw clean.  If I was in charge of naming it on the menu, I would have given it an understated description such as “FUCK YEAH, BEST EVER MOLTO FUCKING BUONO LAMBCHOP MOTHERFUCKERS”.

The dessert cart was rolled out in front of us and we were presented with the lemon cheesecake, carrot cake and the banana flambé.  We were pretty fucking full at this stage but Ms Siuwaaan insisted that she’d been watching Instagram videos all week of the banana flambé and she wanted her fruit to be on fyaaaaaaaaaah.  I greedily tried to also order the cheesecake but was shut down by the waiter, who pointedly asked “How hungry are you?”, before I conceded that perhaps ordering a fucking massive piece of cheesecake wasn’t that necessary.  The shit truly is bananas and the whole show went on with the special cart which allows an at-table flambé experience, with flames fucking flicking everywhere.  The actual dessert was good but not amazing – I mean shit, it’s still just caramelised bananas, ice-cream and some fuck-yeah crumbs for contrast.  But shit hot damn, it was still quite the fucking show.  SIGNOR CHEESECAKE, IMMA COMING FOR YOU NEXT TIME.

Carbone’s service was formal and slick and for a restaurant that’s only just fucking opened, the waiter homies were on their shit.  I’m fucking tired of people making excuses for new restaurants and fucked up service.  Like fuck me, if you’re going to charge money you need to have your shit together.  I gotta say, there seemed like there were too many hostesses who were all super fucking enthusiastic about everything that I just wanted to tell them to chill the fuck out a bit.  But fuck, I’d take super enthusiastic bordering on that fake shit vs IDGAF incompetent bullshit any day.

Verdict:
FUCK YEAHHHHH – I’ve seriously been dreaming about dat lamb chop for THREE FUCKING DAYS STRAIGHT NOW.   I’d recommend going with at least four to six homies so you can try moarrrr dishes.

Where:
Jamie’s Italian
2/F, Soundwill Plaza II- Midtown
1 Tang Lung Street
Causeway Bay, Hong Kong

Phone:
+852 3958 2222 (don’t bother though, they’re booked through to the end of September and refer below to the clusterfuck of fail experienced)

Price:
Starters around HKD70.  Pasta mains are around HKD110 – HKD165.  No service charge, tip what you think is fair.  That’s if you ever get in the fucking restaurant.

The deal:
Whenever I watch Jamie Oliver’s 15-Minute Meals on TV, I get extremely fucking agitated about his alleged bullshit claims that yes, you too can whip up your own Chicken Stir Fry and Coconut Buns (including making dough from scratch – like mixing goddamn flour and water together) in FIFTEEN FUCKING MINUTES.  My most indignant moment was when he made something with black olives in it and he started bish bash boshing about an immaculate kitchen full of Jamie Oliver Tefal ware while he announced confidently to the camera that you don’t even need to buy pitted olives, just smash them with a knife and the pits will come out, real pukka like.  R U fucking kidding me, Jamie?!  You’ve only got fifteen fucking minutes and you’re telling people to manually fucking PIT their own olives??  I can’t even remember what the fucking dish was because I ended up shouting “Lies, lies from tiny eyes!!” at the TV before falling into a rage blackout, no doubt missing the instructions on how to make a fucking Jacobean Banquet in just fifteen minutes.

So despite the lies, I thought I’d try Jamie’s Italian – not because I thought it was going to be the best meal of my life, but despite my dour attitude, sometimes I just want to try new shit in this town that everyone is excited about so I can have vindicated fuck yeah / fuck no opinions.  I tried to book a table at Jamie’s Italian and upon calling them, was told that only 20% of their seats can be booked and tough shit, they are booked up til 27 September.  However, with 80% of their seats saved for walk-ins and they have 200 seats, I figured with 160 seats for the taking odds were not fucking impossible.  Arriving at about 15 minutes before open at 12pm, shit didn’t look too hopeless.  There didn’t appear to be 160 people in a line, which was starting to snake the fuck down Tang Lung Street.  The staff then appeared, asking people how many you were and later, they returned to us and the following exchange occurred.

Jamie’s Italian flunky:  Hello miss, we cannot guarantee that you will be in the first sitting.

Sgt Noms:  What do you mean?  You’ve got a list of names / numbers, when you add it up how close are we to the 160 seats that you have spare in your restaurant?

Jamie’s Italian flunky:  It depends on how the tables before you pick their seats.

Sgt Noms:  But surely you guys designate where people sit, to ensure maximum use of your space?

Jamie’s Italian flunky:  Yes, but people might decide they don’t want to sit a particular way.

Sgt Noms:  But, we don’t look that far back in the line though – so how long before we actually get into the restaurant and you can tell me whether or not we fit into the first sitting?

Jamie’s Italian flunky:  One hour.

Sgt Noms:  ONE HOUR before we even get in the restaurant?!?!  This isn’t even after a sitting??  Don’t you guys open at 12pm?  It’s only 12:05!!!

Jamie’s Italian flunky:  Yes, my manager has told me that even if you are in the first sitting it is estimated that from where you are now, it will be one hour before you will actually enter the restaurant.

Sgt Noms:  I don’t understand – how can it be one hour til we actually sit down if we are in the first sitting if you open at 12pm??

Jamie’s Italian flunky:  While we open at 12pm, people have been lining up since 10:30am.

I still don’t fucking understand.  How can you take one hour to seat us, if we were in the first sitting and there’s not even people eating in the restaurant yet??  Given the fact that reviews aren’t exactly that complimentary of Jamie’s Italian (and this is coming from mainstream publications which generally love to suck cock of every hot new thing in HK), shit really can’t be that good.  I read a review which not only egregiously uses some fuck no phrases of “ingredients speak for themselves” (only acceptable if ingredients were actually vocalising shit) and describes a name for a brownie as “boisterous”, concludes that Jamie’s Italian had Great recipes, with unfortunately poor execution – what does that even mean and how does something like that even score 2 out of 5 stars?  I thought the whole goddamn point of going to a restaurant is to have good execution, otherwise why not just photocopy your recipes and pass them out to punters and write “HEY WE FUCKING TRIED, TIP PLZ?” in tomato sauce on the plate, next to an artful smear of red wine jus.

So based on the fucking bullshit debacle of actually trying to get into a mid-market restaurant (Jamie’s official positioning, not my judgmental as fuck assessment) and some seating system I still don’t fucking get, I’m now reviewing restaurants without actually eating their food, Lonely Planet writing country guide styleez.  But FYN is based on “Would you go back – fuck yeah or fuck no” and FUCK NO, I’ve concluded ain’t nobody got time for that.  WELL, I guess somebody got time for that – given some people are fucking losing their shit for this celebrity chef concept and were lining up at TEN FUCKING THIRTY AM for mid-market Italian food.

Verdict:
Fuck no.  I’ll just assume it was fucking pedestrian and poorly executed and pit some olives in my kitchen.

NEWS JUST IN – Jamie Oliver has provided his response to FYN’s review:

dryingtearsmoney

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