Pizza

Where:
Little Creatures Hong Kong
Shop 1, G/F, New Fortune House
2-5A New Praya
Kennedy Town, Hong Kong

Phone:
+852 2833 5611 (you better book that shit too, cause these fucks are popular)

Price:
This was the second meal of our night, so the per person cost isn’t as large as normal, around HKD110 a person (including service charge) without booze.  Large plates seem to range from around HKD100 – 150 each (+10% service charge), with most small plates under HKD100.

The deal:
After rampaging through fuck no disappointment town at The Ribcage, we pushed grimly onto a second bang bang dinner down the road at the microbrewery, Little Creatures Hong Kong. For those people who possess self control and don’t know what a bang bang is, it’s when you complete two meals in one session. Little Creatures is an import from Fremantle in Western Australia, but of course if you’re any true blue Aussie Cunt (technical term) worth your Vegemite, you’d know that you say it correctly as ‘Freo’.  The former sugar and flour mill in Kennedy Town has been decked out to try and capture that carefree port side feeling of the Little Creatures in Freo with its high ceilings, recycled wood, airy interiors and cute purposefully retro posters blending Australia and HK references. My lungs are almost gleefully sucking down that clean Australian air just by thinking about it. It’s also really fucking huge by Hong Kong standards with a fucktonne of tables.  Despite the ample seats, we still had a wait ahead of us because we were bang bang dinner refugees without a booking and by the time we arrive at Little Creatures HK at around 8:30pm on a Friday night, it’s totally rammed with people and a long list of reservations.  The hostess is totally on her shit though, assuring us in a comforting Strayan strine that she’ll try and seat us as soon as possible.  She might even have called me darl, which went some way to calming my harried nerves. We dull our Ribcage related pain by getting involved in some Little Creatures Pale Ale, IPA and cider, as we stand around awkwardly at the limited bar space for a very reasonable twenty minutes before we’re shown to our table.

The Little Creatures HK menu is split into Sharing Plates, Small Plates, Greens Breads and Buns, Pizza, Pasta & Rice and Cheese.  We start with the Crispy Chicken (HKD125 +10% service charge) with pineapple sauce.  I’m sceptical from the start because I just don’t jive with sweet fruit and savoury meat as a general rule but in reality, the sauce isn’t as sickly sweet and offensive as I’d imagined it was going to be.  While the chicken itself is well fried, crispy as fuck on the outside and avoiding the common fate of being a dried out mess inside, it’s unfortunately underseasoned which means it relies on the pineapple sauce to bring the flavour (not that it particularly pops with any strong pineapple flavour). Luckily, I’m able to season my bland though well-fried chicken with the salty tears that I shed when I try the cliched Hand Cut Frites with truffle mayo (HK75 +10% service charge) which are just like my summer body dreams – pale, flabby and definitely full of carbs.

Next up is the Mac and Cheese (HKD75 +10% service charge), which is billed as being topped with truffle and a herb crust.  Little Creatures HK, Y SO MUCH TRUFFLE?  Shit sounds soooo fucking fancy doesn’t it?  The Mac and Cheese isn’t anything more than a creamy, herb sauce with macaroni in it and it’s as unsatisfying as a Typhoon 8 signal which gets lowered before 6am on a Friday. FFS Little Creatures HK, it’s fucking melted cheese with carbs, how fucking hard is it to get a mac and cheese right??  Did you even try?!  RETURN OF THE LITTLE CREATURES MAC, YOU LIED TO ME, YES I CRIED, YES I CRIED.

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The Pizza menu is an exercise in minimalism with titles such as Herbs, Corn, Kale and Sausage.  I wince at the nomenclature awkwardness of having to order a ‘Herbs Pizza’ and I obviously stay well clear of the ‘Kale Pizza’ because that sort of pizza bullshit seems to be targetted at half-hearted clean eating urban warriors who punch out some BikiniFit in the morning because #strongisthenewskinny before barrelling into six strawberry daiquiris at Feather Boa with their best white friends.  The Sausage pizza (HKD125 +10% service charge) is topped with bacon, fennel, sage and provolone which all sounds good in theory but when it is presented at our table I start to wonder what kind of Home Economics high school kitchen is now responsible for the food at Little Creatures HK.  The base is cardboard like in texture and appearance, you can almost imagine it being ripped out of a pre-made base box half a week ago to allow it to truly dry out before the recalcitrant, moody adolescent fingers of high school students smeared tomato paste across it and indolently topped it with pre-prepared chopped pieces of bacon and shredded cheese.  It’s horrific on all levels from the dried out base and the sloppy toppings which almost slide off in one piece to the complete lack of flavour.  I take several bites of this ‘pizza’ abomination just to really make sure this is the most soulless and flavourless pizza I’ve ever come across in Hong Kong and as I choke it back, there is no doubt in my mind that I’m completely right.  I chew slowly and deliberately, as I sort through the vague memories I have of someone telling me the pizzas are good at Little Creatures HK. Unfortunately, I can’t place which tasteless moron or press release gave me this bullshit information which is a shame because I’d be furiously texting them my views on how they are completely devoid of any knowledge as to what actually constitutes a good pizza.

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We debate whether to give Little Creatures the chance to wow us on dessert because LBR, we’re not expecting any show stoppers at this point.  As we’re greedy cunts who love a bit of pud pud, we order the Cider Green Apple Nut Crumble with whipped mascarpone (HKD75 +10% service charge).  It sounds pretty fucking fancy but in reality it’s just a straightforward apple crumble with a scoop of ice cream which might have mascarpone in it, but if you’d never told me about it, I’d never taste it.  I’m now convinced that the Little Creatures HK menu has been designed to be cooked by a small child chef who’s using a cookbook with cartoon illustrations and warnings that you should get an adult when you’re boiling water or taking things out of the oven.  The apple crumble was the only well executed dish of the night and we take the time to reflect upon our entire bang bang evening where we’ve battled through two fuck no meals, the fuck no coleslaw and average to terrible ribs at The Ribcage and now we’ve let Little Creatures HK well and truly lead us down the garden path to a fuck no flower field filled with Mediocrity Marigolds, Gauche Gladiolis and Banal Begonias.

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So the food at Little Creatures HK, excluding that godawful sausage pizza, is absolutely edible.  I can’t imagine that was written in their vision statement of what they wanted their food to be amongst the artist’s sketching of their restaurant decor.  But it really is the sort of meal that if you painted black with white stripes, people would walk all over it because it’s just so fucking pedestrian.  Every dish we ordered had some sort of execution issue (ok, except for the apple crumble – but how fucking hard is it to make a crumble?) which suggests that the kitchen isn’t tasting their food for seasoning, giving a fuck if it’s cooked properly or their management is dictating a super uninspiring, bland as fuck menu which is meant to appeal to the undiscerning masses. Judging by how many people were packed into Little Creatures HK, perhaps there’s something to be said re: economic viability and appealing to the undi$cerning ma$$es.

But real talk, it looks like Little Creatures managed to keep their shit authentic in Hong Kong because Little Creatures in Freo has basic as fuck food as well.  Take my burn Little Creatures because fuck no to the faithful copying of boring, uninspired concepts and shipping it straight across the Indian Ocean so the suffering of uninspired and poorly executed food can be truly global.

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Verdict:
FUCK NO.  However if you’re an absolutely bottom of the barrel basic and enjoy shit like Castelo Concept restaurants, drinking rosé, thinking you’re living wild in real Hong Kong because you live in Sai Ying Pun or Kennedy Town, going to the Happy Valley races on a Wednesday, love ‘your girls’ or nights out with the rugby lads, Little Creatures HK might be your newest, favourite spot in Hong Kong.

Where:
Osteria Felice
Shop 16-21 G/F Hutchinson House
10 Harcourt Road, Admiralty

FYN Hot Tip:  It’s accessible from outside Hutchinson House (not from within the building).  You’ll need to go to the corner, next to the Pacific Coffee on the Lambeth Walk side.

Phone:
+852 2516 6166

Price:
HKD1,100ish for two people excluding booze.  Note that we ordered enough for three to four people. I reckon you could probably get out for HKD300-400ish per person before booze with more sensible ordering.

The deal:
The Epicurean Group (the group behind any number of restaurants that none of you ever eat at – ie. Tim’s Kitchen, Xia Fei, Agave, Club 97 and Jimmy’s Kitchen) have recently opened up the Italian restaurant, Osteria Felice with minimal fanfare in the awkward Admiralty location, Hutchinson House. Osteria Felice has the veteran Executive Chef Brian Moore at its helm and is touting a  traditional Italian menu based solidly on no-fuss classics. Antipasto, pasta, pizza yassss are all things I can get behind.

Osteria Felice has taken up residence at the former site of Il Milione, the really OTT  bombastic gold filled Italian restaurant which outside of the press and the meaningless Michelin star, I never heard anyone IRL talk about ever.  Needless to say, I never ate at Il Milione because I could never find enough motivation to drop a big stack of cash to actually eat in an unnecessarily gilded though ultimately tacky Italian restaurant in Admiralty.  I sometimes wonder who even puts together these restaurant concepts? Like seriously, who thinks “You know what people in HK want?  They just wanna ball so hard over a bowl of pasta in Admiralty while basking in gold EVERYTHING. Fuck, let’s call it ‘THE MILLION’ in Italian and ship in a totally insane amount of gold fittings to make it feel more DECADENT!”.

Since these ill-conceived golden days, the Il Milione decor has been stripped down to something more accessible, keeping a clean well fit-out look with wooden oak parquetry floors and a large open kitchen at the back.  Osteria Felice is set up as half bar / half restaurant, with the bar portion relatively full of suits, presumably sucking back some after-work drinks to dull the arduous endeavour of working for The Man.  Given there’s barely anywhere to get a post-work drink around the immediate Central / Admiralty side of town, Osteria Felice should probably see some good trade here with a decent 2-for-1 happy hour from 5 to 8pm on certain drinks.

I firmly believe that any Italian restaurant worth its salt should be able to punch out a FUCK YEAH Negroni, so as I hustled my parched ass across Statue Square towards Hutchinson House, I put in an S O S emergency message to Sir Crunchalot, to ensure that I could hit my pre-dinner Negroni aperitif as soon as I got to the restaurant.  Sir Crunchalot reported back that Osteria Felice had a good looking selection of Negronis and his continual pursuit for luxury meant that he naturally ordered the most expensive one for me, the Barrel Aged Negroni which costs HKD150 (+10% service charge, versus the bog-standard HKD80 Negroni) which has been aged in an American charred new oak barrel for minimum 2 months.

When I get to the restaurant, we are the only customers eating in the dining room, but it’s an early weeknight just post-Christmas at a newly opened restaurant, so I don’t think this is necessarily indicative of their normal trade.  However, in far more upsetting news, despite the pre-ordering to ensure a running start on aperitif time, when I get to the table, my Negroni is nowhere to be seen.  I sit down while I feign some enthusiasm for trying out a new place, desperately trying not to let my Negroni-less disappointment ruin the entire meal.

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Our waitress is efficient but not particularly chatty and as we lay down our order, there’s not much chat or background on the dishes.  It’s not long before our first antipasti is laid down on the table, the burrata and smoked sardine crostini (HKD265 +10% service charge).  I’m pretty excited as I’m a total hussy for burrata and Osteria Felice’s menu notes that they regularly ship the best mozzarella and burrata from around Italy to ensure optimum freshness for their customers.  When our burrata and sardine crostini arrive, I’m pleasantly shocked because my general experiences of crostini in restaurants, had led me to believe that crostini was Italian for miniscule pieces of crusty bread that allows restaurants to provide a scant amount of bullshit topping for an unfair amount of coin.  Osteria Felice’s crostini game is super tight, providing us with two decent slices of toasted bread, topped with a generous amount of creamy fresh burrata and a large smoked sardine fillet. The burrata is off the motherfucking chain and when paired with the just salty enough, smoked sardine fillet, I’m filled with deep love and an unfettered desire to be completely engulfed in this cream filled embrace forever.  Unnnnnnnnnnnnf, Osteria Felice’s burrata, you better believe that I want to bathe with you in some cheese:

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Our second, generously portioned, starter arrives, the roasted bone marrow with grilled bread (HKD158 +10% service charge) which consists of three large half bones and it’s everything that you’d expect from the description.  The only thing that has me scowling at this point is that my pre-ordered Negroni still hasn’t arrived 25 minutes since the pre-order was put in and I bitterly cast my mind to Osteria Felice’s menu which had claimed “having an antipasto with an aperitivo is essential to having a good life” and my thirsty ass self is so desperate for my Negroni and this said promised good life. I chase this up and 10 minutes later, my aperitif arrives just in time for mains with not a single apology or facetious nicety attached to it which is some fuck no form. The barrel aged Negroni is solid but my judgment is too clouded by waiting so fucking long for my HKD150+ drink that I don’t feel I can pass an unbiased opinion.  Especially as a barrel aged Negroni really just needs to be poured into a glass.

There’s an extensive traditional Neapolitan pizza section, with most of them ranging from the mid to high HKD100s and we went with the Calabrese (spiced salami, eggplant, basil and smoked buffalo mozzarella, HKD198 +10% service charge).  Osteria Felice have some fancy as fuck electric oven which lets them bake their pizzas at a super high temperature in less than 90 seconds, in keeping with Neapolitan pizzas not being baked for extended periods of time.  The true measure of a Neapolitan pizza is always gonna be about the crust and it’s fucking great and exactly what I would expect from a Neapolitan pizza.  Fuck yeahhhh, I can get behind a thin sourdough base, slightly soggy in the middle and a dense, just charred chewy crust with the right amount of fuck yeah bite.  The toppings are well distributed and the combination of the tomato sauce, spicy salami, fresh basil and mozzarella cheese keep a good fuck yeah balance overall.  In a testament to the decent serving sizes at Osteria Felice, we had to box up half of this pizza to go which meant I got to test out what I feel is the true measure of a fuck yeah pizza – that is, how it reheats the next day.  Osteria Felice’s smashed this test with flying colours, as I made this the centrepiece of my nutritious and balanced fuck yeah breakfast the next day.

Our final dish was the roasted half duckling with grappa preserved cherry sauce (HKD388 +10% service charge). I’m normally fundamentally opposed to fruit and meat, in particular, feral as fuck apricot.  Like really, who wants that grainy ass sub-par ugly sister to a peach in a meat dish ever?  But I can deal with cherry with meat and the duckling was fucking rad.  The grappa preserved cherry sauce was bang on in its sweet-sour balance and resulted in fuck yeah times with the rich, tender duck.

One thing to note is that we ended up with a disgraceful amount of food for two people, which I can attribute to my low expectations on HK serving sizes given my experiences at every other new restaurant.  However, Osteria Felice are doling out super fucking generous serving sizes and what I described above could have easily fed four people.  Maybe it’s cause we look like a couple of greedy fuckers but I feel our waitress should have sounded some sort of warning.  For two people, one antipasto, half a pizza and a secondi / main would have been plenty.

FYN Artist impression of how I left Osteria Felice:

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Italian food is so easy to hit the mediocre-to-boring mark as it relies so heavily on simple execution with red-hot ingredients.  But when it’s done well, it’s so fucking awesome and every dish we had at Osteria Felice was really well executed and it’s clear that there’s some high quality produce and ingredients underpinning their dishes.  It’s been awhile since I’ve been impressed by a pure Italian restaurant in Hong Kong and I’ve reflected quite a few times in the week post this meal about how much I fucking enjoyed it.  I definitely need to round up a decent number of solid nommin’ homies so I can properly smash through their menu and try their pasta as well.

Verdict:
Fuck yeah! My massively expensive, pre-ordered MIA barrel aged negroni escapades aside, I’m into Osteria Felice just punching out solid fuck yeah Italian food and giving me all dem burrata and pizza based feelings.  Will Osteria Felice survive its awkward Admiralty location though? I don’t know, but it’s well worth a look and I gotta get back for more fuck yeah burrata ASAP.

Where:
Posto Pubblico (yo IHM homies, I give you guys shit all the time about your shitty websites but your PP website is actually fucking decent.  PRAISE BE A MENU WITH PRICES)
G/F, 28 Elgin Street
Soho/Central, Hong Kong

Phone:
+852 2577 7160

Price:
Appetisers are around HKD100. Pastas are around HKD160-180. Veal on the bone is HKD445.  Service charge is not included – tip what you want homies.  We got out at HKD300+ a person.  Granted, we ordered the most expensive dish between two people which probably could have been shared between four people.

The deal:
I’ve realised that recently I’m increasingly only writing about new restaurants in the Kong because I’ll fucking admit it, you guys fucking love that shit.  No don’t spit your cold pressed slow pour coffee all over the place and fucking deny it, the stats don’t lie.  It’s emblematic of Hong Kong that we are total sluts for the newest (though not necessarily the greatest) restaurants and then it’s onto the next hottest thing that hit town.  Restaurants here open and close in the blink of a fucking eye as a fickle public churn through restaurants only interested in the new names, just so they can fucking name drop before everyone else.  I’m fucking guilty of this bullshit too.  The restaurant homies aren’t coming to this game with clean hands either – taking a fuck no business model of punching out mediocre, overpriced shit based around transient dining trends.  For example – how many more burger joints does HK really fucking need??  I ESTIMATE AT LEAST TWO MORE IN LKF – godspeed Burger Circus and Double D Burgers, may your tacky ads relying on DOUBLE D boobs (geddit??) bring you financial viability and great happiness.

But fuck that shit, this is Fuck Yeah Noms not Fuck Yeah Dining trends (the domain’s still available if one of you assholes wants it) and when Ms Two Serves and I needed to go out for dinner last week, we were trying to figure out if we should try somewhere new.  In the end though, we decided we didn’t want to try somewhere new and be out of pocket HKD600 for shitty service and a ramen taco clusterfuck, and Ms Two Serves wanted meatballs, so we decided on a return to Posto Pubblico.

Posto’s been around for fucking ages, since 2009, which is approximately 30 years in HK restaurant years.  It’s also been fucking ages since I’ve been cause I got sucked into that new restaurant shit vortex.  I’ve always loved Posto but we all know what it’s like to go back to an old favourite and shit fucking sucks as standards be slipping.  But it’s comforting times that when I get there, it’s still the same fuck yeah dark, intimate space with the kitchen right in the middle so you can see shit coming off the pass.  The hip hop track still blares in the background. The waiters are on their game, friendly, attentive and shit’s happening just right.

Ms Two Serves and I snack down on the complimentary antipasto platter of cheese, parma ham and halved sweet cherry tomatoes which have been liberally covered with fuck yeah high quality olive oil. We dunk house-made crusty bread in the left over oil and watch a massive Veal Milanese sail out of the kitchen for someone else.  With dat bone-in beauty burned into our greedy eyes, Ms Two Serves and I decided instantly that we need that glorious milk fed bastard in our life and we abandon our initial plans for meatballs.

Between only two of us, we settle on the Veal Milanese (HKD445) and a serve of the Bucatini al’Amatriciana (HKD160).  The waiter does pause for a second to suggest that we’ve potentially ordered too much because there’s only two of us as we both assure him that we’re good eaters.  Posto’s pasta is always on point and this rich tomato and bacon sauced pasta dish was no fucking exception.  I fucking love bucatini, I am super down with how its hollow tube shape allows it to grab hold of more sauce than normal spaghetti.  But this is all warm up for the massive fuck yeah of epic proportions which is to come – the Veal Milanese.  This veal fillet with its bone-in is pounded thin, breaded and fried.  The Posto homies then pile it high with home made burrata, cherry tomatoes, basil and toss that shit lightly with some olive oil.  Before you eat it, you squeeze fresh lemon juice all over it.  Posto’s one is just so fucking good – the veal’s breaded properly and with the cheese, tomato and basil on top of it, shit’s so good that I was almost adding my salty ecstatic tears to the acidic lemon which cuts through the deep fried breading and the elastic, creamy curds of the burrata.  Such perfection is not fucking cheap at HKD445 but this glorious veal bastard is fucking huge and could easily feed four people or more.  In a revelatory indication of its grandeur, it’s probably the first time in years of dining with Ms Two Serves we’ve had to ask anyone to box leftovers for us.

I always know the mark of a stand out fuck yeah dish when I’m fucking dreaming about that shit days later.  That’s when I realised that I should stop being such a fucking slacker and write this shit up even if it’s not a new opening because it’s too fucking sad if people aren’t aware of the glory of Posto’s Veal Milanese because there’s too many fucking restaurants in HK and everyone is too busy writing about the newest Jamaican x Korean inspired fried chicken slider place that’s just opened on On Lan Street.  So while it’s the start of a new year and I’m slogging my way through good intentions to be less of a fat fuck, the heart always knows what the heart truly wants.  I may be chewing grudgingly on lean proteins and barely dressed salads but fuck, that healthy boring ass malarky to make me into a better version of myself for 2015 just can’t compare to that boss bitch Veal Milanese. So here’s to new year’s resolutions where we don’t always fixate on the new and remember the old as well.

You tell ’em Janet:

poeticjustice01 poeticjustice02

(Sauce)

Verdict:
Fuck yeah – old shit can still be good shit.  DAT MILANESE, ALWAYS AND FOREVER.

FYN Public Service Announcement (26 June 2015):
It has come to my attention that some FYN homies have gone on down to Posto for some intense veal chop loving only to be told that the veal is sold the fuck out.  FUCK NO!  So the FYN hot tip is when you book your table, make sure you ask them to save you one.  Life’s too sad to suffer through veal related disappointment.

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):

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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:

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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:
208 Duecento Otto
208 Hollywood Road
Sheung Wan, Hong Kong

Phone number:
+852 2549 0208

The deal:
sub-HKD200ish for entrees/antipasto.  HKD250 – 300ish for mains.  Italian’s always a crapshoot – particularly in Central HK.  People tell you somewhere is good and then you just end up with some pasta that was ok, a pizza that was ok and you’re HKD500 poorer for the whole mediocre affair (but you did have the privilege of declaring to your fellow diners that you ‘totally could have made this at home’).  Anyway – 208’s food was on point.  Pizza wasn’t a doughy greasy mess.  I ate half a chicken – don’t worry, it was fancy as fuck – pine nuts, oregano, orange, all roasted up.  The downside?  Service was a bit spotty – had to resort to making thirsty / hungry faces at the waitstaff periodically to get their attention and had to beg for menus.

The verdict:
Overall – FUCK YEAH.  But hey, 208 if you ever read this, your service gets a FUCK NO.

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