Regal Kowloon Hotel, 71 Mody Road, Tsim Sha Tsui
Tel: 2722 1818
Open: noon-3pm, 6pm-11pm
Ambience: We ate at Zeffirino on a quiet, rainy Tuesday, so the large space felt all the more cavernous. On busier nights, it probably exudes more warmth. As with some hotels, there's a feeling that the 1980s never really ended - background music included songs from The Phantom of the Opera, and we expected the cast of Dynasty to walk in at any minute. But, in a way, this was quite endearing.
Price: HK$520 per person without wine and 10 per cent service charge.
Pros: The staff were helpful and pleasant, if a little eager to whisk away our plates as soon as we'd finished. In general, the food was satisfying, meticulously prepared and well presented.
Cons: One look at the large and awkward menu may scare off some diners - some of the prices seem high. A rethink of the antipasti prices, for instance, would ease the pressure on the wallet.
Recommended dishes: Shrimp salad (HK$188) was pleasant - the shrimp cooked in garlic and chilli with slightly dry grilled artichokes, lettuce and cucumber. It needed a little dressing to pull the ingredients together. Warm seafood salad (HK$148) was better value, with fresh seafood, a good assortment of vegetables and generous splashes of sauce. Turbot fillet with crabmeat topping (HK$268) was delicious, the fish complemented beautifully by a flavourful Mediterranean tomato sauce. Although the turbot didn't need the crabmeat, it was a nice touch and looked good on the plate. Grilled sea bream (HK$248) was cooked to perfection and came with grilled asparagus, new potatoes and caramelised onions. We ended the meal with two delicious desserts. Warm chocolate cake with vanilla sauce (HK$98) was a light and molten delight, and puff pastry with orange cream (HK$88) was one of the stars - sweet, simple and refreshing.
What else? The a la carte menu changes twice a year and the seafood is flown in from Lithuania and Italy.