By David Sutton
9 Lyndhurst Terrace
Tel 2544 4445
Grub: Pizza, pasta and salads.
Vibe: Paisano's, home of Hong Kong's biggest pizza, first opened in Sai Kung in 2009. The Central branch, which has humongous, 24-inch pizzas on display, opened almost a year ago. The main seating is in the basement. The brown and orange walls are probably meant to give it a Mediterranean feel but lighter colours might have relieved the rather pokey feel. Staff are friendly, the music is loud.
Who to take: Anyone who likes pizza and pasta.
What's hot: Pizza takes up the bulk of the menu. There are half a dozen or so 'speciality pizzas', which are mostly popular options such as the Hawaiian, with ham and pineapple. They are available in 14, 16 and 24-inch sizes. If you don't fancy one of those, you can assemble your own, starting with a basic cheese pizza, then choosing from 15 toppings.
All pizzas are hand-tossed and baked in a stone oven. The 24-inchers can serve eight to 10 hungry people. Single slices are available with any topping. Pepperoni with mushrooms and black olives, is a classic combination, and highly recommended.
All options are also available as Sicilian-style deep dish pizzas or as Stromboli, where the whole thing is rolled up and served with a Marinara sauce on the side. Calzones also feature; these are like pizzas folded in half. Several options are available as well as a create your own.
A range of pastas is available, from Al's famous lasagne (named after owner Al Morales) to Mamma Mia's traditional spaghetti. This looks fairly uninspiring in its foil container, but the sauce is deliciously fresh and tomatoey, laced with thyme and topped with mozzarella and a garlic roll.
What's not: In all likelihood most people will be full long before dessert. The choices are buried at the end of the menu, and the only one available when we went was the rather pedestrian New York cheesecake.
Only canned soft drinks or coffees are available; no fruit juices, shakes or smoothies.
Cost: HK$25 dollars for a slice of pizza, with extra toppings available for HK$5 each. Calzones are HK$55. Pasta dishes range from HK$55 to $75. Two people can get well and truly stuffed for about HK$150.