New faces bring new buzz to Italian eatery, 208 Duecento Otto

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 05 February, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 05 February, 2013, 4:44am

Two new faces are bringing a new buzz to an old favourite.

Popular Italian restaurant and bar 208 Duecento Otto, in Sheung Wan, now boasts a new manager, Nick Connolly, and a new chef, Alan Marchetti.

The pair was officially introduced at a party in 208 on Thursday.

The venue has always boasted its share of trendy regulars and they turned out en masse to welcome the new team. Well, that and to enjoy the free-flowing champagne and feast at tables sagging under the weight of cheese, olives, cured meats and pizzas.

Among the VIPs were Raphael Le Masne, executive chairman of Tang Department Stores, and Armele Barbier, one of Shanghai Tang's star designers.

The new chef-manager team made the rounds sharing their vision for the future, mainly reassuring regulars that they would not change too much.

"I'm looking to refine elements of the service," Connolly said. "What I'm looking to make this place [into] is not just a benchmark of the group, in terms of service, but really a benchmark within Hong Kong. The great thing about this place is it has a loyal customer base already, but downstairs in the bar I fear it's almost lost its identity."

Marchetti had a decidedly green vision: "I'm trying to be more sustainable, especially in terms of fish, because over the last few years, we have lots of new knowledge about endangered sea life."