Newly opened restaurants: Da Via, Wan Chai - casual Italian fare
Da Via (tel: 3956 9873) is a casual and cosy Italian eatery in Wan Chai that opened a week before our visit. With high tables and chairs along the windows and bar, you can dine on your own and look out onto Johnston Road.
The menu is reasonably priced, although some dishes are better than others. For starters, the arancini (HK$60) - deep-fried rice balls with small cubes of braised beef cheek inside - were gooey and delicious. The minestrone (HK$55) was packed with vegetables but could have done with more seasoning.
Three of the pasta dishes come in small or large portions. The short pasta with tomato sauce and seafood (HK$145) had overcooked mussels, but the prawns and squid were perfect. Overall, however, the dish was a little plain.
We enjoyed the tagliolini with Ligurian pesto (HK$80, above). It had a punchy flavour thanks to the fresh basil and tangy garlic.
We didn't think much of the tiramisu (HK$58) - it lacked creaminess - but the panna cotta (HK$55) more than made up for it.
Be sure to take cash - there was an awkward moment when some diners wanted to settle the bill with plastic. However, this should be sorted in a week or so.
School Food continues to keep Korean food fans sated with two more branches at Moko in Mong Kok (tel: 2320 6268) and Tuen Mun Town Plaza (tel: 2408 3010).
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