CLOSED: Restaurant review: Da Via, Wan Chai - good-value Italian fare
Good food served at reasonable prices at this neighbourhood eatery
Da Via is the kind of place you’d like to have in your neighbourhood: it’s casual and friendly, and serves up good food at fair prices. It’s a small place, with only about 30 seats, and has an open kitchen with a display of the imported salumi, the raw produce and baked breads. There’s a large table (with room for eight) but most of the seats are around the perimeter of the room, so diners sit side-by-side on high chairs with low backs. The menu is brief – just one page, but there’s also a daily specials menu.
The burrata with Sicilian tomatoes and fresh basil (HK$170) was delicious: the burrata was creamy and soft, and the tomatoes were sweet.
Thin slices of cooked ham and porchetta (HK$95) came on a wooden board with holey, light and chewy bread. The porchetta was garlicky, and the ham had a subtle, sweet flavour.
We enjoyed both pasta dishes we tasted. House-made fettucine with ragu Bolognese (HK$128) featured wide sheets of tender pasta and the sauce, although light in texture, was deeply flavoured.
Even better was the chewy, thick orecchiette pasta with Tuscan sausage in a creamy but not too rich black truffle and parmesan sauce (HK$145).
Slow-cooked braised beef cheek in red wine (HK$185) was fantastic on the night of our review, with fork-tender beef (although when we ate there again about a week later, the meat was tough). The beef was served with roasted green and yellow squash and sweet cherry tomatoes, and the sauce was so good we mopped it up with bread.
The house-made veal and pork meatballs (HK$80) were nothing special, and the lemon tart (HK$58) wasn’t tart enough.
Da Via, 14-16 Johnston Road, Wan Chai, tel: 3956 9873. About HK$295 without drinks or the service charge