Restaurant review: Locanda dell’ Angelo a hidden Italian gem in Happy Valley

It’s worth the trip to the small venue for the tender home-made tagliolini served with a rich seafood sauce and succulent, almost raw langoustine

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 07 June, 2017, 1:17pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 08 June, 2017, 5:49pm

It’s quite a surprise to find high-quality Italian restaurant nestled in a very quiet street in Happy Valley, but such is the case with Locanda dell’ Angelo.

The menu in this narrow and intimate venue is quite brief, listing four choices each for appetisers, pastas, meat and fish, desserts, and a longer section of signature dishes that covered all the courses.

A starter of buffalo burrata with tomatoes, baby lettuce and anchovies (HK$188) featured good, creamy cheese and sweet tomatoes, but it lacked enough of the fantastic, meaty anchovies.

However, we’d return to the restaurant just for the homemade tagliolini with langoustine, spring onion and tomato confit. The pasta was tender, with a rich, seafood sauce and a plentiful amount of sweet, almost raw langoustine meat. On the side of the plate was a grilled, split langoustine that had succulent flesh and a head that was topped with breadcrumbs and herbs.

Next we tried the signature dish of Hokkaido – sea urchin risotto with fresh wasabi and chives (HK$328). It should have been eaten hotter, as it was served at the same time as the pasta.

Unlike most sea urchin risottos we’ve tasted, there was a sufficient amount of urchin in the sauce (plus some on top) so we could actually taste it in each bite. The rice was done to our liking – which means softer than what many chefs insist is al dente but which to us tastes like undercooked rice, but it wasn’t even close to being mushy.

A main course of roasted baby New Zealand lamb chops with sauteed spinach and polenta (HK$388) was very well done. The lamb was mild and tender, while the polenta was creamy, smooth and soft.

We were happy to find that the cannoli with ricotta cheese, pistachios and candied fruits (HK$128) was a proper cannoli, made with a fried shell. The pastry was crisp, the filling was creamy and tangy, and the candied fruits were high quality.

The baba with rum, chantilly cream and fresh berries (HK$128) was too sweet and could have used more rum, but the baba itself was spongy and tender.

Locanda dell’ Angelo, 12 Yuen Yuen Street, Happy Valley, tel. 3709 2788. About HK$720 without drinks or the service charge.

Some other Italian restaurants we’ve written about recently:

Newly opened Pici in Wan Chai – Italian fare in a crowded house

Restaurant review: Involtini in Causeway Bay – affordable Italian prepared with passion and flair

Restaurant review: Spiga in Central – good seafood and great desserts, but avoid the pizza