Restaurant review: Papi in Causeway Bay – casual Italian that will satisfy your hunger
With friendly, attentive service, an extensive menu full of delicious pizzas and pastas, and a few more exotic dishes such as the well-cooked tripe, this brightly lit casual Italian eatery is a popular addition to the shopping area
Although Papi lacks the cosy, intimate feeling of a casual trattoria in Italy – the lights are too bright and the decor too bare for that – it seems to be a popular spot for diners in search of a satisfying meal.
The menu, printed on both sides of a brightly coloured pasteboard, is quite extensive, with dishes meant to be shared. All the dishes we picked were the chef’s specialities, indicated on the menu by a toque. Servers were friendly, and topped up our water glasses often.
Florentina stewed beef tripe (HK$118) was delicious. The notoriously tough organ meat – two types, rumen and honeycomb – had been stewed into submission with a rich tomato sauce.
Black truffle and parma ham sandwich (HK$108) had good flavour, but we wished it had been made with better bread; this used a light, fluffy bread, but a slightly chewy, focaccia type would have raised it to another level. The filling was good, though, and included cheese, although it wasn’t listed on the dish description.
They use a very thin crust for their pizzas – not usually my favourite type. But the pizza with fresh Italian sausage and button mushrooms (HK$188) was very good, because the toppings were used in proportion to the crust, and yet had plenty of flavour.
Handmade tagliolini with Sicilian sweet red prawns and fresh cherry tomatoes (HK$248) was a winner because the ingredients were of very high quality. The tomatoes were ripe and sweet and the prawns were very fresh, with toothsome meat and heads that were rich and juicy.
Honey and almond parfait with black truffle honey (HK$68) was like a semifreddo. The slice of parfait came topped with physallis, an amaretti biscuit and fragrant shavings of black truffle, which you don’t expect at this price.
Papi, Fashion Walk, 8 Cleveland Street, Causeway Bay, tel: 2808 0820. About HK$365 without drinks or the service charge.
While you’re in the area