New restaurants in Hong Kong: world-class pizzas at Kytaly in Central
- Kytaly was opened by Franco Pepe, whose Italian restaurant was voted the world’s best for pizza
- The crust on the pizzas is perfect and the toppings are delicious
“This place has an issue with utensils,” commented one of my guests at Kytaly as we tried serving ourselves a Capri salad (mozzarella di bufala Campana DOP, tomatoes, cream of basil, extra virgin olive oil, HK$110 for a starter, HK$210 as a main) with a long-handled spoon that had a bowl big enough to hold only one cherry tomato at a time.
We asked the server for a more useful spoon (the one we were given was apparently usually used for tiramisu) but he said that was the only type they had.
There were other issues on the day we visited, not the least of which was a foreign object hiding among the leaves, tuna and other ingredients in the Amalfi salad (HK$170 for a starter, HK$270 as a main).
We thought at first that it was glass, but the guest who found it (by crunching on it) didn’t get cut, so perhaps it was plastic.
The manager whisked away the guest’s plate before we had time to examine (and photograph) whatever it was, then came back to say that it didn’t come from the jar of tuna, which was apparently intact. It didn’t really matter, though – it shouldn’t have been there.
The manager then served us glasses of prosecco, and took the Amalfi salad off the bill.
Fortunately, we liked the pizzas.
Kytaly, which replaces Koko in the Carfield Commercial Building in Central, is the Hong Kong branch by pizzaiolo Franco Pepe, whose Pepe in Grani restaurant in Caiazzo, Italy, was voted best pizza in the world in the book, Where to Eat Pizza.
The most important part of a pizza is the crust; the toppings are secondary. And the crust here is excellent – airy, slightly chewy, with just enough char to make it interesting. On the al pomodorino fresco (HK$150) this crust was topped with sweet cherry tomato halves, creamy fior di latte and an insignificant amount of fresh basil.
Even better was the Alifana (HK$300), with fior di latte, smoked scamorza, bacon, and substantial slices of onion that looked almost raw, but which were sweet and mild.
Our favourite was the calzone il casolare (HK$280). The crust on this was blistered more than on the pizza, which made it even better, and came with a complex, flavourful filling of mozzarella di bufala Campana DOP, ricotta, scamorza, black Casertano pig salami, peppers and tomatoes.
With the fried pizza topped with sliced tomato, chilli, anchovy and lemon peel (HK$200), the dough had a gentle sweetness that we liked, but thought it would have worked better as a dessert.
Kytaly, 5/F Carfield Commercial Building, 77 Wyndham St, Central, tel: 2808 1961.
About HK$230 per person, without drinks or the service charge.
While you’re in the area