Restaurant review: 8 ½ Otto e Mezzo Bombana Macau - truly great

The newly opened Macau branch of stellar Hong Kong Italian restaurant delivers in a big way

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 08 July, 2015, 9:16pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 08 July, 2015, 9:16pm

I usually give restaurants at least a month to settle in after opening before reviewing them, but didn't have time to wait for the Macau branch of 8½ Otto e Mezzo Bombana. So we went ahead, trusting in the professionalism of the staff, and they delivered a great meal.

I was recognised halfway through the meal, but even before that, we were receiving very good service and delicious food. We informed the waitress that we were sharing everything, and the kitchen split our pasta dishes and served the meal at a good pace.

A starter of royal scampi with scampi emulsion (HK$320) was a light dish, with soft, tender scampi enhanced by the vegetable elements: zucchini purée, fava beans and tiny parsley gnocchi. The sea urchin (unlisted on the menu) perched on the scampi was a welcome surprise. Trenette with red king prawns and datterino tomatoes (HK$380) was a richer, more intense seafood dish. The Napolitan ragu pappardelle with tomato sauce, wagyu beef and Iberico pork (HK$390) was fantastic; it had the familiar flavours of a home-style dish, but was made into something luxurious with the tiny cubes of tender meat, small blobs of ricotta, and tiny, sweet tomatoes. We also loved the delicate meat in the Greffeuille AAA lamb rack and loin (HK$490), which is a dish we've eaten many times at the Hong Kong branch.

We ordered only one dessert — the light, summery millefoglie with mixed berry compote, mara des bois strawberry sorbet and vanilla Chantilly (HK$130). But the chef sent out a second dessert — the tiramisu (HK$160) — a dish we rarely order because it can be so predictable. This one wasn't: it was a modern, delicious version, with creamy coffee panna cotta and mascarpone ice cream.

8 ½ Otto e Mezzo Bombana, 1/F Galaxy Macau, Cotai, Macau, tel: +853 8886 2169. About HK$900 without drinks or the service charge