From Ee Da Le's Italian Fare to Dining with Magnificent Views in Causeway Bay
This week's new and noted restaurants.
Italian eatery Ee Da Le—the highly-anticipated first of four ambitious restaurant openings from the man and self-proclaimed legend himself, Harlan Goldstein—is now open on Lyndhurst Terrace, and one thing’s for sure: there’s no question who’s in charge here. From the colorful cast of staff to the gaudy opera skirt-inspired hanging lamps and Harlan himself doing the cucaracha at the pass as he sprinkles some parmesan on a hot plate of pasta, the place is brimming with character—no less than what we’d expect from a chef who’s loud, brash attitude has garnered him more media attention in the last decade than most chefs get in a lifetime. Inspired by the coast of southern Italy, the rustic menu is broken down into handcrafted pastas, meats, seafood dishes and sides, with family-style portions made for sharing. There are some tweaks to the menu that need refining—such as an eye-watering $488 red prawn linguine—but several dishes are worth trying, including the char-grilled octopus with slivers of sopressata, Taggiasca olives and potato crema ($168); and the “Mama’s Meatballs” ($108) which, despite the ho hum name, are juicy and flavorful with three types of meat: veal, beef and pork sausage. After opening for only a few weeks, the place is already buzzing with curious Harlan fans—we’ll be back to watch the spectacle unfold for ourselves, probably with a negroni or two in hand. 3/F, 8 Lyndhurst Terrace, Central, 2896-1838.
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Move over Seafood Room, there’s a new restaurant in Causeway Bay that’s commanding attention with its jaw-dropping décor and harbor views. Conceived by Tom Dixon's Design Research Studio, Dining Concepts' latest venue, Alto stuns with blackened timber tabletops, metal brass fittings, and a ceiling outfitted with 220 melted gold lights. While the glamorous space is inspired by the four elements of earth, air, fire and water, the menu by executive chef Michael Boyle is much less esoteric, with an accessible list of dishes that draws inspiration from far and wide, but is familiar in ingredients and execution. Starters span the continents, with dishes such as chicharrones, or crispy pig’s ears ($88); bone marrow with chimichurri ($178); ahi tuna with avocado and coconut ($158); and soft shell crab with a shaved vegetable salad ($148). Grill-focused mains are a highlight and more focused than the starters: both the USDA prime 14-oz ribeye ($398) and the Argentinian grass-fed 12-oz sirloin ($298) are flavorful and affordably priced. 31/F, V Point, 18 Tang Lung St., Causeway Bay, 2603-7181.
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Weekends in Bangkok
Following the popular semi-buffet lunch, Bangkok import Issaya Siamese Club has just launched a semi-buffet Sunday dinner (6-11pm; $438, plus $238 for free-flow champagne) for relaxing weekend grazing. The rotating selection of appetizers includes dishes such as raw prawns with Thai chili, satay pork skewers, fresh spring rolls, and a live cooking station inspired by the street-side snack scene in Bangkok. At the Miang Kham station, diners can create their own dish by choosing from 10 different ingredients such as crispy peanuts, dried shrimp and chili, wrapped together in a betel leaf for a DIY snacker. After indulging in the buffet, settle down to a hearty selection of protein-heavy mains, including a dense and delicous beef short rib in massaman curry, tender roasted chicken with tamarind sauce, pan-fried lamb rack in green peppercorn sauce, and giant stir-fried tiger prawns. The playful desserts are a highlight of any meal at Issaya—don’t pass up the liquid nitrogen ice creams and Thai-flavored macarons. 25/F, Soundwill Plaza II Midtown, 1 Tang Lung St., Causeway Bay, 2154-3048.