Carbone | Hong Kong

Rating: ❤❤❤❤

Let's get it straight first. Carbone offers American-Italian food straight from the likes of Little Italy complete with a Godfather-like setting with the red leather seats and brass decors. The food is not going to be fine or delicate but meant to be more like comfort food with heavy flavors. I found the restaurant accommodating from the start as I had to make several last minute reservation changes and they tried their best to fulfill my requests. 

The meal got off to a great start with complimentary garlic bread, prosciutto and cheese!

Baked Clams ($198) - the baked clams were amazing with 3 kinds of flavor: oreganata with breadcrumbs, casino with bacon and pepper and fantasia with sea urchin. I loved all of the different pairings but I have to say that my favorite was the casino with bacon and pepper. [4.5/5]

Octopus Pizzaiolo ($188) - loved the octopus in this dish as it had been caramelized so you get a slightly crunchy sensation with a mildly sweet taste as you bite into it. One of the best way to eat an octopus for sure! [4.5/5]

Spicy Rigatoni Vodka ($198) - hands down the best dish of the night! It was rich and hearty to eat with a perfectly spicy kick in flavors. I would go back to Carbone just to eat this pasta. [5/5]

Lobster Ravioli ($248) - a solid pasta with chopped up lobsters but the flavors weren't memorable at all in comparison to the spicy rigatoni vodka. [3.5/5]

Mario's Meatballs ($168) - the meatballs were huge and tender as they were easy to pull apart, but it was the rich tomato sauce that made this dish IMO. [4/5]

Double Lamb Chops ($428) - the lamb chops were carved in front of us but the portion was rather small for the hefty price. They had recommended medium rare for the lambs which turned out to be wonderful as the meat was plump and juicy with natural and subtle flavors. I would have preferred just a bit more flavors so I'd probably go for the Veal Parmesan next time. [4/5]

Dessert time!!! A tray with all 4 of their dessert offerings were displayed to [taunt?] us and being the sweets addicts that we were, we couldn't resist and ended up ordering everything!

Lemon Cheesecake ($108) - this was my favorite dessert of the night! Deliciously rich and creamy while topped with a layer of tangy lemon mousse which balanced the flavors perfectly. [5/5]

Tiramisu ($108) - um...the ladyfinger was huge! Too bad our tiramisu was quite dry with a lot more cake than mascarpone while the ladyfinger was dense and sticky to eat. [3/5]

Carrot Cake ($108) - while the accompanying ginger ice cream was yummy, the carrot cake lacked flavors of carrot (of all things) while the cake was dry and dense as well. Didn't taste like a carrot cake actually. [2.5/5]

Banana Flambe ($128) - finally the show we were all waiting for! The bananas were prepared in front of us with a flaming show and all. The result? A not so photogenic dessert actually with a melting pot of almond ice cream, chocolate cake and bananas. So simple and yet so good. I would probably only order this for the show but skip this in lieu of the cheesecake if you have to choose though. [4/5]

Lastly, our parting gift of the night was a shot of limoncello. Too bad it was pretty watered down so it just tasted like lemon water. 

Verdict - solid food with high price tags that would prevent us from dropping by this restaurant more often than we'd like. It's great for big groups since the American-sized portions are perfect for sharing. Bring a jacket though as the AC was on full blast and we left with popsicles as arms. 

9/F, LKF Tower, 33 Wyndam Street
+852 2593 2593

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