Forget holiday romances, our editorial assistant has fallen head over heels in love with the latest addition to Repulse Bay’s restaurant scene. Stealing a pizza her heart with its delicious menu, beachfront location, and Mediterranean decor – well, it’s amore.
Serving up a slice of the Italian dream just 20 minutes away from the city, a touch of Amalfi-chic in the form of this artisan pizza bar is the perfect addition to the already idyllic Repulse Bay area. Boasting deliciously authentic Italian food, an open-fronted design, ocean views, and a sandy beach which is just asking to be strolled along romantically, Amalfitana won me over in a heartbeat and is very deserving of slot in your summer diary.
Channeling classic Italian chic with its marine colour scheme, traditional pizza oven, and funky European tiles, Amalfitana feels like a Mediterranean escape without the jet lag. Hitting the nail on the head with its open-fronted design, this artisan pizzeria has also solved the age-old problem of sweltering, al fresco, summer dining in Hong Kong by offering a cooler, semi al fresco experience with a gorgeous ocean view.
Plus, with the beach quite literally on its doorstep, this Italian hangout is perfect for kids and dogs who want to play outside while your lose yourself in pizza. That’s not to say it’s strictly a family affair, however, with DJ Osher filling the venue with deep house tunes on Sunday evenings for the weekly Sunset Sessions. Basically, all are welcome to have a slice of the action, and all should because it’s just so tasty.
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Dishing up classic Italian dishes under the leadership of Head Chef Michel Degli Agosti, the Amalfitana menu is a classic, compact affair focused on authenticity. And so, with high hopes and hungry tums, we kicked off the evening with a Tricolore Salad ($90). Ditching inelegant slabs of tomato for a diced base, piled high with creamy avocado and Bufala Mozzerella, this sizeable starter set the precedent for Amalfitana’s generous portion sizes and can easily shared between two. Keeping it simple with a balsamic glaze, the deliciously fresh ingredients and well thought out presentation came together to present a pleasantly memorable dish.
Next, we welcomed the Kale Ceasar Salad ($90) to the party. Never before has a kale salad earned a place in my memory, but boy did this do the trick. Topped with an abundance of Parmesan Cheese, this nutritious dish was crunchy and more-ish – with vibrant Watermelon Radishes to boot. If you’re looking for a delicious starter, or a refreshing side dish to the pizza main, then this is a winner.
With all eyes on the open kitchen, we waited for the main event – thin base, crispy crust, melted cheese, and colourful toppings … Amalfitana really served up the goods with the Salsiccia E Porcini ($190) and the Vegetarian ($170) pizzas. Served on elevated racks in the middle of the table, with scissors to slice it up as you wish, two pizzas were easily enough for the three of us. I lathered my slices with homemade chili oil, and polished off every morsel. The base to topping ratio, which so often divides people’s opinion of a good pizza, was spot on – particularly with the Vegetarian option which treats you to a hidden layer of spinach beneath the cheese. Both pizzas are permanent residents on the menu, however, there is also a selection of specials which are chopped and changed each week to ensure that every visit is unique and exciting for the taste buds.
I’ll be honest, desserts didn’t take much persuasion at all. While my fellow diners raved about the Tiramisu ($80), with its clear layers and delightful creaminess, I was losing myself in a coffee-induced haze after trying Affogato ($70) for the very first time. With smooth, rich coffee melting over the vanilla gelato, this teacup of absolute heaven was worthy of being swooned over.
True to its Amalfi roots, there is a generous selection of Homemade Limoncello behind the bar to be enjoyed as an aperitif. I’ll hold my hands up and admit to breaking my detox for a minute or so and indulging in some Regolare Limoncello ($70) – technical detox failure, but totally worth it. With the rich flavours of lemon curd and the distinctive hum of the peel, this Amalfi-inspired touch was the perfect way to end the evening.
In case you hadn’t noticed, I’m a big fan of Amalfitana. Each course was distinctive, the presentation was delightful, and the atmosphere bubbly and welcoming. Plus, hovering at around $350 per head for a table full of shared dishes, the price is surprisingly reasonable for the calibre of food served in this swanky beach side area. Bellissimo!
Amalfitana, Shop 105, G/F, The Pulse, 28 Beach Road, Repulse Bay, (+852) 2388 7787