With a classic menu of Italian and American dishes, the entertainment of an open kitchen, and rumours of a molten cheesecake, it didn’t take much convincing to lure our editorial team to new restaurant Lo Spazio.
Italian seems to be the flavour of the month in Hong Kong, and with the arrival of Italian-American fusion restaurant Lo Spazio, we can see why. Nestled in the heart of Causeway Bay’s bustling streets, this tasty addition to the city’s menu offers a relaxed 7/F escape from the madness with a friendly vibe, courtesy of the ‘sharing is caring’ ideology. Would it stand out from the crowd? With Le Cordon Bleu-trained chef, Mark Kerkstra, at the helm, we had a feeling something special was coming our way.
With stone-washed walls, no-frills furniture, and large windows overlooking the twinkling skyscrapers, Lo Spazio’s simple design reflects the minimalist translation of its Italian name – The Space. Food is the star of the show at this friendly venue, with all eyes on the open kitchen and the delicious dishes it produces. And with food like that, rightly so.
We kicked off an Italian evening as one should – with a Caprese Salad ($108) – silky mozzarella made in house, juicy slices of tomato, and drizzles of basil pesto to season. A couple more slices of cheese would have gone down a treat, to even out the ratio and thus settle our squabbles over who should bag the final morsel. In this instance, our ‘sharing is caring’ ideology went out the window.
A truly rustic, Italian dish – Polpette E Salsiccia ($88) – was next to arrive, on a suitably rustic, wooden board. This duo of meaty, well-seasoned meatballs and spiced sausages, with plenty of tomato sauce and gooey melted cheese to go around, certainly made an impression. While the meatballs were a hit, the accompanying sausage wasn’t so popular, as it was trickier to share, and didn’t feel quite as elegant or sophisticated somehow.
The Capesante Saltate ($208) scallops were cooked to perfection and beautifully seasoned. Paired nicely with a cheesy helping of polenta, this is when head chef Kerkstra’s flair for presentation really started to shine through – cue the flurry of snapping and hash-tagging.
Stealing the show, without a shadow of a doubt, was the Pesce Fritto ($288). Swimming onto our table in all its glory, this whole, fried sea-bass was quite unlike any fish dish I’ve seen before. One of the more expensive dishes on the menu, yes, but this head-turner is worth every single dollar. The photo (above) just doesn’t do it justice. We dug in with our forks, pulling away the juicy, white flesh, while continuing to marvel at the unique presentation. If I’m pulling at straws, some more vegetables and salad would be nice, so that all sharing (I’d recommend 2 to 3 people) can tuck into a well-balanced plate.
Alongside our fishy delight, we were treated to a silky dish of Fettuccine E Funghi ($208) – thick pasta ribbons, laced with mushrooms, which delivered a salty kick. It was an effort to resist licking the bowl clean.
By this point, I was full enough to last a week. However, when Molten Cheesecake ($98) was thrown into the mix – well, everyone can find room for cheesecake can’t they? And let me tell you, if there’s ever a dessert to loosen your belt for, this is the one. The frozen cheesecake core is wrapped in pastry and fried, resulting in a contrast of temperatures with the surprise of an icy, creamy core. Topped with berries to cut through the creaminess, there was never time we’d cared about calories less. Delicious!
Though I’m a die-hard fan of show-stopping decor and eye-catching designs, an evening in this all-frills-reserved-for-food restaurant was one I will definitely be repeating. Our love for the Pesce Fritto and the Molten Cheesecake was unanimous, as was the open kitchen design. With a 3-course lunch deal starting at $108, Lo Spazio’s price tags are very reasonable for the calibre of food. And if that isn’t enough to convince you, then the sounds of my rumbling stomach should – it seems today may be the day I try out that lunch deal after all.
Lo Spazio, 7/F Henry House, 42 Yun Ping Road, Causeway Bay, (+852) 2778 9877