[HK] Cecconi's Italian - Soho

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

When I first visited the Soho district at Central, I was expecting the vibrant scenes similar to the Soho at London. It was not a disappointing trip but I must admit that I was perhaps expecting a touch too much. The Soho area was lined filled with European restaurants, serving a range of cuisines from your classic English pub food to Japanese fusion fine dining, but Italian was what we eventually settled for.

Mussels in cream broth ($138/-)

This was similar to the recently tried house mussels at Frites, with equal sized mussel meat this time round. The mussels were well-cooked, allowing the shells to open up and made fetching for the delicate tender meat  an easy task. The cream broth was rich and milky smooth, which went well with the succulent mussel that carried a tinge of sweetness.

Verdict: 7.5/10

Spiced flash fried calamari with chili, lemon and aioli ($118/-)

Personally, I felt that the menu made the dish looked more impressive than it was. The traditional Italian aioli sauce comprised of garlic, olive oil, lemon juice and egg yolks, with an alternative being the usage of mustard. The calamari was well cooked, without tasting too rubbery but the spices were barely evident. It was too mild to create a lasting impression on my palate and tasted no more impressive than fried calamari rings. The portion size was also relatively small for it to be an appetizer to be shared across the table. It was an 'okay' starter, but for the price, I would demand a better offering.

Verdict: 7.0/10

Spaghetti with bacon, basil and parmesan in a cream sauce ($178/-)

The pasta was cooked to perfection, al dente. The smoked bacon gave saline flavour to the dish and coupled with the shaved parmesan, completed a wholesome meal. It satisfied the other diners at the table with the richness of the sauce but proved too creamy to suit my preference, which in fact caused some satiation after a second helping. My advice would be only to opt for this if you are a fan of rich creamy base for your pasta, otherwise you might wish to look elsewhere on the menu.

Verdict: 7.0/10

Fettuccine with prawns and garlic in a creamy alfredo sauce ($188/-)

I was left slightly disappointed for spaghetti was served instead of fettuccine, which was flat and relatively thick. The texture though of the pasta was al dente which was much desired. The alfredo sauce was not as thick and rich like the spaghetti. Instead, it was a much lighter broth, which suited my palate alot more. The prawns were well-cooked, de-shelled and de-veined. There was a slight crunch and natural sweetness to the prawns upon the first bite and finishing the dish was certainly not a difficult chore.

Verdict: 7.5/10

Smoked duck breast risotto ($178/-)

The flavours of this dish were great and would be favourable among fans of savoury dishes. The smoked duck breast was tender and was the root of the salinity in the dish. The Italian rice was al dente, and absorbed much of the gravy. It would have a more complete balance of texture if a crisp ingredient was introduced to complement the soft rice. It was nonetheless considered a delectable offering among the hungry diners.

Verdict: 7.0/10

The ambiance of the restaurant was very cosy with the lightings as portrayed in the pictures above. Definitely a place to bring your other half to spend a romantic evening or even for business meetings. The quality of the food was above average, but I would question if it was value for money. One would most probably be contributing towards the surrounding of the restaurant.

A check on the restaurant revealed that they belonged to the Dining Concepts group, which included restaurants serving primarily Western cuisines such as BLT Burger. It was no surprise then that much emphasis was centred on interior decorations of Cecconi's, as seemingly, most restaurants under the management of Dining Concepts have good ambiance.

Cecconi's Italian
43, Elgin Street, Soho, Central
Tel: 2147 5500

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