In our concrete jungle, finding outdoor space is a challenge. So how do Hong Kongers get around this problem? They build outdoor space amidst the concrete jungle! DiVino Group’s newest baby, DiVino Patio, has joined the throng of restaurants that line brand new alfresco dining area Brim 28 in Wan Chai. Spanning over around 4000 square feet, DiVino Patio has the luxury of a great sized indoor space as well as, obviously, a patio.
Having thought it an excellent idea to walk from Central, eating outside was thankfully not considered, yet I can imagine the patio being mightily popular on the crisp autumn evenings that are not too far in the future (I hope!). The space inside is designed to be a replica of a 1950s’ Italian style grocery shop, with red brick walls and rustic blackboards. All that’s missing are legs of prosciutto hanging from the ceiling and giant wheels of Parmesan.
Our feast began with an enormous beautifully presented knot of burrata served alongside a vibrant cherry tomato salad. At first sight, we were convinced that the three of us would barely make a dent in this colossal 500g ball of cheese; however, one bite and we were hooked, meaning we had no choice but to finish the entire plate. Firm on the outside, the centre was gorgeously creamy whilst still wonderfully light, pairing perfectly with the crisp sweet flavour of the cherry tomatoes and red onions. Days later, I’m still dreaming about this burrata…!
A rustic wooden plate overflowing with amazing antipasti followed. The coppa, speck, Parma ham, salami Milano and mortadella were of the highest quality; they’re amongst the many authentic items (including the chef!) that has been flown in straight from Italia.
For mains, we shared the pasta I had had my eye on since we arrived – the Penne “Jerome” style, named after one of the loyal customers at the DiVino in Central. Apparently he would always order this dish, despite it not being on the menu… and I completely understand why! Imagine perfectly al dente pasta bathed in rich creamy gorgonzola and truffle – what is there not to love about this dish?!
Next were individual portions of spit-roasted ‘porchetta’, which made each of us ‘ooooh’ in excitement. After being deboned and marinated in Italian spices and fennel, the suckling pig is slow roasted for four hours, leaving it amazingly succulent and tender. The spiral of meat came served atop buttery rosemary mashed potatoes and topped with an artichoke ‘rose’; it was heavenly! Unable to finish her portion and wanting to share the love, Rach made sure to ‘da bau’ it for her auntie’s dinner; this little piggy on the other hand polished it all off!
Last but never ever least, dessert was DiVino’s Sweet Kick Platter: tiramisu, a trio of chocolate and Sicilian cannoli, which were each to die for. The tiramisu was just as it should be, without coffee overwhelming its other flavours… the cannoli were light and delicate with a refreshing hint of lemon… but what I really want to talk about is the trio of chocolate! Rich chocolate ice cream, creamy chocolate mousse and the perfect, most incredible chocolate fondant that oozed at the slightest of prods. Can you tell which was my favourite?!
Prices are fair, with starters from $88 and mains ranging between $130 and $300, making DiVino Patio the perfect place for some unpretentious and authentic Italian fare in a pleasant setting. OK the alfresco area is a far cry from what we’d find along a cobbled street in Italy, but if it’s the best we can get here, and if the burrata is this delicious, then who’s complaining?
DiVino Patio, Shop 11, 1/F, Causeway Centre, No. 28 Harbour Road, Wan Chai, Hong Kong, 2877 3552
Check out more from Ale on her fab blog, The Dim Sum Diaries!