Rating: ★★★★☆
Address: Shop G5-G6, Leighton Centre, 77 Leighton Road, Causeway Bay 銅鑼灣禮頓道77號禮頓中心G5-G6號舖
Telephone: 2960 9222
http://www.fiat.com.hk/fiatcaffepr1/

Fiat Caffè是在Fiat汽車陳列室內的一間意式餐廳,以汽車為主題,並供應一系列意式小吃。我很喜歡Fiat Caffè各式的意粉,食物整體而言都是有水準的。店舖面積小,不算闊落,但食物價錢不貴,而且不收加一服務費,是銅鑼灣的一個好去處。

We Hong Kongers love nothing more than a bit of gimmicks, and Fiat Caffè, an Italian cafe at the car brand Fiat‘s showroom in Hong Kong, is definitely abound with novelty factor. This cafe opened in September 2012, and is located on Leighton Road, just off the heart of the shopping area of Causeway Bay.

Fiat Caffè, catered by Swire Hotels, is a small venue which only accommodates up to around 20 people. The brightly-lit restaurant has a casual set-up which overlooks the street views of Causeway Bay. As this is a cafe as opposed to a proper restaurant, the majority of the dishes are simple and light. Many ingredients are imported from Italy, and the cafe also serves illy coffee. Reservations can be made for dinner, but not for lunch or afternoon tea, and I was invited to have dinner at the restaurant to try some of the new items on the menu.

DSCN0226_1

As you walk through the entrance, you will first enter the Fiat showroom and you will have to turn left to find the cafe.

DSCN0228_1

The most special table at the restaurant is a sofa in the shape of the front of a car, which although wasn’t the most comfortable seating as it is quite narrow, would surely cheer up many little boys (and even some grown-ups)!

DSCN0233_1

(1) We started off with the Ricotta, figs, white truffle honey and olive oil ($95). The ingredients of the salad were not chopped up, so we had to do a bit of cutting and slicing ourselves. The figs were fresh and juicy, and the ricotta cheese and creamy and alluring. There was a mild, sensuous taste of white truffle and I wished it was a tad stronger!

DSCN0237_1

(2) Next, we ordered the Seared tuna, cauliflower, almonds hazelnut oil lemon dressing ($110). The seared tuna was chunky and delicious, and the almonds’ crunch formed a nice contrast with the softness of the cauliflowers.

DSCN0239_1

(3) One of the signature dishes at Fiat Caffè is the Polpette meat balls, extra rich tomato sauce, riso and chopped parsley ($95). Riso means “rice” in Italian, and I love riso pasta as it is often smooth and fabulously springy if cooked properly. The pasta was cooked to the right consistency, and the tomato sauce was tangy with a mild spicy kick and a fresh taste of herbs.

DSCN0247_1

The meat balls, which were made with beef and pork, had a bouncy texture and a good bite.

DSCN0251_1

(4) We also tried the Strozzapreti pasta, bottarga, lemon parsley and extra virgin olive oil ($185). Strozzapreti pasta is another type of pasta that I adore, as the pasta’s curled up shape gives it an excellent texture. The semi-translucent orange slices were bottarga, which are pressed dried eggs of tuna or grey mullet. The bottarga was firm, sticky and a bit salty, as it was prepared by salting fish roes, leaving them to dry for a few days and then pressing them into an elongated shape. Bottarga has to be sliced thinly or sprinkled over pasta, otherwise the taste would be overwhelming. At Fiat Caffè, they have appropriately served the bottarga with pasta simply dressed in olive oil, so that there was enough room for the characteristics of the bottarga to shine. However, our only complaint was that the pasta was a bit dry and more olive oil could have been drizzled over it.

DSCN0249_1

(5) As the all-day menu is limited, there are a few Daily specials available at dinner. On the day we went, it was a rib-eye steak and a Seabass, zucchini, capsicum, balsamico ($145). This dish offered great value for money – priced at $145, there were two to three large pieces of seabass, which were well grilled, moist and tender. The balsamico dressing was very complementary with the fish, and the zucchini and capsicum, even though a tad oily, were vibrant and delectable.

DSCN0242_1

(6) A selection of Gelato Italiano ($40), with a Fiat car printed on the carton’s cover, was available, and I went for the Caramel banana flavour. The gelato was airy and smooth, and could be easily scooped up. The taste of banana was fabulous.

DSCN0271_1

(7) The Affogato, Italian Lady Finger Biscuits, Orange Mascarpone ($60) is usually made with ice cream, so this affogato made with orange mascarpone was quite inspiring. Using illy coffee from Italy, the Affogato had a fine, bitter taste and the layering was well balanced, but the mascarpone could be lighter and less dense.

DSCN0267_1

(8) The Peaches, Galliano Syrup, Whipped Vanilla Cream and Almonds ($60) comprised of peaches immersed in Galliano syrup and topped with a generous dollop of whipped cream. I would personally prefer a dessert which is more substantial, but it was sweet and indulgent in its own way.

DSCN0260_1

(9) Lastly, I ordered a cup of Hot Cioccolata, hand whipped cream, almond ($35), and it was thick and creamy, finished off with a few delicate slices of almond.

DSCN0252_1

Conclusion: The cafe only offers a small selection of dishes, but the ones I tried were all reasonably accomplished. Even though the seating in this small venue is not the most luxurious or comfortable, the prices are reasonable and the restaurant doesn’t impose a 10% service charge on the bill. Most importantly, Fiat Caffè’s location in a car showroom and its car theme certainly helps it stand out from some other eateries in the area!