Address: Shop H601-H608, 6 /F, Hollywood, PMQ, 35 Aberdeen Street, Central中環鴨巴甸街35號元創方Hollywood 6樓H601-H608號舖
Telephone: 2156 0688/2156 1828
Isono Eatery & Bar is the third restaurant I have visited at the new dining and cultural hub PMQ, after my visits to Aberdeen Street Social and Vasco. A sister restaurant of Vasco located one floor beneath it, Isono is the more casual dining concept which focuses on rustic and authentic Spanish-centric Mediterranean dishes.
The decor of the restaurant, while laid-back, is utterly sleek and stylish, with striking bronze and cooper accents forming a stark contrast against the warm wooden furniture and dark tiled floors. A circular marble bar in the centre gives the dining room its focus.
The menu, with help from Spanish chef Paolo Casagrande, offers a selection of hearty, comforting dishes that are meant to be shared. The service is eager and informed, and the waiters constantly come to our table to ask for our feedback.
(1) I start the brunch with a glass of Smoke & Knives ($90), the restaurant’s reinvention of Bloody Mary. Made with Iberico-infused vodka, lemon juice, a homemade sweet spicy mix and tomato juice, this drink is refreshing and very tasty with layers of meaty flavours. Their cocktails interestingly come in shot glass versions, so that you can sample a few.
(2) Having been very impressed with the sourdough and multi-coloured house made butter at Vasco, the baguette at Isono pales by comparison, but we appreciate the pristine taste of the olive oil.
(3) Since it is now white truffle season, a portion of scrambled eggs on toast with white truffle ($500) is ordered.
The white truffle is carefully shaved at our table, and the portion is quite generous, with around 5g of shavings in the serve.
The white truffle tastes absolutely alluring. I wish, though, that the eggs are softer and more delicately cooked, in order to do justice to the extravagant white truffle shavings.
(4) There are several lunch sets available, and we order a 2-person lunch set at $480, which comes with 1 starter, 1 pasta, 1 main course, 1 side dish, 1 dessert and coffee or tea, and allows you to have a taste of every section on the menu.
For the appetiser, we pick the beef tartare with organic egg & truffle mayonnaise, which completely wins us over. The orange-toned egg yolk is fully packed with flavours, and the beef is fresh, smooth and expertly chopped. Even though this beef tartare does not have the usual mustard-y tang, it tastes completely incredible.
(5) The homemade pappardelle with wild boar ragout & pecorino does not disappoint either. The fresh pappardelle has a perfect al dente texture, while the wild boar ragout is deeply flavoured with just the right consistency.
(6) The roasted Iberico pork shoulder with homemade BBQ sauce reminds me very much of a refined version of Cantonese roast pork. The wild boar is pink middled and exquisitely tender. However, the BBQ sauce can be more exciting.
(7) The chargrilled baby corn, a signature side dish, is simply love at first bite. The baby corn is bursting with natural sweetness, and is lightly seasoned with a savoury sauce which accentuates its deliciousness. Perfectly char grilled on the surface yet completely tender in the middle, the baby corn disappears from the dish within minutes.
(8) The Piedmonte hazelnut crème brûlée is delightful – the taste of hazelnut completely shines through, and the crispy top layer is moreish.
Despite its casual ambience, a typical brunch at Isono can easily cost $300 or upwards per head – after all, there is a price to to be paid for a meal at this achingly hip and artsy new haunt. The offerings at this restaurant are thoughtful, inspiring and generally tasty. This is definitely not a bad place to find yourself in the weekends!