Amare: Shop G02, Monterey Place, 23 Tong Chun Street, Tseung Kwan O
Grub: Fine Italian dining
Vibe: Stylish and modern; there’s no dress code at this newly opened restaurant, but we recommend aiming for smart casual to match the classy setting. There’s also an outdoor seating area, so when the weather warms a little, it will be perfect for alfresco dining.
Who to take: Family, friends, anyone who fancies Italian cuisine – and especially truffle fans!
What’s hot: The restaurant serves some fairly classic Italian dishes. We ordered the melon and Parma ham, and were amazed by how well the sweetness of the melon toned down the saltiness of the ham, which would’ve been overpowering on its own.
Amare’s signature dish is black truffle spaghetti carbonara, which lives up to the hype. This traditional dish is given a unique twist with a generous sprinkling of truffle, creating a perfect harmony between the earthy taste of the fungus and the bland creaminess of the Parmesan cheese.
The Barolo and braised beef cheek comes as four large chunks of meat that sit on top of a pile of tender vegetables and mashed potatoes. Despite the intimidating size of the beef, it melts in your mouth, highlighting the chefs’ culinary expertise.
Linguine vongole comes topped with a circle of clams coated in a savoury sauce. The rich flavour of the shellfish perfectly offsets the otherwise mild pasta, and the basil and tomato topping prevents the clams from overpowering everything else, resulting in a perfectly balanced dish.
The banana and passionfruit smoothie provided a fruity and refreshing end to our meal. The blend of tangy fruit and ice packs a summery punch, yet it isn’t inappropriate for winter when paired with the sort of rich dishes we tried.
The chefs at Amare are really good at combining what may initially seem like contradictory flavours. Our dessert — the truffle chocolate fondant – was incredible. Served hot, the molten chocolate lava cake with vanilla ice cream danced like fire and ice on the tastebuds, while the unusual addition of truffle made this a dish worth reordering.
What’s not: The Tarantina mussels arrived at the table a bit cold and the taste also varied from mussel to mussel.
There was too much ice in the Malteser milkshake and not enough Maltesers, leading to a rather disappointing experience.
Cost: Main courses range from HK$138-HK$148. It’s HK$78 for the truffle chocolate fondant, and smoothies are HK$58 each.