New restaurant review: Casa Cucina & Bar
You know how people say “it doesn’t feel like we’re in Hong Kong” and mean it in a good way? It’s not that we don’t love our wonderful city, but sometimes, especially with the lack of travel these days, it’s nice to escape to somewhere different. Casa Cucina & Bar is in trendy Sai Ying Pun but with it’s spacious, loft-like design and vibrant decor, it feels like we could be in Sydney, Bali, anywhere with a comfy-glam vibe.
Photos courtesy of Casa Cucina & Bar
Helming the kitchen is Executive Chef Anthony Cheung, a graduate of The International Culinary Centre in New York who cut his teeth at Jean-Georges and most recently spent four years training under Richard Ekkebus at Amber. Though his background is in fine dining, he’s turned his focus to family-style dining (with ‘casa’ being the Italian food for ‘home’).
When you book a table at Casa, you can choose your vibe. The first floor is great for socializing, with a cocktail bar and a ‘see and be seen’ vibe. The second floor is great for cozy meals where guests can dine with a view of the open kitchen. Lastly the third floor - the loft - can be used as a private dining floor with large communal dining tables, rattan sofas and armchairs, and a private bar.
Casa’s all about fresh, wholesome Italian cicchetti (similar in concept to Spanish tapas). All dishes are meant for sharing… though you may be tempted to keep some of these plates to yourself!
Here are some highlights.
Hokkaido scallop Carpaccio ($108) with pineapple, yuzu and ogonori seaweed
Cicchetti platter ($188) with bruschetta, burrata, and bresaola rolls
Mushroom risotto ($150) with burnt butter, mushroom foam and spinach
Duck ragu pappardelle ($178) with vin jaune, parmesan and chicken liver in the sauce
Oxtail ravioli ($188) with burnt butter and beef jus
Stuffed calamari ($188) with crab meat and sea urchin
Cod acqua pazza ($248) with black cod, datterino tomatoes and fresh clams
Tofu panna cotta ($58)
The food at Casa is easy to recommend. There are inventive flavours, quality ingredients, and reasonable prices to boot - and fresh pasta! If you’re looking for a lighter meal, highly recommend the cichetti platter (fantastic bruschetta and burrata), the mushroom risotto, and the cod aqua pazza. Those looking for a more indulgent meal would do well with the duck ragu papardelle (this one packs well) and tender lamb rack ($255; not pictured, accidentally ate it before we took a photo!). Almost everyone, especially those who love creamy desserts, should try the tofu panna cotta. It may be the most indulgent tofu pudding you’ve ever tried, and comes with a salty-sweet red sugar and light soy syrup.
It’s easy to see Casa filling up, especially now that restrictions are lifting. It’ll be just as good for casual lunches and day drinks as for cozy dinners and cocktails. And we hear rumours of a DJ during brunch (when it launches). Keep your eyes peeled.
Shops 8 & 9, 158A Connaught Rd W, Sai Ying Pun, 2887 9666