• Jenni Lien

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


The Chef

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’).


The Vibe

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.


The Food

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.


Casa Cucina & Bar in Sai Ying Pun, Hong Kong

Hokkaido scallop Carpaccio ($108) with pineapple, yuzu and ogonori seaweed


Casa Cucina & Bar in Sai Ying Pun, Hong Kong

Cicchetti platter ($188) with bruschetta, burrata, and bresaola rolls


Casa Cucina & Bar in Sai Ying Pun, Hong Kong

Mushroom risotto ($150) with burnt butter, mushroom foam and spinach


Casa Cucina & Bar in Sai Ying Pun, Hong Kong

Duck ragu pappardelle ($178) with vin jaune, parmesan and chicken liver in the sauce


Casa Cucina & Bar in Sai Ying Pun, Hong Kong

Oxtail ravioli ($188) with burnt butter and beef jus


Casa Cucina & Bar in Sai Ying Pun, Hong Kong

Stuffed calamari ($188) with crab meat and sea urchin


Casa Cucina & Bar in Sai Ying Pun, Hong Kong

Cod acqua pazza ($248) with black cod, datterino tomatoes and fresh clams


Casa Cucina & Bar in Sai Ying Pun, Hong Kong

Tiramisu ($58)


Casa Cucina & Bar in Sai Ying Pun, Hong Kong

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.


Verdict

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