In Hong Kong, we take our food and pizza very seriously. And nothing screams pizza like a day at the beach. For the longest time, Hong Kong’s beachside restaurants mostly consisted of a nearby McDonalds, Pizza Hut or little shacks serving really greasy fast food.
Thankfully, now you can get your beach and foodie fix with openings such as Limewood, Mavericks and Cabana. The most recent addition is Amalfitana, a beautiful artisanal pizzeria and bar opened by the Chellaram (Rummin’ Tings) and Roopchand brothers (Rummin Tings, The Pontiac) at The Pulse in Repulse Bay.
Designed by EDG (who have worked with restaurateurs such as Gordon Ramsay and Wolfgang Puck), the interiors will transport you to the Amalfi Coast with its colourful, vintage Italian tiles and comfy seating that sits up to 60. The bar features a beautiful handpainted mural as well as a small and intimate chef’s table right next to the open kitchen helmed by chef Michel Degli Agosti.
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While the focus is very much on the pizza, there are also a variety of healthy, lighter options such as the stunning Tricolore of tomato bruschetta, avocado and bufala mozzarella (HK$90), Barley Salad of spelt, pine nuts, cherry tomato, sundried tomato and pesto (HK$90 and, our favourite, Kale Caesar (HK$90) salad, a mix of asparagus, watermelon, radish, parmesan cheese and croutons (HK$90) — it’s the first salad we’ve had where the kale actually tastes good.
As for the pies, they come thin, crispy and light — thanks to Michel’s technique of letting the dough mature and rise slowly for at least 36 hours. The slices range from the more traditional such as a smoky and creamy Quattro Fromaggio (HK$170) featuring zola, talegio, scamorza and parmesan, to more creative offerings like the Fiorentina (HK$160) pizza topped with a poached egg, spinach, parmesan and garlic.
Other highlights include an Il Capo (HK$488) pizza of tomato, mozzarella, porcini mushrooms, rockets and black truffle shaved tableside by the chef and the Salisiccia e Porcini (HK$190) pizza. There’s also a choice of calzone, daily pizza specials, garlic bread (that comes plain or with tomato, pesto or cheese) and a scrumptious Battuta Di Carne (HK$120) — an Italian version of beef tartare with sun blush tomato, cherry tomato and a parmesan cheese wafer.
For sweets, we loved the Tiramisu (HK$80) for a truly satisfying way to end the meal and the nutella pizza (HK$90) topped with strawberries and banana for something a little bit more fun and indulgent.
Amalfitana’s Spritz list is perfect for Hong Kong’s sweltering heat. Our favourite is the Estate, a delightful mix of Sipsmith Summer Cup, ginger ale, prosecco and soda (HK$120), and the Rose Maria, rosemary-infused Aperol, prosecco and soda (HK$100). There’s also a thirst-quenching selection of Negronis, Italian wines and house-infused Limoncello — it’s the best excuse to hang around in their lounge area after-hours.
Amalfitana quite literally has something for every taste with their wide selection of pizza toppings, salads and cheese platters. The best thing? It won’t leave you bloated as you head back down to the beach for another splash in the sea.
Amalfitana is currently in its soft-opening with plans to officially open at the end of June. Takeaway and delivery will follow for neighbouring areas.
Amalfitana, Shop 105, G/F, The Pulse, 28 Beach Road, Repulse Bay, Hong Kong, +852 2388 7787, www.amalfitana.hk