The arrival of the cold weather in Hong Kong means all we want to do is huddle around the fire and tuck into a heartwarming spread of casseroles, warming soups, fire-grilled meats and hearty holiday roasts this winter. If your social calendar is packed full of people to see and parties to attend before the end of the year — and stepping into the kitchen is the last thing you have time for — it’s time to make a booking at CIAK – In The Kitchen, chef Umberto Bombana’s casual all-day diner located in Landmark.

CIAK
CIAK – In the Kitchen is chef Umberto Bombana’s convivial all-day diner in Landmark.

While we all know Bombana for his world-class cuisine, exuberant personality and enthusiastic love of truffles on display at his flagship Italian fine diner 8 1/2 Otto e Mezzo Bombana (recently awarded 3 Michelin stars again in 2018’s Michelin Guide Hong Kong Macau), fewer people know his casual Italian trattoria amidst the hustle and bustle of Landmark mall, CIAK that offers affordable all-day dining with the same honest, quality Italian cooking that the world-renowned chef left in the care of his Executive Chef Valentino Ugolini.

CIAK
CIAK specialises in flame-grilled meats, from thick pork chops to juicy ribeye.

While pizza and pasta are perennial favourites here, this season’s menu is turning the spotlight on the kitchen’s flame-grilled meats, from succulent lamb chops to juicy ribeyes and thick-cut pork chops. Cooked over an open grill by CIAK’s seasoned pit-masters, the meats here are sure to satisfy any carnivores, whether it’s a rosemary-scented lamb chop or homemade sausages robustly seasoned with Italian herbs such as fennel and thyme. The sizzling charcoal grill imparts a deep, smoky aroma in the premium quality meats and fresh seafood, creating the perfect sear while locking in all the flavourful juices.

lamb chops
Juicy lamb chops paired with a sprig of rosemary and mint dip.

Meanwhile, a selection of sides ensures your holiday feast is complete: there’s buffalo mozzarella with San Marzano tomatoes and fresh basil, eggplant parmigiana under a blanket of melted parmesan cheese, fritto misto or assorted fried Italian seafood, and a prime selection of cold cuts and charcuterie from the finest producers in Italy. And of course, don’t miss out on the prized pastas, all handmade and cooked to order, from the mezze maniche amatriciana studded with salty guanciale pork cheek, to creamy and cheesy carbonara under a shower of black truffles.

CIAK’s relaxed Italian hospitality and convivial atmosphere make the restaurant the perfect gathering spot for a casual meet-up with family or friends without having to dress to the nines for the occasion or put a heavy dent in your wallet. Whether you’re tucking into the flame-grilled meats or maxing out your carb intake on pasta instead, comfort food and unwavering hospitality are the two ingredients CIAK delivers best.

CIAK – In The Kitchen, Shop 327-333, Landmark, 15 Queen’s Road Central, Central, Hong Kong, +852 2522 8869

Leslie Yeh
Editor in Chief
Having worked as a lifestyle editor for almost 10 years, Leslie is thrilled to be writing about the topic she loves most: wining and dining. When she's not out pounding the pavement for the latest new restaurant opening or tracking food trends, Leslie can be found at home whipping up a plate of rigatoni vodka and binge-watching Netflix with a glass of Sauvignon Blanc in hand.