The One With The Pasta Place – Hearty Family Dishes

It has been slightly more than two years since I moved out from Sheung Wan, and it is increasingly evident that the moment I move out of a place, restaurants and cafes will start to pop up all over my ex-neighbourhood, like mushrooms after a rainy season. While it certainly heartens me that so many hip places are opening in Sheung Wan, it maddens me somewhat that the trend did not happen while I was living there.

That was a long preamble.

I was trying to tell you about a new cafe in the neighbourhood which I visited earlier this year. A touch of New York City has arrived in the form of the Big Apple’s comfort food and authentic Italian dishes, all at very reasonable prices.

The Pasta Place

The Restaurant

The moment you walked in to The Pasta Place, you knew the experience would be a difference one. Unlike other larger pasta establishments, such as Doppio Zero and Linguini Fini, The Pasta Place exudes a warm, friendly vibe. This hole-in-the-wall joint in Sheung Wan is a tiny charming place, run by the mother-daughter duo, Andrea and Charlotte. The Brit family has lived in Hong Kong for more than twenty years, but it was their love for NYC food and Italian cuisine that spurred them in making their own foot print in the local food scene.

The Pasta Place

The Ambiance

The restaurant is a cosy setup located along Hillier Street in Sheung Wan. Walls were adorned with adorable liberty floral wall papers, with a single stalk of fresh flower placed in a vase for each table. Warm lights dangled from the ceiling casting a golden glow over everything, just the way I like it. An array of black and white photographs on the wall and the menu complete the whole homestyle atmosphere, and it completely settled me in for the dinner ahead.

The Food

The Pasta Place

Eggplant parmigiana – This layered stack of roasted eggplant, mozzarella and pomodoro sauce was a great start to the meal, with just a hint of basil.

The Pasta Place

Gorgonzola and walnut cream sauce on gnocchi – These darling dumplings were delightfully chewy, and the strong walnut understates in its soft cream sauce brought a depth of savoury taste to this simple pasta dish.

The Pasta Place

NYC style penne alla vodka – Vodka in my pasta? Yes please! The rich tomato sauce was hearty with a good balance of garlic and basil. The vodka flavour mild but certainly present. The penne was cooked al dente; a little more sauce would have made this dish with grilled chicken breast even lovelier. In the current combination it was a little too dry.

The Pasta Place

Chocolate fudge brownie with gelato – Mam Andrea told us right from the start that The Pasta Place is famous for its dessert, and it is easy to see while. The brownie was rich, moist and slightly bitter sweet, which went perfectly well with the Madagascar vanilla gelato. Had we not been so full from all the pasta action before, we would have went for second helping.

If you really like the pasta at The Pasta Place, then you are in luck – those delightful homemade sauce by Mam Andrea is now also available for sale. They also serve lunch menu to cater to the working crowd around the area. Seats are quite limited so time your visit accordingly.

The Pasta Place

Verdict? A reasonable place in Sheung Wan to nurse that itch for homemade pasta at very affordable price. Add that to your list of lunch joints.

Note: This was an invited tasting session.

The Pasta Place
8 Hillier Street
Sheung Wan, Hong Kong
Tel: +852 2774 6692
www.thepastaplace.com.hk

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