As we were celebrating a certain Sassy engagement (congrats to our Managing Editor Dervla!), we decided to all indulge in a glass of bubbles with our meal. Apart from the bubbles, Linguini Fini has a range of drinks including cocktails, wines, beer and even fruit juices and smoothies if you’re feeling healthy. I’ll definitely be heading back to try the Biscotti Smoothie with chocolate, almond milk, milk gelato, nutmeg and cookie sprinkle… mmm…
Chef Vinny has brought back all the old Linguini Fini favourites and added a couple of newbies to the menu too. We couldn’t wait to find out if the filling, homey dishes that we knew and loved were still up to scratch with the same flavours and quality ingredients…
We began with a stater from the ‘Anti-pasti’ section of the menu, the Homemade Spicy Pork Sausage ($108). You can definitely tell that this chubby little sausage is handmade as it’s packed with meat! Whilst the flavour of the sausage itself wasn’t that strong, the accompanying sweet peppers and the incredibly creamy yet spicy mustard sauce gave this dish an extra kick. I also like the addition of the fresh basil on top… a pleasant and filling starter to whet your appetite!
Our second sample of a starter was the LF Buffalo Wings ($78). I’m not usually a fan of wings, but these bad boys were hard to resist… the roast pepper wing sauce was ridiculously moreish and was only enhanced by the creamy gorgonzola aioli. The strips of fresh celery went perfectly, cutting through the rich flavours of the aioli and wing sauce. If you really want to get your fill of wings, then don’t forget to stop by Linguini Fini from 5-7pm for their AMAZING happy hour where you can guzzle on unlimited beer and chicken wings for just $98. You heard that right – $98 all you can eat wings and PBR…
Next up was Brooklyn 18″ New York Pie ($278). Oh boy – this baby is only to be ordered if you and two friends are very hungry! This ‘pie’ was definitely New-York sized, nearly filling up our whole table… definitely recommended for sharing! I couldn’t believe it was Vegetarian though as the fried eggplant on top was so meaty and delicious. Combined with the base (which had the perfect ratio of doughy to crispy), the fresh tomato sauce, the mozzarella and the basil, this pizza was an all round winner.
We were already full to the brim but we had to try some of Linguini Fini’s signature pasta dishes. We began with the Radiatore Alla Vodka ($148), a good, solid tomato pasta dish that was definitely the most home-cooked like and comforting.
Following the Vodka Pasta was the Italian Xiao Long Bao ($168). It sounds weird, and trust me, we were sceptical especially considering how much Leslie and I love xiao long bao. However, these fusion flavours truly worked! The ravioli style pasta mimicked the xiao long bao by holding in a meaty pork filling (although not quite as oozy and spectacular as regular xiao long baos), and the tomato sauce had a kick of chilli to emulate the chilli sauce. On top they drizzled balsamic to give that finishing vinegar flavour – I would definitely try this if you’re looking for something a bit different!
I’m not a great fan of uni, but the Uni Macheroni Carbonara ($188) dish looked so tempting that I had to try a couple of bites. The actual macaroni pasta was the ultimate comfort food and reminded me of when I was a kid, but the strong and very adult uni flavour definitely gave it a different dimension. In fact, the uni only added to the creaminess of the dish and the sharp seafood flavour was great for cutting through the indulgent sauce.
If you’re not feeling pizza or pasta, there is a good range of ‘Secondi’ main dishes, and we tried the Garlic Butter Black Cod ($188). The fish was perfectly cooked and tasted heavenly with the buttery, caper sauce… the kale underneath soaked up all the flavour and was equally delicious. That being said, it was a tad oily so only order if you’re ready for a rich dish!
You have to end a great meal with something sweet, and Linguini Fini’s Caramel Apple Pie ($78) is a great choice! We could have licked the caramel sauce off the plate it was so divine… and the dollop of vanilla ice-cream completed the whole indulgent experience.
The Chocolate Banana Cake ($78) was also good with a very distinct banana flavour running throughout. We particularly enjoyed the layers and before we knew it, it had vanished!
Chef Vinny has got to be the most down to earth Chef in Hong Kong. He is clearly passionate about what he does which is evident in the success of the restaurants he’s involved with, such as Stone Nullah Tavern and Posto Pubblico. His knowledge about the food and the ingredients is detailed and the same goes for the staff who have the perfect balance of attentiveness. All the staff are warm and inviting and you definitely feel like they are a team who work together to provide excellent service.
Linguini Fini is definitely back! We love the authentic Italian food that uses high-quality, fresh, locally sourced produce – you can really taste how fresh and homemade everything is. The generous portions are actually really good value considering how much food you get and the fact that you’re smack bang in the middle of Soho. The decor is cool but casual, and the ambience is definitely lively – this is the perfect spot for after-work drinks (that Happy Hour is not to be missed) or a fun dinner with a group of friends.
Another important thing to note about Linguini Fini is that their farm-to-table, nose-to-tail concept also extends to an attempt to be HK’s first zero-waste restaurant… no mean feat. With their own herb garden at the back of the restaurant, no plastic and an on-site composting for fresh food waste, this resto is setting the bar for all green-conscious F&B outlets. Definitely worth checking out!
Linguini Fini, 49 Elgin Street, Soho, Central, Hong Kong, 2387 6338, www.linguinifini.com