A new little lunchtime spot has popped up in IFC that’s perfect for a quick bite in-between work! Panino Giusto brings the Italian panino to the ‘Kong – and for those of you who don’t know your focaccia from your toastie, a panino is a Milanese sandwich! Located on the third floor of the sleek IFC mall, this place is sure to attract many hungry business folk who, at the moment, are pretty limited with sandwich choices around the area.
Although small, the already busy new lunch hangout is in the perfect location. Convenience is Panino Giusto’s key; they are in the perfect place to catch the ravenous working crowds! With access to the chilled out IFC roof plus their own decently sized seating area outside the store, Panino Giusto offers somewhere to sit down and enjoy some food to fill you up for the rest of the day.
Between the three of us, we sampled two of Panino Giusto’s sandwiches, a salad, a starter and of course… a dessert! We had to try the panini first and happily sunk our teeth into the “Tartufo”, which was stuffed with Parma ham, brie, tomato, rocket and Alba truffle oil. The truffle oil gave this a rich, indulgent and extremely moreish flavour and combined beautifully with the Parma ham and brie, making for a filling and luxurious sandwich… mamma mia!
We then tried the “Toast della Casa” (which was more like a toastie), filled with ham, tomato, Fontina cheese, tartar sauce and… tuna! Ham and tuna together, you say? Eh? You’ll be surprised to learn that this was actually a delicious combination! The thick layers of ham and the creamy cheesy-herby sauce (which reminded us of a warm, runnier Boursin!) were super comforting and delicious. Definitely recommended if you fancy trying something different that’s also filling!
Moving onto the non-panini options, the “Stuzzico Cruzo e Caprino” was a long plate of 24-hour aged ham from Langhirano, with (very) small slices of warm bread and goat’s cheese. Well, supposedly goat’s cheese… we couldn’t taste any of that distinctive goat flavour; in all honesty, it tasted a lot like regular cream cheese! This was a bit disappointing for us goat fans; however, the ham was absolutely divine, thinly sliced with a wonderful salty flavour that I couldn’t get enough.
Our final savoury dish was the Sorento salad, with boiled egg, mozzarella, tomato, rocket and tuna. Unfortunately this wasn’t the best salad we’ve ever had; the mozzarella lacked any taste, and the whole thing wasn’t really dressed properly, just dunked in olive oil. We could see why the paninis are the stars of the show here!
Finally, onto our dessert, the classic Italian tiramisu! This actually tasted better than its rather “homemade” look; however, there wasn’t the punch of coffee flavour or layers of sponge we were expecting – one for those who prefer a creamier tiramisu.
Overall, Panino Giusto is definitely the place to go for panini – these really are their speciality. Despite being pretty pricey for a small lunch (our ‘Tartufo’ panino was $89, whilst the cheapest one is $78), it really does fill a much craved sandwich-type gap in IFC. The flavours of the paninis are excellent and extensive (they have loads on the menu!), so there’s plenty of different options to keep you busy throughout your week. We wouldn’t bother with salads though… Panino Giusto is a pure panini haven and perhaps they should keep it that way!
Panino Giusto Shop No. 3077, Podium Level Three, IFC Mall, 8 Finance Street, Central
2564 7000 www.paninogiusto.hk