30 September, 2010
Eat & Drink

W52: Italian Elegance on Wyndham

30 September, 2010

UPDATE: W52 is now closed.

One of the recurring jokes about the Hong Kong dining scene is that nearly all new restaurant openings are either Italian or Japanese, most churning out  pretty bog-standard fare but charging well above the odds for it and billing it as “fine dining”. Nowhere is this cliche more true than Wyndham Street, where you could be forgiven for thinking that every other restaurant is Italian (they’ve even closed down our beloved meeting place of Starbucks to make way for a new Italian “concept”). So when we were invited along to try out W52, located over several floors of a super-skinny block right by Centrium, we were feeling a little bit jaded and prepared to like but not love the restaurant.

W52 has been open around a year now, and oozes unfussy sophistication. From the sleek and minimal bar area at street level fitted out with lots of glass, marble and mirror, to the dining rooms upstairs, W52 feels feminine and refined. It’s the kind of place you’d be equally comfortable for a casual supper out with the girls or a more formal special occasion. There’s nothing stuffy about the service or the decor, but you have a feeling of being somewhere special. The team behind the restaurant are also behind such successful Italian Hong Kong hits as Isola and Gaia, but have since moved on from these enterprises so now W52 is the only only restaurant they own, which is refreshing in this town, and you can feel the singular focus in the attention to detail and menu.

We started with a delicate Carpaccio of red prawns and scallops with red onion and fish roe, and also a delicious Artichoke dish from the a la Carte menu (there is also an antipasti buffet to choose from), then moved on to our Primi Piatto course where we sampled some perfectly al dente pasta and risotto. The real stand-out was our main course of Roasted rack of pork with fresh summer tomatoes salad, which was carved tableside which was a lovely touch. Roast pork can so often be dry and disappointing, but this was so tender and delicious I’m planning to take myself back to W52 for this dish again! Just when we thought we couldn’t eat another morsel and were starting to shift slightly uncomfortably in our seats and stretch out our waistbands, our dessert of Mango and Marscapone cheese tart arrived, and it was so pretty it would have been a sin to refuse it. Even though we were so full we wolfed the dish down and agreed it was the perfect ending to a delicious meal: light and actually refreshing.

Although prices are not cheap (a meal for two without wine will probably set you back 800HK), the quality of the food and the experience make this restaurant a little jewel on Wyndham – I’m even planning to go back for date night with my husband this weekend!

W52, 52 Wyndham Street, Central. 6768 5252

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