Date of review: September 1, 2015 | Reviewed by: Ester Hilsmarsdottir
Taking up the entire third floor of the LHT Tower in Central, the expansive restaurant space is a warm and inviting one despite its colossal size. With dark, wooden beams juxtaposing cream coloured ceilings, old-fashioned tiled flooring, soft lighting and plush booths rendered in chocolate leather, the space channels an ambience and charm that is reminiscent of a bygone era—one that is contrasted nicely by the restaurant’s modern glass façade. The restaurant also offers an al fresco dining area, Terrazza, which has a pleasant and laid back vibe.
Even though Lupa has a great selection of tasting menus we decided to take our picks from the a la carte and started off with a Caprese salad. The combination of a creamy Buffalo Mozzarella, flavourful tomatoes, along with a seasoning of fresh basil and oregano, resulted in a classic and comforting appetizer. We also enjoyed the Capesante e Baccalà that is made of seared sea scallops, which were cooked to perfection and complemented by Piquillo peppers stuffed with whipped codfish. The codfish could have used more seasoning, but what the dish lacked in seasoning, the raspberry vinaigrette made up for in flavour, bringing a unique and satisfying zest. The Abbacchio Scottadito is a New Zealand lamb chop, elegantly served with sautéed artichokes, egg and tarragon sauce that gives it a bold punch. To complement the lamb chops; we ordered a side dish of Spinaci, sautéed baby spinach with garlic and Parmigiano cheese. Unfortunately, the spinach turned out to be bland and completely void of the comforting flavours of garlic and Parmigiano cheese, the menu so appealingly promised. However, the shortcomings of our side dish were made up for with our desert. Going for a Copetta al Cioccolato proved to be an excellent choice. The rich, flourless chocolate cake and fluffy chocolate foam turned out to be velvety smooth and scrumptious, with the sharp and tangy flavour of the mixed berries and mandarin sorbet giving a perfect contrast to the double dose of sweet chocolate.
Lupa offers an extensive list of Italian wines, some of which are from chef Mario Batali’s own vineyard. Plenty of options are available both by the glass and by carafe and the sommelier and senior staff is confident in their recommendations. We opted for the staff’s suggestion of a dry and medium-bodied Gavi, which complemented the scallops beautifully.
Attentive and polite, the staff at Lupa offered excellent service from the moment we arrived. Servers are friendly and knowledgeable; each dish was introduced with elegance and recommendations given with confidence and ease.
For the price of around HK$1,200 you’ll get a high quality dinner for two, including wine. The portions could be a bit more generous as you’ll have to order a side with most entrees, but all in all the meal is well worth the money especially when taking the top notch service in to consideration.