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Just Opened: Pici Serves up Fresh, Down to Earth Pasta Simple and satisfying with a focus on quality Italian ingredients

February 11, 2017 Dining No Comments Email Email

Now open in the trendy St Francis Yard is Pici, a neighbourhood pasta bar serving up fresh, hand-rolled pasta made daily. The restaurant’s 56-seat space brings the charm of Italy’s bustling local pasta joints to Wan Chai’s coolest quarter. With an approachable and affordable food and drinks menu, Pici is simple yet satisfying with full Italian flavours and character.

Nestled among the leafy squares and quaint alleyways of Wan Chai’s Sun, Moon and Star streets, St Francis Yard is a tranquil escape from the city. Pici fits right at home with its warm, exposed brick walls, friendly atmosphere and wooden shutters that open out to the street.

The newest restaurant from Pirata Group, Pici keeps with Co-founders Manuel Palacio and Christian Talpo’s ethos of generous portions, value for money and no service charge.

Talented young Italian chef Andrea Viglione heads the open kitchen, and oversees a menu that pays homage to the flavour and freshness of quality ingredients. From full-bodied, rich tomato sauces to the precise texture of the al-dente pasta, all dishes are lovingly prepared from scratch.

“Pasta is one of the most comforting foods in the world. We love it because it’s simple, satisfying and feeds the soul. For me, nothing beats handmade pasta that is made fresh – it’s real, down-to-earth Italian food as it should be”, says Head Chef Andrea.

Pici’s approachable one-page menu focuses on quality, seasonal ingredients with dishes that are regularly rotated. Pastas from different regions of Italy are made fresh every morning with gluten-free options available upon request.

The eponymous pici pasta hails from Tuscany and looks not dissimilar to fat spaghetti. The thick, hand-pulled pasta beautifully absorbs the flavours of the dish and is served up two ways. The Pici Cacio e Pepe (HKD95), simply made with pecorino cheese and pepper, highlights the pasta’s distinctive al dente texture while the Pici Amatriciana (HKD85) carries the rich flavours of pork cheek and tomato. Other pasta dishes include the indulgent Orecchiette (HKD110), an ear-shaped pasta named after the Italian word for little ear, which is served with spicy nduja sausage and fresh cherry tomatoes. The Ravioli (HKD160) with freshly shaved black truffle, asparagus and shallots is tempting enough to convert even the most carnivorous diners.

Those who simply can’t make up their minds, or can’t resist them trying them all, can go for the Pasta Tasting Menu for a choice of three pastas at HKD250 per person.

The menu has a selection of starters that include Burrata (HKD95) from its famed Puglia hometown, a fresh and crunchy Radicchio Salad (HKD65) with goat’s cheese and hazelnuts, and homemade Meatballs (HKD85) topped with Parmesan cheese. Continuing the Pici approach to well-executed icons, the dessert menu has two which are worth saving room for: perfectly creamy Raspberry Panna Cotta (HKD55) and the so-good-you-wont-want-to-share Tiramisù (HKD55).

The drinks list has a choice of carefully curated wines from Italy’s best grape-growing regions, available by the glass or carafe, alongside Italy’s favourite aperitifs Aperol Spritz (HKD80) and Negroni (HKD80).

Pici is now open Monday to Saturday for lunch and dinner and will be open on Sundays from March. With no reservations and no added service, Pici is simple, down to earth and sure to become a neighbourhood favourite.

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