Saturday, February 14, 2015

A Friend's Birthday Dinner at Pirata

I recently went to my friend's birthday dinner at Pirata, a new Italian restaurant in Wan Chai.  It was pretty good!  The best part of the whole dining experience?  The price!  It was really reasonable (for Hong Kong) considering the amount of food we got.  The service was a little bit rough, but it's a brand new restaurant and it's Hong Kong so I'm not all that surprised.  (Not even sure it's worth noting).

The restaurant was very, very dim, largely because it was only lit from above with the ambient light of various vintage hanging lamps.

The menu was a piece of paper tacked onto a very large heavy wood board.

The burrata cheese on a bed of rocket and parma ham was nice but slightly bland in flavor.  It just tasted… kind of salty.
 I quite liked the heirloom tomato and mozzarella salad, which had a nice light tart dressing.
 I very much enjoyed the perfectly mixed simple mixed greens salad.  Served in a dark, deep wooden bowl, this did not photograph well.  I really liked it though, and could probably have eaten the entire bowl's contents by myself.
 The pork meatballs were very tasty - the pork may explain their very moist and slightly fattier mouthfeel.  The tomato sauce was so good I dipped bread in it.
 The lasagna was okay.  It was surprisingly cheesy (not in a bad way necessarily, more like a… liquid and melty mess kind of a way).  There was not much else in the lasagna except a thin sprinkling of ground beef.  It was served piping hot and I appreciated the carbs after the cold salads, but this one didn't seem very special.
 A panini with pork, cheese, and red peppers.
 My pasta - egg fusili with tomato and cheese.  I was misled by the pasta description.  I should have gone with the duck ragu or the taglietelle with the shrimp and zucchini.  Doh.  I had food envy.
 The table ordered various desserts.  I'm not much of a chocolate girl so I just took some pictures.  I missed taking a picture of the tiramisu, which someone said had come recommended to her.  It was served in a cute little glass mason jar.  It looked less like tiramisu though, and more like pudding or a custard.  My friend said it had a salty caramel twist.

 I did however save room for the gorgeous birthday cake which my friend brought in for the birthday girl (the cake was not provided by Pirata).  It was a coconut pandan cake.  I was SO excited to hear that it not only had coconut (which, if you are a reader of this blog, you know…. you know), but PANDAN??  I've only discovered pandan in the last year and I'd never considered combining it with coconut.  My mind was blown.
My beautiful and incredibly generous portion (slice may be an understatement) of cake.
 A work of art!
Overall, I think Pirata was a good choice for a birthday dinner.  The space is quite nice and the overall noise level low, making it quite atmospheric.  I think this dinner was a little too cheese-heavy for me but overall it was quite tasty and the price was right.

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