Bistecca is the Italian word for "Steak" & a perfectly grilled steak is a champion dish in my opinion. Bistecca Steak House is the latest steak house in town, located in the heart of Lan Kwai Fong & opened up by the guys behind Dining Concepts (How many steak houses do they need after opening BLT Steak House, Craft, Bistecca etc). The restaurant's cuisine is heavily under the Italian influence, especially from the region of Firenze therefore, do not expect this to be ilke other steak-houses in town such as Ruth's Chris or Mortons as here, they serve up hearty Italian dishes.
Since Saturday was Halloween and I very happily was recovering from my hangover on Sunday afternoon when Texas Chainsaw Massacre - The Beginning was showing on HBO (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TZYAuHKWxHA). Stepping into Bistecca reminded me of scenes from movie above especially their waiters & waitresses are all dressed in butcher uniforms and with all the raw, bloody beef stored in the fridge & on display. LOVELY!
Diners: If you want to see the restaurant with stacks of beef hanging out, please visit Bistecca during dinner hours only as due to our very unique Hong Kong law, raw beef is not allowed to be displayed in the public inside a restaurant. How messed up is this?
MUST ORDER & Highly Recommended Dishes
My lunch experience at Bistecca was indeed a very positive one for a brand new restaurant despite all the rumours & negative comments I heard from fellow food critics & diners.
Deep Pan Foccacia with Fresh Grapes & Rosemary (Starter): Foccacia has got to be one of the greatest bakery product from Italy at Bistecca, this is served as your fresh basketthe foccacia is served up relatively similar to a pizza infused with strong flavours of Rosemary. Interesting touch is to pair the deep pan foccacia with grapes which is something that I have never tried before and the pairing works well. The foccacia was warm, soft with great flavours but one let down in my opinion is that the bread was slightly greasy but nonetheless, it was a great start to the meal.
Iceberg hearts with roasted red peppers, anchovies and balsamic vinaigrette: I love this salad as the chopping & dicing part with the iceberg leaves, anchovies & red peppers was so much fun. Not only was the action part a lot of fun, the taste of the iceberg leaves was extremely fresh, complemented with the saltiness of the anchovies and the mild flavours of the balsamic vinagrette. A very refreshing salad for the heat of Hong Kong and I am in love with this dish and will definitely order this salad for many times ahead.
American certified U.S.D.A. Rib-Eye 14oz - Served Rare: Bistecca did not disappoint by my standards & as a lifetime confessed carnivore, this is definitely one of the better steak houses in Hong Kong for sure.
My grain fed USDA 14-oz rib eye was done just the way I like it - cool in the centre and bright red through out. Texture of the steak was soft with the meat being extremely juicy. All the steaks are prepared with sea salt & Kerala peppercorns, charcoal grilled & drizzled with Olive Oil & Lemon for the ultimate flavour.
Presentation was unpretentious & no-nonsense! The 14-oz steak placed on a wooden chop board which is a proper home style cooking without ponsing around with the presentation. Served with 5 pairing sauces on the side which included Porcini Sauce, Chianti Mustard, Spicy Tomato Catsup (same meaning to Ketchup), Spicy Yellow Pepper Catsup & Gorgonzola Cream. Personally, my favourite was the Gorgonzola Cream as Steaks + Cheese are literally best mates and work well together! To be honest, a good slab of beef does not require any sauces to pair as it can potentially ruin the taste of a good quality slab of meat.
Overall, a good quality steak for sure as it was meant to be a "tasting" session but somehow, I ended up finishing the whole portion which I did not regret for sure.
Improvement Required Dishes
Grilled mozzarella with Marinated tomatoes (v) - Do not get me wrong, this wasnt a bad dish but my slight comment will be to top-up on the seasoning & flavour of Mozzarella as the cheese itself is tasteless therefore the grilled mozzarella skewer becomes very bland. The good side of this dish is that I like the presentation - simple, hearty home cooking style and the marinated tomatoes are juicy & succulent. Good appetiser to kick off your meal for sure but Chef must work on the seasoning.
Spinach and ricotta ravioli with roasted cherry tomatoes (v) - I did not expect a Steak House to be cooking up good pasta dishes and in general, this dish did not disappoint but with a slight let down which was the strong flavours of the tomato sauce completely overwhelmed the Spinach & Ricotta Ravioli which was disappointing. Chef must also be a little more generous on the ricotta stuffing as I could barely taste the flavour of the cheese. Not a bad choice of a vegetarian dish to choose from a Steak House!
Summary of Meal
Suprisingly for a brand new restaurant in town, I think Bistecca has done a marvellous job in terms of food quality & attentive service. The steaks are always on my hit-list for sure no matter for lunch & dinner and I also highly recommend the Iceberg Leave Salad as that has the word "fresh" written all over it. In fact, there are quite a few other dishes on the menu which I would love to try out on my next visit such as 32 Oz Porterhouse Steak, Grilled whole Italian seabass with lemon vinaigrette etc. I definitely would like to re-visit Bistecca again on a regular evening as a normal customer instead of a food tasting session to see whether the food & service is as consistent as my lunch. THUMBS UP to Bistecca and keep up the good work guys!
Special Note: BLT Burger (under same group as Dining Concepts) will be opening in Harbour City on 20th November and stay tune for some proper New York City Burgers by Master Chef Laurent Tourondel.
UPCOMING REVIEW: SUSHI BATTLE BETWEEN MI-NE SUSHI & ITAMAE SUSHI
Address: 2/f, Hip Hing Building, 15 Lan Kwai Fong, Central, Hong Kong(中環蘭桂坊15號協興大廈2樓
Contact Number: 2525 1308
Quality of Lunch (5* the highest): 3/1/2*
Price for Lunch (5$ = very expensive): **