Bellini is an Italian restaurant in North Point. This alone makes it stand out. Although it’s as unassuming as all the other eateries in the vicinity, it’s an Italian gem in the midst of a very local residential urban district. It’s packed daily, but then all the good ‘spatially compromised’ places usually are in Hong Kong with people wanting good food that’s cost-effective. With only 22 seats available it maybe small in size but it punches above its weight in terms of expectations. If you’re looking for a no-frills, no messing, straight up kind of place to eat Western food, then this is it.
Here’s what we tried and loved; The Deep Fried Black Truffle Mushroom Arancini; generously sized, lovely crispy golden balls of succulent, moist rice and cheese inside a just-crispy- enough outer coating. The Salmon En Papillote is (as the name suggests) served in a sealed wrapping of greaseproof paper, served on a slate board. Inside are sweet red and yellow peppers and delicious fennel where upon you slit and peel back the paper to reveal the food and release the aroma - yum. The Linguine also passed with flying colours in terms of taste and style. It was well presented, with a great garlicky, spicy kick.
The surprise favourite was the Paella Risotto. An unusual combination we agree, but it worked really well. It had all the usual seafood suspects such as clams, mussels, prawns and calamari served in a delicious saffron risotto. It was beautiful in colour and flavoured by chunks of chorizo and parmesan that gave it a lovely, creamy, gooey consistency and delicious smoky flavour.
Chef Yeung, previously at the all-Italian restaurant group DiVino, who has been there since it opened four years ago said it all when asked; ‘Why Italian food? What’s your inspiration?” His reply was simple: “I’ve always loved eating and cooking Italian food” And it shows.