By all measures, this seventh installment of the longstanding Hong Kong chain is a formulaic mall-based take on Italian cuisine.
They’ve all the expected dishes covered. A plate of fried calamari (RMB108) is crispy outside, tender within and full of zest. A warm spinach, pine seeds, mushroom and parmesan salad (RMB100) is exactly those things mixed in a bowl. They’re not groundbreaking, but Italian cuisine is all about achieving satisfaction with simple preparation.
As a classic Italian restaurant, the pizza at Grappa’s turned out underwhelming. The caprese (RMB108), for instance, is served as a stiff base of un-topped flatbread underneath a mound of salad leaves, cherry tomatoes, flecks of buffalo mozzarella and a drenching of balsamic vinegar. All the other pizzas seemed to come out of its prominent oven looking better in comparison.
We fared better with other more complex offerings. Their lasagne (RMB108) possesses the rich tones, which ooze from sheets of pasta, Bolognese, cheese and tomato passata after they’ve been layered and cooked over a couple of hours. It’s delicious -- though we’d rather have it served in the casserole dish so we could scrape off the burnt bits, as tradition dictates.
Grappa’s is by-the-numbers Italian and there’s a place for that. Right now though, the numbers don’t quite add up. At around RMB80-100 for each dish, we expected something better.
- 021 6243-0838
- 1515 Nanjing Xi Lu, 3F, South Wing, Kerry Center [map]
- ★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆