Hong Kong’s famous Peak has undergone huge changes over the last couple of years. Gayatri Bhaumik heads up to check-out the latest dining space to open
The main dining room at FIAMMA on Victoria Peak.
The city’s Peak dining scene has experienced something of a revolution over recent months.
In 2018 brunch favourite Cafe Deco moved out and the Peak Galleria was shrouded as renovation work was carried out. At one point Pacific Coffee and stalwart The Peak Lookout were about the only foodie survivors.
Newcomers over the last two years have included Gordon Ramsay’s Bread Street Kitchen. But that, too, disappeared earlier this year and the most recent arrival, FIAMMA, has taken its vacant space.
The Peak is a tricky restaurant spot; it’s a ‘trek’ for your average Hong Kong resident, and with the travel industry decimated by the pandemic, there hasn’t been much left in terms of tourist guests to fill its dining spaces.
However, for us locals, FIAMMA might just be worth the effort. It’s a charming, casual Italian eatery masterminded by Enrico Bartolini, one of Italy’s most celebrated chefs. And Paolo Olivieri, who was formerly at Hong Kong’s SPIGA, is overseeing the day-to-day running.
FIAMMA is a casual spot with an outdoor terrace that’s perfect for those looking to grab a bite and drink after a hike. That said, it doesn’t skimp on quality. Taking its cues from Italy’s Amalfi Coast, the spacious restaurant has a feature wall of ceramic tiles, planters, industrial light fixtures, and floor-to-ceiling windows.
Who could refuse sweet and creamy cannoli?
'Fiamma' means 'flame' in Italy and the menu here is inspired by the traditional Italian family kitchen, so expect plenty of hearty comfort food, perfect as the cooler weather descends on Hong Kong. The best part? Fresh, seasonal produce from the Mediterranean region. All the dishes are designed to be shared, so bring the family hungry for the best experience.
For starters, the burrata e pomodori (Burrata and tomato) is perfectly fresh, while the classic vitello tonnato is seasoned to zesty perfection. Be sure to try the equally flavourful polpo (roasted octopus) and the light spin on steak tartare, which goes by the grandiose name of Tartare di Bue Piemontese.
The pastas are made fresh in-house. The classic ragu gets a gamey twist with wild boar in the Tagliatelle Al Ragu Di Manzo O Cinghiale, while the Tagliolini Ai Ricci, Bottarga, Limone has a dash of ocean-fresh flavour with punchy sea urchin and bottarga.
FIAMMA makes a point of not calling itself a pizza joint, but you won’t go wrong with the pies, which come on pillowy, doughy bases – try the simple yet satisfying Burrata E N’Duja. Be sure to save room for dessert, the Tiramisu might just rank among the best in the city.
FIAMMA is not fine dining, nor does it have any pretention of being so. Instead, it’s a homey space dishing up hearty, well-made Italian comfort food.
Whether you’re showing visitors around (perhaps one day soon) with a stop for lunch, or looking to refuel after a hike, this is the place to do it.
FIAMMA, Shop G02, G/F, Peak Galleria, 118 Peak Road, The Peak, Hong Kong.