motorino hong kong

There is not a foodie in town who was not excited about the opening of New York’s famed pizzeria, Motorino. Having been named “the city’s best pizza” by The New York Times, it’s not surprising that its opening here in March caused quite a stir by pizza lovers all over town, all eagerly awaiting an authentic Neapolitan pizza.

motorino hong kong

The space, which was previously Shelley’s Yard, next to the escalator, is reminiscent of a hip New York pizza joint, with exposed bricks, distressed hardwood floor, marble tables and pressed tin ceiling. More important than the décor, however, is the authentic Ferrara pizza oven that Motorino’s founder Chef Mathieu Palombino prides himself on, to create his popular Neapolitan pizzas.

motorino hong kong

Before putting the pizzas to the test, we shared a starter of meatballs and immediately knew Motorino was going to make us happy. The meat was incredibly smooth and tender, having been braised in a thick, mouth-watering tomato sauce. Who needs spaghetti when you have meatballs this tasty?

motorino hong kong

Onto the main event, we first shared a soppressata piccante pizza. Whilst some pizza restaurants skimp on toppings, Motorino is thankfully very generous, loading this one up with spicy soppressata, chillies, fior di latte, oregano, pecorino and slivers of garlic. Although often considered burnt, real Neapolitan pizzas carry that ever so slightly charred flavour on the crust, which Motorino perfected just right. The base was wonderfully airy and light, yet unfortunately could not cope with the load of ingredients, resulting in a rather soggy mess that would definitely not impress on a first date.

motorino hong kong

Also generously topped was the prosciutto pizza, one of my all time favourites. Unlike the classic version, however, this had a white base, laden with creamy fior di latte and pecorino, making it deliciously comforting and not nearly as soggy as the first pizza.

motorino hong kong

To finish, we were presented with a large slice of tiramisu. Only two trays of tiramisu are made fresh every morning, so when it’s gone, it’s gone. Although slightly on the creamy side, it had a wonderful balanced flavour that wasn’t too coffee-heavy and perfectly rounded off our seriously indulgent meal. All was washed down with a bottle of Gragnano (apparently the ‘perfect pizza wine’) and we finished, just as we would have in Naples, with a glass of refreshing limoncello.

Unlike a lot of Soho restaurants, service at Motorino was surprisingly good – in fact a little too good at times, with waitresses ready to take our plates before we had even finished each course. The total bill came to just over $400 a head and we definitely did not leave hungry. Motorino in New York may well merit the title of the city’s best pizza. I’m not sure it deserves quite the same title here, but it’s certainly trying and I will most definitely be a regular customer; after all, I need to try the infamous Brussels sprouts pizza everyone’s talking about to see what all the fuss is about!

Motorino

14 Shelley Street
Soho
Hong Kong

Tel: +852 2801 6881 (Note: they don’t take bookings)

www.motorinopizza.com/hongkong

15 Responses to “Motorino”

  1. NYHKGirl

    as a new yorker, ive been very excited for this place. finally, one friday night we went for some pizza, ordered two pies and found them both to be terrible. the pizza dough was soggy in an under cooked kind of way. very disappointed and would not go back.

    Reply
    • thedimsumdiaries

      Hi there, thanks for your comment. I’m sorry to hear you had such an unpleasant experience at Motorino. I agree that the dough (in one of the pizzas we had) was far too soggy, so hopefully they will bear this in mind and improve the dough in future. I think it definitely has the potential to be a success, so hopefully after a few tweaks it can be.
      Just out of interest, where is your favourite pizza place in HK?

      Reply
      • NYHKGirl

        since moving to hk from ny five years ago – ive been on a hunt for great pizza. yet to find one that i LOVE, i do like pizza pubblico for sure.

        Reply
    • Maru

      I agree completely with you, went yesterday so excited about having a good pizza and left completely dissapointed.

      Reply
      • thedimsumdiaries

        Thanks Robert and Maru for your comments. Sorry to hear you both had such a bad experience. I do agree that one of the pizzas I had was soggy, and therefore mentioned that in the review. Personally, neither of the pizzas I had were too burnt, they both had a pleasant charred taste, just as they are supposed to, but I have heard from other people that theirs were also too burnt. Perhaps you had an off day…or perhaps I caught them on a good day!

        Reply
  2. Robert

    Not sure what this reviewer ate but that pizza looks like the one I had this past week. Worst pizza in HK – soggy, burnt at the bottom and around the crust leaving an acrid taste which I still had the next day. I’ve had better pizza at Shakey’s. Not sure what management is thinking but sit down and taste your product. You may get a lot of customers from heavy traffic in SOHO but for repeat business, I doubt it.

    Reply
    • Birdie Golf

      Sounds like what 208 (on Hollywood Rd) tasted like before. Now 208 is much better and one of the best pizza places in HK.

      Reply
      • thedimsumdiaries

        I agree 208 does good pizzas, but the two are completely different styles. 208 are much thinner and elegant (if a pizza can be described as such!), whilst Motorino is more rustic Neapolitan style and the dough is a lot thicker. Depends on your taste I guess. I usually prefer thin pizzas as too much bread doesn’t always agree with me!

        Reply

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