Surviving in Hong Kong’s cut-throat food and beverage industry isn’t always easy and you’ll often see restaurants continuously changing their concept and menu offerings to try and beat the competition. Then you get places like Posto Pubblico, which has been going strong for eight years and doesn’t need to change anything in order to attract a crowd every night of the week.
In celebration of Posto Pubblico’s eighth birthday, I was invited to feast on a selection of the restaurant’s most popular dishes from when it opened on Elgin Street in 2009 through to today. Posto has always been a go-to spot for simple yet delicious New York-Italian cuisine that is guaranteed to satisfy. Yet, despite having eaten here numerous times over the past eight years, for one reason or another, this was the first time I had got round to reviewing it!
When you have high quality ingredients, you can’t go wrong with an antipasti platter to start your meal. The meats were all excellent and the pan-fried scamorza cheese was fantastic.
Posto’s burrata has always been one of my favourites, probably in part because I know they make it themselves here with ricotta and mascarpone, resulting in beautifully creamy and deliciously cheesy magic.
The Pubblico veal meatballs are another crowd-pleaser and were rightly voted Hong Kong’s best meatballs at the ‘Battle of the Balls’ last year. Made with 100% minced veal and a rich tomato sauce, there is so much flavour in these meatballs and the texture is spot on.
A dish that I hadn’t had before was the king prawn scampi, topped with breadcrumbs and charred lemon to create one excellent dish.
The spaghetti cacio e pepe is the simplest pasta dish on the menu, yet also one of the most popular. Tossed with pecorino and black pepper, this dish is comfort food itself.
My favourite of the pasta dishes we tried on this visit, however, was the farfalle salsiccia, a satisfying combination of butterfly-shaped pasta and crumbled sausage in a rich, slightly spicy tomato cream sauce.
A pizza at Posto Pubblico is not suitable for anyone who is trying to watch their weight. We tried the Bronx Bomber pizza, which is pan-fried, charred in an iron skillet and brought to the table in that same skillet. Its thick, doughy base is loaded with crumbled sausage, pepperoni, plenty of mozzarella and fresh oregano. I personally prefer a thinner base on my pizza, but there is certainly and time and place for a good, hearty pizza like this one!
The chicken Francese was lovely and lemony, and surprisingly light considering it was battered and fried.
The main event, however, was the veal chop Parmigiana. This beautiful cut of veal was absolutely ginormous, topped with tomato sauce and mozzarella, and then finished with grated Parmesan, parsley and olive oil. The veal itself was perfectly tender and only lightly breaded to give it a nice crunch but not detract from the flavour of the meat and its toppings.
These mains were served with an array of side dishes, including zucchini fries, roasted eggplant with sundried tomato and, my personal favourite, brown butter sweet corn.
To finish, a perfect cube of light and fluffy tiramisu was served. Although I appreciated how light this was after a rather heavy meal, I felt it could have had a bit more of an intense flavour.
My favourite of the desserts was the Diner Cake – a chocoholic’s dream consisting of layer upon layer of moist chocolate cake and chocolate cream cheese, topped in a decadent chocolate ganache…. Need I say more?!
Prices are pretty standard for Soho, with antipasti between HKD49 and HKD229 and pizzas and pastas all under HKD200. I do think prices have increased significantly since its inception, but such is the way in Hong Kong. There’s a reason why Posto Pubblico is still going strong after eight years in Soho and, if it continues to delight customers with its unpretentious, hearty New York-Italian comfort food, then I see no reason why it shouldn’t last at least another eight!
G/F, 28 Elgin Street
Tel: +852 2577 7160