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On the 2nd floor of the Grand Progress Building in Lan Kwai Fong, Bistecca’s ambience is warm, comfortable and conducive to conversation. A favourite with Hong Kong’s banking crowd, a Thursday night sees a decent contingent of suits reclining with glasses of red and tackling perfectly cooked steaks. Exposed brick, dangling pots and pans, and low lighting create a relaxed atmosphere in which you want to unwind and indulge.
A complimentary amuse bouche of crudités is a nice touch, and a refreshing palette cleanser before a hearty steak. To start, we try the odd-sounding garlic nuggets with Pomodoro sauce, which our waiter describes as individual garlic cloves accompanied by a tomato passata dipping sauce. When they arrive, they are bland, very heavily crumbed and deep-fried and we struggle to identify the flavour of garlic, which is buried in the stodgy coating. The Fontina fondue with white truffle and grilled ciabatta is delicious and decadent—melted cheese in a small pan with a crisp top, which we slather onto pieces of bread. Not a white truffle, nor the whiff of one, in sight, however. For mains we share the restaurant’s signature dish, the 32-ounce, HK$998 wagyu Fiorentina steak, medium rare with a range of condiments. It’s incredibly tender, perfectly cooked (it has clearly left to rest for a good amount of time) and nicely seasoned. It’s also nicely complemented by creamed spinach (a generous portion but a little too salty) and crisp French fries. By dessert we’re struggling to comprehend the idea of fitting more food in our stomachs, so opt for the Affogato with hazelnut ice cream, which is a perfect way to end a rich meal.
The wine list is extensive and well laid out, divided into light, medium-bodied and full-bodied reds and whites. There is no sommelier, but the nifty structure makes it easy for those less au fait with wine to navigate the list depending on the type of drop they want. An extensive array of Italian wines, as well as wines from the rest of the world will impress any connoisseur.
Service is proficient and polite but staff is not particularly well-trained. When we are shown to our table it is not ready, and we have to wait while two waitresses reconfigure a table for five into a table for two. Food comes swiftly, though, and everything is served at the perfect temperature.
If you opt for the restaurant’s signature steak, the wagyu Fiorentina, as your main, expect to pay around HK$1,000 per person for a three-course meal, which includes one glass of wine each. For two, the meal seemed rather expensive but sharing the 32-ounce steak between three people would have made it more cost effective.