Located at L Place in Central, guests can expect to see crowds waiting for a table as they arrive at Linguini Fini. Unlike most restaurants, it does not allow reservations and for a Friday night out, customers would need to wait about an hour before they are seated. Luckily, it has a mini-bar area for diners to enjoy a drink while they are waiting. Entering the main dining area, there is a pasta counter where fresh pastas are made daily and ovens where flatbreads are baked. It features a rustic and home-like Italian décor with graffiti walls, wooden chairs, aluminium tables and cement flooring which makes it a good choice for a casual gathering with friends.
Diners who are looking for unique homemade Italian pasta can try Linguini Fini’s signature homemade pasta which are infused with traditional Chinese ingredients like fragrant grass, dried shrimp and salt cured egg blended into the pasta dough itself and made with “music” eggs and we would especially recommend the fragrant grass Linguini Fini in goat cheese fonduta, which is delicious with a unique texture. But before then, we order our appetisers of the white gold bar, a breaded mozzarella from Posto Pubblico with marinara, which was not hot enough to soften the cheese to the appropriate texture, but luckily the marinara was able to compensate it with its refreshing taste and a hint of spice. Our other appetiser is the fresh tomato mozzarella flatbread. It has a very thick, soft and crispy crust which thins out in the middle, making it easier to chew. The taste is refreshing with the fresh tomatoes, but on the oily side. For mains, the signature rotisserie porchetta (pork belly) is disappointing. The portion is relatively small and it did not standout from the other dishes, but the homemade chilli mustard sauce just about saves it. Though the meat is tender, the taste is bland and it does not meet the expectations of what we thought a signature dish would be. For chocoholics, the hot chocolate affogato paired with marshmallow gelato is a must-try. Rich and decadent, the marshmallow gelato also has a distinctive texture that contrasts beautifully with the hot chocolate.
The wine list is a surprise with over ten different wines by the glass and bottles from Austria, Australia, Italy, France and New Zealand, ranging from HK$200 to HK$2,000 per bottle. Linguini Fini serves their wine in water glasses instead of wine glasses, to complete the Italian home dining experience. This may irritate some wine connoisseurs but servers are happy to swap them for proper wine glasses when asked.
Cheerful and attentive, servers are full of smiles, attentive to details and mindful of diners’ needs. Yet the long wait for the table, thanks to the restaurant’s no-reservation policy, is not a pleasant experience.
Dinner for two is HK$660 with drinks with no 10% service charge. Considering the quality of the food, service and informal atmosphere, this is not inexpensive.