It’s easy to mistake the eye-catching white building dotted with lead lights on the exterior as a boutique hotel instead of a restaurant. Over four floors, the W52 experience includes a ground floor bar and a glass elevator whisks guests up to various levels of the dining area leading up to the private kitchen on the uppermost floor. There’s even a small alfresco area suitable for couples on dates. And though smaller than it seems from the outside, the minimalist decor, abundant use of glass, white and natural light all add a feeling of space.
The menu proves as minimal as the decor, with a small selection of dishes representing various Italian regional specialties. The dishes are fairly straightforward and simple - almost homemade in its appeal. The quality of the ingredients, however, does stand out. Once the golden crispy stuffed artichoke hearts arrived, we were first struck by how small the servings were. Once we bit into the appetiser, we noticed that the temperature of the dish was slightly too cool. However, we were delighted by the crunch afforded by the crusted, salty Pecorino cheese on top. The herbs drizzled around gave a tasty complement. Over all too soon, we turn to another appetiser, Mediterranean red shrimps. The fresh and moist shrimps came with a giardiniera of pickled artichokes, mushrooms and lemon, creating a harmony of light flavours in the mouth. The selection of pasta comes in two sizes, half and full, a good way to sample more of the selection. The signature hand-made Pici pasta with a touch of spice in the fresh Sienese tomato sauce coupled with the freshly-made pasta makes for an easy-to-appreciate dish. For the mains, crispy sea bass came less crispy than promised, though cooked well and complemented by the mussel clam sauce.
As expected, a predominantly Italian selection is on offer, with a W52 special cellar selection that includes a 1990 Barbaseco Sori San Lorenzo, Gaja and a 2004 Bruneate DOCG, Elio Altare.
The service here exceeds expectations, with a friendly and quick-to-respond wait staff offering pleasant smiles as they strive to accommodate all your requests.
A dinner for two with wine will come to about HK$1,200.