It’s been a scorcher of a week in Hong Kong.
On what was probably the hottest day in the entire month of May, if not the hottest day of the year so far, Coconuts HK went for a seaside sojourn to newly-opened artisan pasta bar Fratelli’s for a taste of Italy in Hong Kong.
Head chef Michel Degli Agosti decided to open Fratelli’s just a stone’s throw away from Amalfitana, where he was maestro pizzaiolo. Located in The Pulse shopping mall and overlooking a part of Repulse Bay beach, it’s the perfect setting for a relaxing summer lunch, or a romantic sunset date night.
Bolognese at the beach? Sure, OK, we’ll brave the heat for that.
First, drinks. We started off with a couple glasses of spritz: the Mancino (made with Mancino bianco vermouth) and Belsazar (using Belsazar rose vermouth as a base). Both were very refreshing and well-balanced — perfect for those hot summer days.
Then, we went on to cocktails: the Dory Nori and the Spicy Elixir. The Dory Nori is great for those who like a prominent cucumber flavor. The Spicy Elixir, on the other hand, has a pleasant kick to it that isn’t too painful for Hong Kong’s hellishly hot summers. It was surprisingly refreshing, actually.
For starters, we had the veal meatballs with tomato and parsley, and some bruschetta pesto made with sundried tomato, goat cheese and pesto. We particularly enjoyed the bruschetta — the flavors of all three elements go very well together, and the melt-in-your mouth texture of the cheese was perfect. We also had a smoked salmon salad, which was served with a nice big portion of greens and a scoop of avocado.
Next, the star of the show: the pastas. All-in-all, there’s a pretty enticing selection of pasta dishes here — the seafood spaghetti scoglio and the pappardelle porcini look particularly promising — but we decided to go for the classics: lasagna and tagliatelle Bolognese. They’re also Fratelli’s current best-sellers.
It’s a widely-known fact that if you’re an Italian restaurant that screws up Bolognese, then there’s no hope for you. For shame!
But, hey, Fratelli’s version was great. We’ll save our finger-wagging for another time.
The homemade tagliatelle was nice and firm, with the perfect amount of springiness. The Bolognese sauce was deeply savory and satisfying, but not overwhelmingly meaty. Fratelli’s base is made of ground beef and pork sausage, cooked with tomato, carrot, onion, and celery.
Yet, we crowned another winner for our seaside lunch: the lasagna. It was a great, hearty dish, largely portioned. It’s the kind of dish that just screams “I COMFORT YOU NOW!”
We struggled to finish all of it, leaving behind approximately three mouthfuls. For shame.
For those not interested in pasta (why?) — the menu also offers wagyu rib eye steak. We found the steak perfectly seasoned as it came, but if your pasta-hating self wants more salt, then there’s a small dish of it served on the same plate.
Dessert time. We had some panna cotta served with mixed berries, and some tartufo, an ice cream-based dessert. Fratelli’s version uses coffee ice cream. Yum.
Note: Prices have not yet been finalized, and may change slightly ahead of the grand opening.
For the starters and salads, you’re looking at a price range of HK$60 to HK$140, covering everything from olives and bread to mussels. Pastas are between HK$110 to HK$180, and for the pricier mains like the steak and sea bream, it’ll range between HK$380 to HK$480.
A spritz will be around the HK$90 range, while the cocktails and gin and tonics are, for the moment, between HK$100 to HK$140. The desserts range from HK$50 to HK$80.
Overall, the place makes for an ideal post-swim meal (it’s also next to a gym, so maybe an ideal post-gym meal as well?). The space itself is on the smaller side, so it wouldn’t be great for larger groups. A boozy beachside brunch between a couple of friends and lovebirds, though — perfect.
Fratelli’s is at The Pulse, G/F, Shop 112B, 28 Beach Road, Repulse Bay
+852 2887 0082
MTR: Ocean’s Park, approx 1 hour’s walk (cab it.)