The first time I heard about the restaurant Angelini was from a book. It was on one of their first pages.
It was during one of the many summers I was in Hong Kong wanting to discover new restaurants. Hong Kong is known for its great restaurants but there haven’t been many where I felt like it was worth revisiting over and over again.
Over the years, I gradually forgot about Angelini…until this month.
It’s been so many years since I got to celebrate my birthday with my parents in person so I wanted a nice restaurant to eat at. Since I live on the Kowloon side, I wanted to eat at a restaurant around the area. I noticed that the restaurants I’ve written about so far are on the Hong Kong side: Pica Pica, Fini’s Italian American, Summer Palace, and Agehan.
I was researching potential restaurants when I came across this Vogue article.
Seeing the name Angelini in the Vogue article sparked my memory. It’s a fine-dining Italian restaurant located inside the Shangri-La Hotel. Vogue is a reputable magazine and if it says Angelini is one of the best Italian restaurants in Hong Kong, it should be pretty decent. So that’s why I picked this restaurant to eat at with my parents as a birthday celebration.
(Fun fact: Hong Kong has two Shangri-las. I’ve eaten at the restaurant, Summer Palace in the Shangri La Hong Kong side and now also ate at Angelini on the Kowloon side.)
First Impression of Angelini
The dinner reservation was at 6:30 pm. My mom and I browsed the hotel bakery upstairs and even bought a few treats. There weren’t a lot of pastries left as they were closing up.
Even after going to the bakery, it was only 6 pm. We were ready to go inside the restaurant then but turns out the restaurant doesn’t open until 6:30 pm.
We were a bit surprised because don’t restaurants usually open at 6 pm for dinner?
Thankfully, there were seats outside the restaurant so we sat there until it was our time. We ended up being literally the first people in the restaurant.
When we walked in, my first thought was that there weren’t that many tables. It was smaller than I expected. Our hostess asked if we would prefer a semi-private seating area. There was one table on one side of the restaurant while all the other tables were on the other side. We obviously said yes. It at least gave us the illusion of privacy although we can see everything going on the other side of the restaurant. No curtain or door separated us. Just some sculptures on a table.
Fine dining restaurants don’t usually have a ton of options. Angelini is the same. The menu is about two pages long. What made them different was that it provides tasting options for pasta dishes. Essentially, you can order pasta in smaller portions.
I absolutely love pasta so that was fantastic news to me. There were a bunch I wanted to try and now with the tasting options, I can sample a variety and actually finish it all. There would have been no way we would have ordered multiple pasta dishes with their full portion size. We wouldn’t have been able to finish it and it would have cost an arm and a leg.
Food At Angelini
1) Lobster Bisque
First up was the lobster bisque. I love the lobster bisque from Legal Seafoods in Boston. It’s really creamy and sweet. Not the healthiest, I admit. Ever since then, I’ve been addicted to lobster bisque but I haven’t quite found one I like as much as the one at Legal Seafoods. Not giving up though. I’m sure there’s another one I’ll really like out there somewhere.
We ordered this as an appetizer and I had a few sips. It wasn’t anything special. In fact, it was a bit bitter. I was surprised to see rum as a listed ingredient. I’ve been trying online recipes since quarantine but I’ve never made any kind of soup, let alone lobster bisque. Is using rum in lobster bisque common? I prefer no rum in my soup, please.
I’ve had lobster bisque in the past where they barely have any lobster. Maybe just one or two tiny pieces of lobster. I’ve also had ones where there were none. I mean, come on! It’s called lobster bisque so there’s a rule where you gotta have lobster in the soup. Angelini’s lobster bisque was satisfying in the sense that there were multiple pieces of lobster in the soup. I’m happy about that.
The soup wasn’t bad enough for me to not want to drink it anymore but not good enough for me to order it again.
2) Ravioli Granseola/Tortelli Alla Carbonara
We got two tasting ravioli dishes. As you can see in the picture, when it came out, there were only 3 pieces of tortellini for each dish. It was perfect because my parents and I went as a trio. We each had one piece of ravioli.
I was excited to try the crab one. The listed ingredients were crab ravioli, salmon roe, champagne and saffron cream sauce. I thought the combination was special. You usually see cheese tortellini or meat tortellini in restaurants but crab tortellini? A bit rarer. To my disappointment, it wasn’t good. The combination of flavours tasted off. I couldn’t exactly describe what it was but even my parents agreed with me.
My mom wanted to try the carbonara ravioli. I’m not the biggest fan of carbonara. If someone orders it, I’ll have a bite but it’s not something I would order for myself. It turns out that the carbonara ravioli tasted better than the crab one aka the one I actually wanted.
3) Spaghetti Martelli All’Astice (Lobster Pasta)
My mom ordered this and I’ll gladly say that Angelini was generous with giving us enough lobster. There was an entire lobster claw. I stole it from my mom’s plate.
Haha, sorry, mom. Love you.
Seeing a huge piece of lobster reminded me of the restaurant, Fishman Lobster Clubhouse in Toronto. Fishman Lobster Clubhouse is known for lobster towers. They have these huge chunks of lobster and it’s absolutely delicious. It’s been a while since I ate a big piece of lobster so I was pleased.
My mom put tabasco in her food before I had some. I had a bite of her food and all I could taste was the spiciness. Despite that, you can still taste the freshness of both the pasta and lobster meat. The pasta wasn’t too soft. Some restaurants boil it for way too long. It was al dente, just to my liking.
Between creamy sauce and tomato sauce for pasta, the creamy sauce will always win. Tomato sauce pasta dishes are also something I wouldn’t order for myself but I’m glad my mom ordered this. I got my fill of lobster and it was a big chunk too!
4) Tagliatelle Al Tartufo (Truffle Pasta)
Before ordering, I seriously considered getting the normal size plate for the crab ravioli instead of the truffle pasta. I went with the safe route because if you know me, I love truffles. Oh boy, am I glad I made that decision. The Tagliatelle Al Tartufo was my favourite dish at the restaurant.
Their truffle pasta is very fresh like everything else I ate. I can’t believe that in the past I couldn’t tell the difference between boxed and fresh pasta. Since I’ve started to get into cooking, it’s super obvious. Fresh pasta is obviously better.
Maybe because the noodles were thicker for the truffle pasta compared to the lobster pasta but it felt like my dish had fewer noodles. Even my mom commented how she thought she had more pasta in her dish.
I could have easily eaten more of this. That’s my only complaint about this truffle pasta. The sauce was creamy, delicious, and there were a lot of truffles. I was in truffle heaven and couldn’t get enough. I even dipped the bread they served before any food comes into the remaining pasta sauce.
By the time my pasta came, I had a bunch of food already but I still gobbled up my pasta very quickly. Highly recommend you to try this.
5) Pescato In Crosta (Patagonian Toothfish)
My dad technically ordered this dish but I did have about a third of it.
Before you think I’m a monster for eating so much of his food, he wasn’t hungry at all because he ate a bowl of wonton soup noodles before coming to meet us at Angelini. He defended himself by saying he was starving after swimming and couldn’t wait till dinner. So he barely ate anything other than some soup, two little raviolis (one from each tasting dish), and a third of the fish (my mom also ate one-third of his fish).
The Patagonian toothfish is fresh, smooth, and silky. I have noticed many fine-dining restaurants don’t drown their fish with sauce. It’s probably because they want customers to taste how fresh the food is. This dish is like that too. The sauce is salmoriglio, which wasn’t overwhelming.
Overall Thoughts on Angelini
I was surprised to see more than half the restaurant empty. It was that way from the start of our dinner to when we finished. Good restaurants in Hong Kong can take up to weeks to get a table. It’s a pretty good indicator that a restaurant is good when you need to book way in advance so I’m surprised the restaurant isn’t extremely busy.
After trying this place myself, I can only say it’s okay. It’s not a restaurant I recommend people going out of their way to try nor is it a restaurant I will go out of my way for.
I also didn’t like that Angelini isn’t open on Saturdays. We ate here on a Sunday which is a bit unfortunate because I would have preferred Saturday. I like to go home early on Sundays to prepare for Mondays.
If you’re in the area and want some fancy food, you can consider visiting Angelini.
What’s something you like to eat at Italian restaurants?