Last updated on September 22nd, 2022 at 06:57 am
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Today’s restaurant review is going to be about Fini’s Italian American, a restaurant loved by expats.
There are two locations – one in Central and one in Wanchai.
Food at Fini’s
a) Fried Calamari
Fried calamari is often a hit or miss. At Fini’s, it’s a miss.
Fini’s checked the boxes for multiple things – the calamari was fresh, the breading was good, and even the LOOK of it was pretty.
However, it missed the crucial element when it comes to good food – the taste. There wasn’t much flavour.
No such luck.
The fried calamari was an appetizer so it was the first dish to come out. We were so hungry at that point that we finished the whole dish. Not because it was so good but because of our hunger.
The sauce that came with the dish was marinara sauce (at least that’s what it looked like). Don’t restaurants usually serve calamari with a tartar sauce? I wasn’t a fan of their sauce either.
This is not worth ordering. I do not recommend it.
b) Homemade Fettucine Funghi
After experiencing some disappointment with the calamari, the expectations weren’t high for the pasta.
I remember thinking after eating the calamari that ‘ah, maybe this isn’t a place I’ll come back to.’
I was wrong (this is why you need to sample a variety of dishes at a restaurant because some food will be good while others won’t be).
The mushroom pasta was a little too salty. It was a bit unexpected after the tasteless calamari but we quickly ate it up anyway.
The pasta was flavourful with mushrooms, pasta sauce, and truffle. It made a terrific combination.
The portion size looked decent but it ended up being a bit small. There would be no complaints from my end if there was more pasta.
The staff shaved some black truffles on top of your pasta. Although this isn’t uncommon, it’s still cool when it happens.
You can also request parmesan cheese for your pasta. Pasta doesn’t feel right without it. It also tastes better with cheese than without it.
It would have been a cherry on top if Fini’s added some chicken but then it wouldn’t be a vegetarian dish.
c) Pepperoni Pizza
Fini’s is probably the most well-known for their pizza. Almost every table ordered it.
The portion was HUGE. Now that’s what I’m talking about when it comes to American food sizing. Haha.
You can tell the pizza is freshly made. We waited for the cheese to settle in before digging in (we didn’t want to burn our hands or mouths while eating).
I ate the pizza American style (with hands) but most people ate it Italian style (with a knife and fork).
It was a good thickness. If the dough is too thin, all the toppings will fall. Putting them back on the pizza is not fun. On the other hand, if the dough is too thick, then it’s too doughy.
What can I say?
Pizza lovers are picky with the thickness. A good pizza isn’t too thick or thin and Fini’s achieved that.
The restaurant does not skimp out on its pepperoni. Their pepperoni is a bit spicy. It’s also thicker, a little crispier, and smaller than the pepperoni I’m used to eating.
It’s a personal preference but I don’t like it when there are too many pepperoni pieces on my slice of pizza. I ended up taking some out.
There were parmesan shavings on the crust but it was just fluff. I didn’t think it made a difference to the dish but cheese lovers will probably like this.
It’s a pretty good dish. I wouldn’t go out of my way to eat this dish but when I eat at Fini’s again, I will definitely re-order their pepperoni pizza.
Since the portion was huge, be prepared for leftovers unless you’re going with a bunch of people. We took home more than half of the pizza (there were 8 slices in total) because we were stuffed.
One thing is for sure – this dish is a hit with their customers.
d) Skillet Cookie
The three dishes above are filling enough but the skillet cookie on the menu caught our attention.
After the enormous pepperoni pizza, I didn’t know if I had room for dessert but I’m so glad I tried this.
This was SOO good.
It’s my favourite thing at Fini’s.
The appearance is deceiving. The outside doesn’t look like there are a lot of chocolate chips. When you break the cookie though, that’s when you’ll see all the gooey chocolate.
The chocolate chip cookie was sweet and chewy (just the way most people like theirs). There is also a scoop of milk ice cream on the side. They served the dish to us, you guessed it, in a skillet.
Hear me out, milk ice cream might sound strange to some people but it’s a thing in Asia.
The taste is similar to vanilla ice cream. Honestly, if the menu didn’t say milk ice cream, I would have assumed that it was vanilla ice cream. It was hard to tell a difference.
The warm cookie and cold ice cream provided a nice contrast. You can even see the heat of the cookie melting the ice cream. The ice cream also balances out the taste.
I was surprised at how sweet this dessert was. As someone who grew up in Toronto, I’m used to Western desserts but many desserts in Hong Kong are nowhere nearly as sweet.
Hong Kongers have a different sweetness level than Westerners which is why chefs tone down the sweetness in the desserts here.
Locals in Hong Kong would not like the sweetness of a real American chocolate chip cookie so I didn’t expect it to be really sweet.
I thought the chocolate chip cookie at Fini’s would cater to the locals’ tastes but the skillet cookie was very American style.
If their customers are mostly expats, then it makes sense that they follow a Western recipe for sweet desserts.
You have to wait for some time for them to whip this up in the kitchen but it’s worth the wait.
Fini’s Restaurant Service
Fini’s service was not good. Going to be straight up here.
When we sat down at the table, they didn’t give us a menu. The restaurant wasn’t even half full at that point. We sat awhile and waited patiently but the staff took no action until we explicitly asked for menus.
We came here on a hot summer’s day so we were eager to drink some water. Restaurants generally serve you water without asking but again, it was up to us to ask before it was given.
We also had to keep asking for water refills instead of them filling it up without prompting. The last point wasn’t too bad but overall, their service could have been much better.
If the restaurant was busy, I would have been a bit more understanding but since it wasn’t, I was disappointed with their service.
I was peeved about the 10% service fee that was added to the bill. This is usually the case for nicer sit-down restaurants but since I wasn’t ecstatic about their service, having to pay extra was annoying.
Final Thoughts – Fini’s
Other than the service aspect, Fini’s is pretty great (don’t get their fried calamari).
They even change up their menu so it’s not the same few dishes over and over again.
The casual atmosphere makes Fini’s a type of restaurant you can eat comfortably on a weekend. You’ll hear people chatting away happily and are surrounded by walls decorated with art.
It’s not hard to see why people like this place.
People who like authentic American-style restaurants should eat here.
Go to Fini’s to curb your craving for Western food, especially pizza and pasta. As much as HK is known for their dim sum, it’s not the only option here to eat.
It’s a restaurant I will happily come back to one day.
Now to You
You can only pick one – pizza or pasta?
Mine is pizza. What’s your choice?
Let me know in the comment section down below!