Isola is an incredibly beautiful place to enjoy lunch.
With an expansive outdoor terrace and large tables, it is a top ten restaurant recommendation for the warm spring and autumn months in Hong Kong.
Floor-to-ceiling windows wrap around the entire restaurant, also making this a great location for any time of the year.
While Isola has received a fair amount of negative criticism since the head chef Gianni left to start his own restaurant, Giando, at Fenwick Pier (the location of the next Saturday Club) it is still a bustling location popular for its incredible views and beautiful waterfront dining experience. At the time of this writing, there is still a lot of construction work going on for the building of the Central-Wanchai Reclamation Project, so the sound of pile-drivers can be heard by all tables on the terrace – although not painfully so. (I actually didn’t notice them at all…)
After walking through the bright entrance and past the long delicious-looking buffet of salads, meats, cheeses, seafoods and desserts, we are seated at a big outdoor table facing the harbour. It is the perfect day to be out here – sunny and clear skied but comfortably temperate. Perfection!
We all decide on the set lunch menu, which is a great option for a group since it offers starters of soup or buffet, a range of meat and pasta dishes with buffet dessert and coffee/tea included, allowing for an easy split of the bill. (One food bill, one wine bill).
The buffet starter is indeed delicious and has filling options for carnivores and vegetarians alike. Once our food arrives I notice that some of the pasta dishes are slightly flabby looking, although they are apparently very nice indeed. Most of the table has ordered the grilled salmon, which has a distinctly seared flavour and served with a pea sauce. While the salmon was done to perfection, I wasn’t sold on the pea-and-salmon combination but can appreciate the idea behind it.
Once again, waiters have to be asked once or twice for refills of our water glasses but are, for the most part, very attentive and polite. Other tables look very happy with their service too.
My boyfriends pasta looks very uninteresting in various shades of murk and light brown and could have used a green garnish of some sort to dress it up a little, so we decided to bury it under a huge mountain of grated cheese. (See upper photo).
Having said that, most of the plates are neatly cleared clean by our guests – even after the filling starter buffet – and people venture back to the buffet section for a dessert adventure.
Unfotunately, the delicious chocolate cake bits are dry (I realise too late that the secret is to take the pieces from the middle – not the edges) but the cream puffs, tiramisu and other desserts are scrumptious and very fun, served in little bite-sized portions.
Overall, the food was nice but not amazing in my books (likely because I found the salmon too smokey with a slightly fishy aftertaste, and didn’t appreciate the salmon/pea combo) but the pasts was rated 7/10 by a guest and the location is one that will continue to be high on the list of places to go for an incredible, memorable sunny weekend meal with friends.
I recommend it!
Raven Tao is a media personality and real estate agent and ambassador for Engel & Voelkers HK. She loves arts and culture, is fascinated by fashion and luxury, and is passionate about all things house and home. For more updates, LIKE her Facebook Page or visit www.RavenTao.com