Te's unusual concept - serving high quality pasta dishes in stylish surroundings, but at a fast-food outlet pace - originated in Tokyo's fashionable Roppongi Hills district. It has since been extended to outlets in Central, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon Bay and The Venetian in Macau, but the latest to open in the trendy waterfront Soho East area usefully fills a niche as a popular lunch place for the local office crowd.
The monochromatic, predominantly white interior design gives the restaurant a distinctively different atmosphere to similarly priced competitors in the area, and the range of herbal teas - from which the restaurant takes its name - are another distinguishing feature.
Quick-fix spaghetti dishes assembled in an open kitchen are the house speciality and, although the menu includes a number of classic Italian favourites such as spaghetti Genovese and spaghetti Siciliana, others have been modified to Japanese tastes and include mentaiko spaghetti - made with a marinated fish roe cream sauce - and spaghetti Japonese which has a sauce made with clams and Shimeji mushrooms.
Special ingredients are flown in from Japan, as was the custom built kitchen equipment which expedites preparation of the pasta.
Although each dish is made to order, Te tries to prepare meals in around two minutes rather than the quarter of an hour or so that would be required in a regular Italian restaurant, so diners can eat and run. Pasta dishes are priced between HK$40 for a basic spaghetti peperoncino and HK$69 for options with seafood.
Address G/F Site A, 55 Tai Hong Street, Lei King Wan Reservations 3188 1439 Websitewww.te.hk