Is Sheung Wan Hong Kong's answer to Manhattan's trendy Meatpacking District? JIA Boutique Hotels founder Yenn Wong thinks so, and has opened a New York-style Italian-American restaurant at the Sheung Wan end of Hollywood Road, in a building which was originally a meat storage warehouse.
208 Duecento Otto is intended to be noteworthy for both its food and its interior design. The former is overseen by executive chef Vinny Lauria, who worked most recently at Babbo in New York with Mario Batali. His style is "a New York interpretation of rustic Italian cuisine" and a speciality of the restaurant is Neapolitan-style pizzas similar to those at the popular Issimo restaurant at the JIA Hotel in Shanghai.
The restaurant is on two levels, with a downstairs bar and an upstairs dining room, both with outdoor seating overlooking Hollywood Road.
The bar serves cocktails and a long list of wines, including more than 20 by the glass, to go with pizzas, antipasti and other casual grazing food for all-day dining. The restaurant has a more intimate atmosphere and seats up to 90, with a private dining room for up to 18 people on its lower level.
An award-winning design team from Turkish company Autoban was brought in to reshape the interior. A visible pizza oven also gives the restaurant an appetising Neapolitan aroma. 208 is Autoban's first Asian project and fuses Italian, Chinese and even some Turkish elements through the use of blue and white ceramic tiles.
Other prominent design elements include steel pillars, marble table tops and solid walnut floors, creating a modern look with recognisably traditional elements in tune with the emerging style of the area.
Address 208 Hollywood Road, Sheung Wan Reservations 2549 0208 Websitewww.208.com.hk