If you want true Italian food, you ask an Italian to cook it. Lucky then that Lantau's newest Italian has been opened by a gentleman named Matteo Cecchi who is, you guessed it, Italian.
The restaurant in question is named Bello Ciao. If that name sounds familiar to you it's because it's the newest offering from the online Italian grocery store. I took my kids one sunny Friday afternoon to try out the food during their soft opening. My kids, as per usual, chose the spaghetti bolognese and I went with a quattro formaggi (4 cheese) pizza. Let's start with the pizza. I reckon there are 2 things that make for a great pizza. 1. The base. In this instance it was homemade, packed with flavour and crunchy enough to be a decent texture without shredding the inside of your mouth. So a tick there.
2. The toppings. In this case cheese and lots of it. The cheese was sour and tangy, and when fresh out of the oven had the consistency of a fondu. It was yum. There was enough cheese on top to give me hallucinations too which is an added bonus.
Now for the bolognese. My kids are at that age where they can't quite finish a whole adult size portion, but one isn't quite enough. When the bolognese arrived I was concerned they'd still be hungry but the sauce was so thick and rich they were perfectly replete by the end.
My eldest was enamoured by the spaghetti bolognese to the extent she demanded we come back the next day!
What's the often missed magic ingredient of a restaurant experience? Music! Matteo told me it was just his playlist, but as the kids remarked, it could have been mine. All three of us were singing away the evening enjoying good company, nice wine (and apple juice) and tasty food, exactly as a restaurant experience should be.
Matteo says he'll soon be opening the grocery section too so you can leave with a belly full of pasta and a bag full of salami. Win.
If you're looking for a change of scene, Bella Ciao is just a 25 minute bus journey over the hill from Tung Chung on the 3M and you get to enjoy a stroll amongst the buffalo to walk it all off afterwards. Delizioso!
Bella Ciao, 15 Lo Wai Village, Pui O, Lantau Island.
+852 9321 0487
https://bellaciao-lantau.com/ to book.