Taking over a three-floor space in Sai Ying Pun that rubs shoulders with Test Kitchen, Casa Cucina & Bar has opened its doors to the neighbourhood. The restaurant focuses on dependable Italian classics and hearty, freshly made pasta, and styles itself in the Venetian tradition of cicchetti, which are served as small dishes similar to Spanish tapas. Helming the kitchen is executive chef and co-founder Anthony Cheung, a graduate of New York's International Culinary Center who most recently spent a four-year stint at Amber at the Landmark Mandarin Oriental working with the likes of Richard Ekkebus and Matthew Kirkley.
The 66-seat restaurant is blessed with great bones. Set within an airy, light-filled venue, the space opens up completely onto the street, with a feature bar helming one end and an open kitchen bringing up the rear of the mezzanine floor. On the top floor is a private dining space and a lounge area perfect for more intimate gatherings and people-watching. Awash in Mediterranean pastel tones along with rattan furniture and leather upholstery, the space was conceived by interior designer Ketty Shan to evoke the atmosphere of a home.
Taking advantage of the all-day potential of the space, the menu at Casa is centred around approachable, moreish small dishes—highlights include the Hokkaido scallop carpaccio with pineapple, yuzu and ogonori algae, clams in a white wine and smoked paprika cream, and the indulgent burrata with semi-dried Datterino tomatoes.