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208 turns 8!

For what is an admirable feat in Hong Kong’s ever-changing food universe, Sheung Wan stalwart we at 208 Duecento Otto will celebrate eight years next month, with a slew of menu injections and sweet giveaways - designed to give back to the community that embraced it since 2010 when Yenn Wong’s JIA Group opened the now firmly established neighbourhood hangout “On the wrong side of Hollywood Road”.
 
We are uniquely housed in a former meat storage warehouse, and have received acclaim both from Hong Kong titles and international heavy hitters. In 2017, we were accredited as the home of Hong Kong’s ‘Best Napoletana Pizza’ by The South China Morning Post for producing pizzas in strict accordance with guidelines created by The True Neapolitan Pizza Association (Associazione Verace Pizza Napoletana, AVPN).
 
As well as celebrating eight years of operations, we are proud to welcomes a new Head Chef. Hailing from the northern Italian town of Verona, Zeno Bevilacqua has been cooking for over a decade. From his beginnings in a traditional family trattoria where he learnt to cook with intuition under the guidance of passionate cooks, to Michelin-starred restaurants including Agriturismo Corte Vecia.
 
While admittedly young for his new-found position at 28, his appointment from Yenn Wong comes care of his passion for celebrating seasonal and high-quality ingredients, and respecting that sometimes the best way to cook something has already been set, while at times, there is a little room for invention.

It is in continuation of this love for traditional fare executed well that under Zeno’s direction, that we welcome a new grill section, ‘Alla Griglia’ – an edit of the best grass and grain fed beef sourced from Italy, France, Switzerland, USA and Australia. It is an addition set to speak to the city’s beef enthusiasts and various clubs.

Most interestingly, the Chianina breed – which at 22 centuries, is one of the world's oldest cattle breeds in the world and the only variety Italians believe can yield the original Fiorentina steak.While many restaurants claim to offer the Bistecca alla Fiorentina in Hong Kong, few serve the genuine product.

Another notable addition - the Swiss Simmental - available in T-Bone, bone-in sirloin and rib eye cuts. Previously a dairy cow, this grass-fed variety oozes distinctive flavour profiles notes, not too dissimilar to Comté cheese – notes heightened care of a 45-day ageing process.
 
Grill enthusiasts can order up on quality rib-eye care of the grass fed Marango cow. Raised in the Tolfa mountains, this Maremmana crossed with Aberdeen Angus is sent to Piedmont at 14 months to enhance marbling and Omega 3 fats care of a final diet of corn, linseed and beetroot molasses. Entrecôte and spinacino cuts come care of the grass fed, grain finished Marrezato from the Friuli region.
 
Australian Tajima crossbred Wagyu from Victoria is grain fed on a specially formulated Japanese Carne Cruda diet for a minimum of 400 days. The percentage of Omega-3s and healthy monounsaturated fats is higher than regular beef, making the ribeye extra tender with its fantastic marbling.
 
On top of introducing a new head chef and the ‘Alla Griglia’ section, we are excited to team up with delivery partner, deliveroo, giving away eight birthday ‘pizzas’ for HK$88 for the first eight days of October.While admittedly far from the traditional, these playful ‘moon pizzas’ - half calzone, half flat pizza were created by Chef Zeno to represent the shape of Hong Kong Island.
 
The flat references the shape of the sea and coastline, while the highest part, pays respect to the rolling hills of Victoria Peak. The calzone contains cubes of brownie, coffee and salted caramel, crème fraiche and walnut, while the flat arrives with preserved lemons, pear and Zabaione.
 
On the bar front, guests can order HK$8 mini-gronis  for all of October.

Beef, birthday pizzas, HK$8 cocktails and a new head chef aside, as it presses towards hopefully another eight years of operations, 208 will continue to do traditional Italian dishes and do them well via way of generous servings, great wine and service that feels like an extension of home entertaining.