Carbone, our fancy red-sauce joint with a lust for excess, has been celebrating the clichés of its genre for half a decade now in Hong Kong! Find out more about the epic anniversary party plans with Mario Carbone and his ensemble of New York captains here and join us for the party of the decade. But if you can’t make it for the celebrations, there are still ways to BYO extra swagger to your next visit and dine like you have been coming for years, even if it is your first time at Carbone. From ‘secret’ dishes to unexpected gestures, there are tons of hidden treasures to be discovered. We asked another Hong Kong institution, Manager Jack Gonsalves, for his top three tips for dining at Carbone.
1. Off-menu delights
So here is a tip that only the regulars know: there are off-menu classics that you can call ahead and order at Carbone. Loved the lasagna from a couple of years ago? Keep this under your hat but we can still make it by request if you give us 48 hours notice. Ordered the iconic 60-day-aged Porterhouse? Ask for the smaller tenderloins to be served as an appetiser steak tartare and thank me later. If you really have your heart set on ordering a dish that sells out like the Eggplant Parmesan, just call us and reserve one ahead of time. And if you want something a little extra, ask for Sergio. Sergio’s Potatoes, that is. Served with crème fraîche and caviar, Sergio’s Potatoes are a favourite secret side for many of the Carbone and Black Sheep Restaurants family.
2. Menu hacks
We are all about sharing at Carbone and everything is served family-style but if there is one dish I prefer plated – it is the Tortellini al Ragu. When you order, ask the team to individually plate this for your table to ensure maximum sauce-to-pasta ratio. And while we are talking about pasta, I also recommend adding Mario’s Meatballs to your pasta course rather than as an appetiser, they go especially well with the Spicy Rigatoni Vodka.
3. Make new friends
Interested in wine? Chat up your sommelier! Every now and then, the Carbone sommeliers make surprise purchases, like five-litre bottles of wine brought to your table. If you really hit it off, your somm’ might even take you on a little tour of the Carbone wine cellar, in which live some references that nobody else in the city has. If wine is not your thing, your captain is also a good person to get to know. Come for a late seating and linger with nightcaps from our rum trolley. Your captain might even convince you to stay a little longer with the Doppio Dolce cart… But you will have to come in to find out what that is. See you soon!