Inspired by the chaos and beauty of travelling through Napoli, Pizzeria Napoletana Falcone has opened at Hong Kong’s IFC.
While Rome may be the heart of Italy, people in the know say that Napoli is its soul. Inspired by a summer-time foray to the city, Syed Asim Hussain, co-founder of Black Sheep Restaurants, has created Hong Kong’s newest pizza joint, where head chef Josh Stumbaugh of Associazione Chianti, and head chef and proud Neapolitan Roberta De Sario of Motorino will present a menu packed with authenticity.
Falcone, which recently opened at IFC, promises a deep dive into the frenetic energy, animated streets, and simple food made fatto a mano (handmade) in Campania’s capital. It also (thankfully) breaks the mould of what a mall restaurant should be. No hot water, no iced lemon tea and no cappuccino, it is about staying true to Napoli because there really is nowhere like it.
The pizzeria’s uncomplicated menu explores the culinary traditions throughout the Campania region, namely the neo-Neapolitan style of pizza and pasta, complemented by an accessible list of red and white wines.
Helming the pizza side of things, chef Roberta is a trained pizzaiola, with over a decade of experience in some of the world’s most distinguished food cities. At Falcone, she brings her untamed personality to neo-Neapolitan pizza, a style born from a new generation that stems from the same great city. Her weapon of choice: a 1,500kg custom-made Pavesi brick oven.
Authentic Neapolitan pizza is governed by a strict set of rules laid out by the Association of True Neapolitan Pizza (Associazione Verace Pizza Napoletana). Neo-Neapolitan violates the Neapolitan pizza code by going outside of these rules. The lower temperature and additional cooking time produce a sturdier base and crunchier exterior, similar to an American-style of pizza.
With Roberta at her oven, chef Josh leads the pasta programme. Being perched proudly on the coast, Neapolitans have a very special relationship with the sea and Falcone’s menu highlights the abundance of Napoli’s seafood, including linguine alle vongole (clams sauteed with white wine and linguine); gamberi al forno (oven-baked soft shell prawns with a Calabrian chilli butter), and carpaccio di gamberi rossi (red prawn carpaccio with Sorrento lemon zest, chives and olive oil).
All this hearty Italian goodness – both traditional and unconventional – will be served in a 70-seat dining room by Melissa Collison, who also envisioned both Grand Majestic Sichuan and Rajasthan Rifles, and who has played with the exaggerated abundance and intricacies of Napoli with clashes of colours and textures, using dark timbers, chrome, marble, big Italian mouldings, and wallpaper reminiscent of what nonna would have wall-papered in her kitchen in the 1950s.
For more Wining & Dining inspiration click here.