Soft-opened on April 27th 2022, Ramato is the latest neighbourhood Italian restaurant and bar by JIA Group at 208 Hollywood Road, at the center of rustic and casual Italian cooking.
What does Ramato means?
The name Ramato comes from the ramato tomato, a spherical tomato cultivar growing on branches in the Puglia region.
As you enter the restaurant, you may notice that Ramato’s interior is a tribute to the rich history behind its historic site on Hollywood Road.
The warm and friendly restaurant area is spread across two floors and is bedecked with prominent artworks and vibrant, colorful patterns, with a dining room that transports customers to a tiny Sicilian lemon grove.
What type of food can I expect at Ramato?
Ramato offers classic southern Italian cooking with family-style charm and casual touches on a menu created by renowned Italian Chef Antimo Maria Merone of Estro.
Ramato’s menu features nostalgic re-creations of Chef Antimo’s childhood favorites from his Italian nonna’s dinner table.
Chef Antimo’s memories of home inspired signature dishes like Bruschetta (HK$68 for 2 pcs) with roughly chopped Datterino tomatoes, oregano, garlic, and extra virgin olive oil on crusty sourdough baguette, and Sauteed Clams (HK$158) with local clams sautéed with garlic, parsley, Datterino tomatoes, and white wine.
Who is Chef Antimo?
Antimo, a proud Naples native, is among the chefs redefining the rules of Italian cuisine.
Chef Antimo originates from a farming family and learned to appreciate the flavors of good Italian ingredients at a young age.
From Berlin’s Vai Mó to Parma’s ALMA under the renowned Gualtiero Marchesi, Antimo cut his teeth at some of the world’s most prestigious restaurants. The inauguration of L’Altro in Hong Kong introduced him to the Asian market, where he swiftly earned a Michelin star. Soon after, he became Executive Chef at Umberto Bombana’s 8 12 Otto e Mezzo in Macau, where he oversaw the kitchen for six years.
In 2021, he established his first restaurant, Estro, in collaboration with JIA Group. Estro’s exquisite tasting menus are dedicated to upgrading Neapolitan cuisine through modern cooking techniques, with each dish invoking deep memories of Antimo’s forefathers, history, and upbringing.
Estro recognizes Antimo’s Neapolitan roots while exhibiting his innate originality and modern flair, bringing a global perspective to regional cuisine. Today, Estro is a MICHELIN-recommended restaurant and a new addition to Tatler Dining’s Top 20 Most Influential Restaurants in Hong Kong.
On the opening menu, there is a total of six pasta dishes are served with not-to-miss dishes that include Dry Spaghetti, Ramato Tomato Sauce (HK$148), a re-invention of the iconic Spaghetti Pomodori, using dry durum wheat spaghetti with Ramato’s signature tomato sauce made from Ramato tomatoes and preserved cherry tomatoes, parmigiano, and basil.
Homemade Pappardelle Ragu (HK$178) with slowly simmered eggplant and Sagabuta pork ragu, seasoned with black pepper and fresh parmigiano.
Homemade Fettuccine (HK$228) with king prawns, zucchini and mint.
During the soft opening phase, Ramato will also serve three main dishes (secondi) designed to be shared, with additional dishes to be added.
Signature dishes include 1.5kg Baked Seabass (HK$548), a local bass baked with Mediterranean herbs and finished with a sauce made from Datterino tomato, clam water, white wine, and parsley (aka acqua pazza), XL King Prawns with Mediterranean Herbs (4 pieces at HK$428), and a grilled M5 Australian Wagyu Rib Eye (500 grams at HK$588).
To round up the meal, you can choose one of the many traditional southern Italian-style sweets on the menu: Tiramisu (HK$98), a timeless Italian classic with mascarpone, egg cream, savoiardi, and coffee; Limoncello Baba (HK$88), a traditional Neapolitan baba soaked in limoncello syrup, served with lemon cream and sour cherries; and Sicilian Cannolo (HK$38 per pc), deep-fried cannolo shells filled with sweet buffalo ricotta and topped with Sicilian pistachios and candied oranges, come highly recommended.
What about the beverages at Ramato?
The beverage program at Ramato was devised by Italian mixologist Mario Calderone of one Michelin-starred Duddell’s Hong Kong, presenting simple and familiar cocktail staples to accompany Chef Antimo’s casual cuisine of neighborhood Italian traditional meals.
Italian Classics, Modern Classics, Hall of Fame Classics, and Signature Drinks are the four drink categories.
From happy hour aperitivos to relaxing Italian dining, Ramato is expected to become the hottest local spot for hearty and authentic southern Italian food combined with traditional cocktails.
Photo courtesy of Ramato.