There are tons of fine Italian restaurants in Hong Kong, but SEPA, meaning cuttlefish, is the one casual eatery that is Venetian inspired. The space comprises of a mezzanine level, vintage cocktail bar and high ceiling dining room; as long as entering the restaurant, the iconic Venetian opera masks will instantly draw one attention.
To feature the authentic Venetian cuisine, SEPA offers bite-sized dishes that emphasize mostly on seafood and grains, which many of them are beautifully presented.
A one-bite delight would be the beetroot tartare mixed with tuna, encased in beetroot jelly and artichoke puree that is textually similar to mashed potato. Another nibble are some croquette-like meatballs, batter fried with mixture of beef and pork and served with a tasty honey mustard dip.
Favourites are a raw beef over mini cracker, served atop some black truffles for a fragrant touch; and the excellently creamy burrata cheese that is well balanced by sweet balsamic vinegar, basil cream plus additional extra virgin olive oil.
The signature bomba is surely convincing with its gorgeous presentation. It is a stuffed focaccia with creamy and rich truffled ricotta filling, baked to absolute crispness and slightly golden brown; also topped with black truffles shaves that gives a real bursting flavor.
We also sample a few pasta dishes.
Named straightforwardly, the spaghetti made with tender cuttlefish carpaccio is authentically cooked to al dente, smothered in rich squid ink sauce. It has been a signature and also one of my favourites among all.
In comparison, the carbonara is slightly heavier as it is tossed with cheesy parmesan and a poached egg with chunks of flavoursome pork cheeks.
Coming to Sepa’s daily specials, the sea urchin pasta is delectably al dente and has an intense coconut flavor from the base; whereas the impressive soft shell crab is paired with an amazing pan fried risotto cake and sweet caramelized onion.
Last but not the least, our eyes are fed by a glorious round of toppings, which are to mix in with the beef tartare. Brandy, capers, chili, egg yolk, ketchup, lemon juice, mustard, onions, pickles, salt, shallot, it is to serve with mini cracker for its intensive balance.
We also end with a classic tiramisu that worths all the hypes. Sepa’s version is a typical blend of coffee-coated ladyfingers, light whipped mascarpone cheese and a full flavor of Afribon coffee. Served with crisp lemon rind, the lemon tart has been beautifully topped with burnt meringue, dense and citrus lemon curd filling. The less impressive one would be the double chocolate cake accompanied by mango sauce.
From all the small plates and its classic and cosy vibe, SEPA is definitely a favourite dining place.
Tartare di Rapa Rossa
Beetroot tartare, tuna, Jerusalem artichoke
Homemade traditional meatballs, honey mustard sauce
Italian organic burrata, cherry tomatoes, basil cream
Carpaccio di Manzo
Raw beef, homemade cracker, black truffle
Bomba e Mortadella
Mortadella, ricotta, black truffle
Organic saute mussel, cherry tomatoes, taggiasca olives, white wine sauce, focaccia
Squid ink, red turnip, Sicilian cuttlefish carpaccio
63 degree Japanese egg, cured pork cheek, 12 months aged parmesan
Sea Urchin Spaghetti
Risotto Al Salto with Venetian Soft Shell Crab
Tartare di Manzo
Beef tartare, 12 seasonings
Mascarpone cheese, lady finger, Afribon coffee
Torta al Limone
Organic Sicilian lemon, artisanal shortbread
Valrhona chocolate 72%, Valrhona white chocolate, mango sauce