Delish Eats: Macelle, an Italian Steakhouse Serving Top Beef Cuts and Value
May 24, 2023
Restaurant history: An homage to the traditional Macellaria of Italy, Macelle challenges neighbouring steakhouses to serve steaks at market-rates, without skimping on great quality. Opening in February 2023 as the direct source for beef and animal cuts straight from meat purveyors Steak King, the shaded restaurant manages a packed house nightly.
Chef story: Chef Neil Tomes is a recent addition to the team at Macelle, joining with a CV that would make any sous chef, chef de cuisine, or butcher envious. He’s led burger and pizza development at Beef & Liberty and Emmer Pizzeria & Café, worked with Heston Blumental at The Fat Duck, and manned the kitchens at Alfie's by Kee Club.
What’s the vibe and venue like: Sitting right off the Mid-Levels escalators, Macelle is warm when you walk in, sheltering you from the roar down its mini side-street. The playful décor embraces the tradtional cliché of Italy’s diners - plaid table cloths, mixes of bright primary colours, and soft cushioning.
How much does it cost: HK$1900 for a selection of starters, sides and sauces, and two steaks.
What is the menu about: The starters and sides are designed to complement the salty, fatty, and sometimes lean beef cuts available for purchase from the kitchen counter. Expect beef, chicken, and seafood starters which lean acidic flavours that cut the fat from your palate, and sides that add a vegetable or two to balance the meal.
What did we order: Roast Beef Carpaccio (HK$125), Leek & Mushroom Arancini (HK$60), Wagyu Meatballs Rich Tomato Sauce (HK$110), Pasta Linguini (HK$180),Tuna Tartare with Sweet Onion Dressing (HK$125), Bistecca all Fiorentina (market rate), Australian Wagyu M9 Ribeye (market rate), Grilled Broccolini (HK$35), Foccacia Bread with Oil & Balsamic (HK$35), Fresh Garden Salad (HK$35), French Fries (HK$35).
Roast Beef Carpaccio: In a British twist on an Italian starter, beef cuts are subbed over veal in a style of a traditional Vitello Tonnato dish, emphasising the almighty power of the wonderful cow. The creamy sauce drizzled atop pairs well with the capers and diced pepper to introduce tangy notes.
Pasta Linguini: You might think this is a pasta dish dressed in a carbonara sauce but think again! The al dente pasta noodles are tossed in a wonderful Chinese cooking sauce called Zao Lu that introduces a wonderful umami and pickled flavouring from fermented beans.
Leek & Mushroom Arancini: This Sicilian treat is produced to a high standard at Macelle. Tender texture is wonderfully contrasted with a flaky coating that doesn’t leak oil, rather, soaking up the bed of truffle cream sauce hidden beneath to drive home nutty flavours.
Wagyu Meatballs Rich Tomato Sauce: Another dish that drives home Macelle’s international twist on an Italian tradition. The meatballs, themselves, are plump with aromatic juices that spark the taste buds when eaten. The tomato sauce is punctuated with spices to add depth, without removing its natural tangy flavour.
Bistecca alla Fiorentina: Macelle’s signature beef cut is specially imported from Australia and is diced in Hong Kong. With generous portions, you could easily share this massive cut of beef between three mouths. The meat holds good fat on its body and is elevated with a salty coating across the cut.
Australian Wagyu M9 Ribeye: My personal favourite of cuts in my two (and soon to be many more) at Macelle. It oozes a great meaty flavour when bitten into and is seasoned to absolute perfection. You can really taste the M9 quality of the steak cut.
What we liked: Each starter dish including the arancini, meatballs in vinegary tomato sauce, and pasta possessed a sour profile that served as a delicious palate cleanser. The starters woke us up before we tucked into the much-heavier steak dishes.
What we didn’t like: As a savoury fiend myself - I know, my doctor isn’t happy about it either - I would have preferred the Bistecca steak to be seasoned more liberally with salt to match the fruity flavour of the steak. Beyond the coating, the steak was great.
What you should order: Leek & Mushroom Arancini, Wagyu Meatballs in Rich Tomato Sauce, Australian Wagyu M9 Striploin, Grilled Broccolini, Foccacia Bread.
Location: Macelle, LG/F, Shama Soho, 9-11 Staunton Street, Central, Hong Kong
Contact details: +852 5607 4860
This food review is based on a complimentary media tasting provided by Macelle in exchange for a truthful review and no compensation. The opinions expressed within represent the views of the author.
Enjoyed this article? Check out our previous Delish Eats reviews here.
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