In order to prepare for a review, I usually make sure I have enough photos and have sampled enough of the dishes to give a balanced and fair opinion. In this case, I do not feel I have adequately met these criteria, however I feel compelled to write this as there are a few posts out there that provide, in my view questionable and misappropriated praise for this restaurant.
‘No reservation’ restaurants are not a new concept in Hong Kong. Not only is this somewhat easier on the Maitre d’, as they do not have to keep note of reservations, but this also means the restaurant can be at maximum capacity not wasting time on an empty table. Not a new concept, but this must be executed well with appropriate advice to customers on how long the wait will be. In this case, we showed up at 8pm on a Friday night (albeit peak time) and could visibly see a large crowd gathered outside, despite the rain. We were informed of an hour wait and given the high praise for this restaurant, we were willing to wait .
We were pleasantly surprised that they handed us cold cuts and bread while we waited outside, which is quite unusual. We were consistently told that it wasn’t to be any longer but we ended up getting in 2 hours later!!!
At this point, our stomachs were grumbling and about to eat themselves. Much to our chagrin, staff at the top floor were so unattentive, we were forced to wave in an embarrassing manner to get their attention and had to follow up with them on several occasions.
Pici does have a noticeably simple menu which is usually a good sign for a restaurant. The intention is that they provide good quality, specialty dishes and the plates should arrive quickly as there isn’t a complex menu.
We ordered the pasta of the day (which wasn’t the same as was stated on the special’s board and our waiter was unfortunately incoherent so I still don’t know what it was), the pappardelle with slow cooked beef , the orecchiette with spicy sausage and tomato and the tagliatelle with porcini mushrooms.
Despite the simple menu, it was another 40 minutes until our dishes were served and by the time they came, we were so disappointed with the portion sizes. The whole experience was a complete let down and ruined our night.
Verdict: We were quite incredulous and frustrated that not only did it take us more than 2 hours to eat, the food was so unsatisfying and not worth the money we paid. Moreover, we felt truly neglected as patrons. I have since heard that friends have also been to Pici and experienced the same poor service, tiny portions and average tasting food. I am truly amazed that this place has received rave reviews, plenty of better places to eat in Wan chai!
16 St Francis Yard
Ph: 852 2755 5523