Contemporary grill in a Tom Dixon Studio-designed atmosphere (with a view)!
A trip to Causeway Bay can be overwhelming. It’s a dense area filled with people, shops and an unbelievable amount of restaurants. ALTO Bar & Grill aims to pull you away from all that stress with tasty food, standout decor and a gorgeous harbour view at an accessible price point.
Located on the 31st floor of the brand-new V Point building, ALTO is an easy walk from Causeway Bay MTR (if you don’t get lost like I did). As soon as the lift door opened, I felt miles away from the crowds. The space is sleek, designed to perfection by Tom Dixon’s Design Research Studio. Think blackened timber tabletops, green marble, terrazzo flooring and, yes, many hanging pendant lights. The lights were turned down low, adding to the sophisticated vibe.
When it comes to the food, there are both familiar dishes and reinterpreted classics with touches of French and Asian influences.
We started with the watermelon salad, fondue and crispy pig skin. The watermelon salad ($118) was was deliciously refreshing with chilli-roasted feta cheese, thyme and a raisin vinaigrette. Thefondue ($158) brought out my gluttonous side – we were presented with a dish full of gooey fontina cheese that was to be spread on top of slices of grilled ciabatta. So good! The crispy pig skin ($88) had a good crunch and was balanced out with a Thai-spiced dipping sauce.
Then came a mix of grills, mains and sides. Both the 14-ounce USDA Prime rib-eye ($398) and the 12-ounce Argentinean grass-fed sirloin ($298) were cooked well with lots of flavour. Perhaps unsurprising as head Chef Mike Boyle was previously at Bistecca. The steaks came accompanied with chimichurri and Béarnaise sauces, though I think they stood on their own.
The branzino ($228) was absolutely delicious. The flesh was moist and tender, the sauce was light and perfectly accompanied by fennel, cherry tomatoes and French beans.
Unfortunately, the carbonara macaroni ($128) with bacon and peas came across as bland when eaten alongside the steaks and the branzino. It’s listed as a main and perhaps would fare better when eaten alone. On the other hand, the Brussels sprouts ($68) side was a hit; the leaves had a smoky, charred flavour that contrasted nicely with the cranberry and apple.
While full at this point, we couldn’t resist sampling some of the desserts. The crispy banana ($78) came as a huge portion. This was a simple, comforting dish accompanied by Gianduja cream and vanilla ice cream. The cheesecake ($68) came in bite-sized pieces that were covered in a chocolate shell with raspberry coulis on the side. The dark chocolate butter cake ($88) ended up being as moist as it sounded. The caramel sauce and bacon ice cream served alongside it were tasty, though those without a sweet tooth may find the dish too saccharine overall.
Overall, ALTO is a versatile eatery that would be a great spot for catching up with friends or for dining with your colleagues, for a spontaneous dinner or to celebrate a special occasion. The grills and mains (especially the branzino) still have me thinking about my next visit.
31/F, V Point, 18 Tang Lung Street, Causeway Bay, 2603 7181
This post first appeared on Foodie Hong Kong.