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Newly opened Alto, Causeway Bay – great view and a menu catering for steak lovers

Located on the top floor of V Point, Alto has a great view of Causeway Bay and beyond. Designer Tom Dixon created the sophisticated ambience of dark walls and a series of golden orb pendulum lights. Come early for dinner to soak up the view, but you might want to bring a torch, because once the sun sets, there isn’t much light to read the menu or see what you’re eating.

The menu lists mainly grilled items that will appeal to steak lovers, and a few non-beef dishes, including chicken and seafood.

For appetisers, the watermelon salad (HK$118) is a big portion for two. In addition to the refreshing watermelon, tomatoes, pear and cucumber, there are pine nuts for crunch, raisins for sweetness, mint leaves, and feta cheese cubes spiked with chilli sauce. It’s a delicious and healthy combination.

Another signature starter, the ahi tuna (HK$158) featured a tower of young coconut meat on top of a layer of avocado, with diced tuna below. While this is a good summer dish, there wasn’t much in terms of contrasting textures to keep us interested. The plate also had slices of tuna covered in black and white sesame seeds, but the fish was bland and needed help from the accompanying mango sauce.

The grilled beef selection comes from the United States, Argentina and Japan. We chose the USDA 14oz rib-eye (HK$398) and requested it medium rare, but by the time it arrived the dining room was so dark we couldn’t appreciate the visual appeal of a slab of juicy steak, which shows the truth in the phrase “you eat with your eyes”.

Things were a bit better when we squeezed a candle onto our table, which let us see the roasted branzino (European sea bass, HK$228). It arrived on a large platter with roasted sweet fennel, cherry tomatoes and crunchy French green beans. The branzino was deboned, but had a few stray bones. Nevertheless, we enjoyed the fish and its rich, buttery sauce.

We had some room for dessert, but were misled on how big the portions were. The crispy banana (HK$78) had pieces of the fruit sliced lengthwise, covered in nuts and deep-fried with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. The five large pieces were way too much for us to finish.

We should have shared one dessert; instead, we also had the apple crumble (HK$68). The menu said it came with chocolate ice cream but we were served vanilla instead, which was fine with us. Again, it was a very large portion.

Once the issue of lighting is resolved, more diners will be able to properly enjoy their meal along with the panoramic views.

Alto, 31/F, V Point, 18 Tang Lung Street, Causeway Bay, tel: 2603 7181

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