Go Solo for authenticity over Instagram chic
Italian restaurant Solo recently opened a new venue right outside the Yongping Lane complex on Hengshan Road. The new location, just 50 meters away from its original space, is an improvement — exuding a better ambience with mood lighting and cozy, contemporary design.
The ultra-popular Italian restaurant has never played the “Instagram chic” game like most of the restaurants seen nowadays as it prefers a more authentic ambience.
The new location features a beautiful outdoor space facing the busy Hengshan Road that will become a relaxed dining spot in the warmer months.
The inside, with dominant natural wood materials and neutral shades, is modern and sleek, while common black-and-white photos depicting monuments from Rome- and Murano-style vases, grace the walls and dining tables.
n the leafy downtown, where people can enjoy the Italian conviviality of a long-stay around a table chatting and enjoying authentic food and wine.
Thanks to head chef Leo Dai, who had authentic Italian cuisine training in Piedmont in his early years, the restaurant has established itself strongly over the past six years as a top choice among locals wanting Italian cuisine despite the very high downtown area competition.
The set menu is the bestseller, which costs 168 yuan per person including a starter and a main course.
However, for those wanting to try a full range of authentic cuisine from all across Italy, including seafood and olive oil-based dishes from the south and richer meat-based dishes from the north, then the a la carte menu is recommended.
There were a few notable plates during my dinner. The dishes may not be blessed with divine presentation but, like most traditional Italian dishes, the focus is on the flavor.
Grilled cauliflower, Spanish garlic prawns, ox tripe stew in cuttlefish ink with abalone, as well as octopus and potato salad are all perfectly executed appetizers for sharing. The highlights of the main courses include the Sicilian-style fish “crazy water” — in a secret homemade sauce full of Mediterranean ingredients and the Ningxia lamb chop for meat lovers.
Solo also excels in its wine selection from both the old and new worlds. They select boutique, interesting wine labels for a decent price.
The restaurant is extremely popular and busy thus booking in advance for a dinner is a must.
Opening hours: 11:30am-2:30pm, 5pm-10:30pm
Address: 191 Hengshan Rd
Average price: 250 yuan (US$38.25)