Hive Life spoke to Hong Kong’s beloved neighbourhood pasta bar Pici’s creator, Pirata Group’s Executive Chef, Davide Borin about their recently opened Kennedy Town location, Davide’s story, and the Pici concept.
Pirata Group’s newly opened Kennedy Town branch of the local favourite pasta bar, Pici, brings freshly made pasta and quality nostalgic Italian food to the neighbourhood. A classic family favourite Italian eatery, Pici’s newest location fits perfectly with Kennedy Town’s growing restaurant scene. A popular seaside destination for families, businesses, and foodies alike looking for a change of scenery from bustling Hong Kong, Pici Kennedy Town both stands out for its quality Italian food and design, and fuses with the darling essence of the neighbourhood. Pirata Group’s Executive Chef, Davide Borin, shares his inspiration and the concept behind Pici, and more.
Davide grew up with his family-run restaurant in Treviso, Italy, inspiring his love for Italian food and driving his passion to share it with the world. He graduated from the Culinary and Hospitality Institute ‘Giuseppe Maffioli’, and worked in Italy and Dubai prior to coming to Hong Kong. Davide created Pici’s brand alongside Pirata Group’s Corporate Chef Andrea Viglione, collaborating to create Hong Kong’s beloved neighbourhood pasta bar.
How did you start out as a chef?
I grew up in my family restaurant since I remember, so working in the hospitality business was always in my blood. I had 5 years of training at the Culinary Institute in Italy and I always worked during the summer. My biggest challenge was when I started to work with colleagues from all over the world, and the first time I moved to Dubai, it took a few months for me to adapt to the new environment- food was definitely the connection!
What is your comfort food?
My ultimate comfort food is my Grandma’s Lasagna. When I was kid, this was impossible to miss every Sunday lunch.
What is your favourite dish to create and why?
I love to make pizza because I see it like a plain base to top with what you prefer (but no pineapple please!)
What was your inspiration for creating Pici?
Pici is inspired by a team of people who love to eat (and cook) good food, and make it available to every friend and guest who is looking for homey food in a cozy and friendly environment. Pasta makes you think already of something genuine, fulfilling, and a common denominator of happiness.
Seasonality of products is definitely important when we write new recipes for Pici, but we also follow food trends and guest feedback.
What can we look forward to at Pici’s Kennedy Town branch?
We can definitely find some fresh vibes with authentic design and new special dishes like our Hand-cut Pappardelle with lamb ragu or the Ravioli with codfish and puttanesca sauce.
The characteristic big open windows make the best environment for families, friend gatherings, and any Kennedy Town neighbours that want to join us.
Pici Kennedy Town’s Hand-cut Pappardelle Lamb Ragu
What dish do you recommend for first-time Pici visitors?
Definitely get our signature Orecchiette with spicy sausage, the Homemade meatballs, and also the Tagliolini with truffle makes every guest’s mouth water!
Can you introduce us to your team at Pici?
We have a strong team behind us, without them it would be impossible to deliver memorable experiences to everyone. I try to transfer to everyone the passion for food that pushes me every day, and the most satisfying part is to see our people work with the same aim and spirit as an Italian!
Why did you choose to expand Pici in Hong Kong?
The love for food in Hong Kong is second to none in Asia, and you can find this in just a few other cities around the world. We felt that casual food made with love was still a gap to be filled here and thanks to our visionary management team, we are bringing good food to Hong Kong!
Pici Kennedy Town’s Ravioli with Codfish and Puttanesca Sauce
What are your tips for aspiring chefs?
Dedicate all of yourself to this job, and keep in mind that the ultimate goal is your guest’s smile after they finish their meal.
What can we look out for from you and Pirata Group in the future?
As a neighbourhood restaurant, I can see Pici expanding in Hong Kong without exception. The aim of Pirata Group is to be the most loved restaurant group in town, and my commitment to the company is to make sure we deliver this through our food.
Created over four years ago by Pirata Group’s Davide Borin and Andrea Viglione, Pici’s flagship location launched in Wan Chai and has five other branches across Hong Kong. Pici Kennedy Town stands out for its open-concept design with beautiful mosaic floors and arched mouldings, the restaurant’s chic and classic interior finely complements its unique menu.
Head Chef Yuri Liuzzo works with Andrea and Davide at Pici Kennedy Town. “Pici’s success has exceeded my expectations,” Chef Andrea Viglione shared. “Every new Pici has filled a gap in the dining scene of its area, bringing laughter, comfort and satisfaction to the neighbourhood.” “We are delighted to bring our handmade pasta to Kennedy Town and we are looking forward to welcoming old friends and making new ones,” Davide added.
Pirata Group’s Corporate Chef Andrea Viglione and Executive Chef Davide Borin
Co-founded by restaurateur and entrepreneur, Manuel Palacio leads Pirata Group as CEO, managing a wide range of the popular F&B options around the city, including The Optimist, TokyoLima, Chaiwala, and The Pizza Project. Offering a wide range of quality heartwarming experiences, each of Pirata’s restaurants are suitable to unique and special occasions, providing fine food, exceptional service, beautiful designs, and a memorable stay.