Neri: Along restaurant row

An Italian steakhouse is currently the hottest restaurant in town. Il Primo at the ground floor of NUSTAR is making a name for its juicy and tender steaks as well as for its authentic Italian dishes and desserts. Chef Luca Angioletti, who hails from Perugia, Italy, holds court at the open kitchen.A lunch invitation from NUSTAR marketing communications manager Pia V. Seno, and director of sales and marketing Jo Ann Castillo, introduced us to the best sellers of the resto. It was an array of yummies—the delicate and creamy Buratta, the typically Italian Pappardelle, the signature NUSTAR Fettuccine, a delicious Salmon dish, and yes, the tender and juicy Ribeye Steak. There was an excellent selection of cheeses and cold cuts called Il Tagliere which was quite addicting. And the freshly baked bread was irresistible! Of course, we ended the lovely meal with traditional Italian sweets—the melt-in-the-mouth Panna Cotta and the well-loved Tiramisu paired with strong Italian coffee.NUSTAR is poised to become a new foodie destination with specialty restaurants coming up. Eagerly awaited is the opening of Mott 32, a top-rated restaurant in Hong Kong that will have its first branch in our Queen City.***Nonki, one of the popular Japanese restaurants in town opened its 10th branch at the ground floor of J Centre Mall adjacent to the parking area. Proprietress Ligaya “Gingging” Machida invited a small group of friends for a look-see at her new place and then treated them to a sumptuous Japanese dinner.This cozy Nonki branch has private rooms for intimate dinners with family and friends. As in all Nonki restaurants, the place offers authentic Japanese dishes which were meticulously chosen by Gingging’s late husband Akira Machida who established the resto. Their teenage son Junichi is fast learning the intricacies of the business.Among the all-time favorites customers keep going back for are the flavorful ramens (Shoyu, Tonkotsu, Miso); the Maki selection; the crisp Tempura; the firm and freshly cut Sashimi; Sukiyaki, Gyoza… the list goes on.