New on the block: Bonacasa Houjie

A new addition to Houjie’s Italian restaurant community has arrived in the form of Bonacasa. In my opinion, if you are going to compete in such a competitive industry, you need to offer something at least slightly out of the norm and Bonacasa initially achieves this aesthetically with its main feature—an enticing “gazebo” style outdoor eating area. Following that, the main interior connotes inviting and cozy, offering red brickwork lit by stylish chrome studio lighting. Looking around, I realized how interactive the restaurant was as I spotted the chef out of the kitchen, greeting diners and asking them for feedback on the food.

Upon taking a seat in the gazebo, fresh focaccia accompanied by parsley and tomato dipping condiments was served as I perused their vast pizza selection, with ambient sounds of Sinatra crooning in the background. Perhaps a little too spoilt for choice, my colleague and I opted for the gorgonzola pizza topped with Parma ham, lasagna, board of cold cuts and spinach salad. Each dish came within five minutes of each other, so we weren’t left waiting too long.

The salad was heavily doused in balsamic vinegar, but pleasant enough and was sufficient in size. A new addition to Bonacasa’s menu is their Greek salad, just like the traditional style with feta and olives. The pizza arrived and to my delight it was delicious, with a rustic base and garnished with a decent amount of Parma ham. The ham was a little salty for my taste, however still enjoyable. Tasting the lasagna, it was quite heavy on the tomato flavor which personally I prefer. This was the best dish of the day in my opinion. Interestingly, the restaurant specializes in seafood, so if you’re a big fan of seafood perhaps you should pop here for a fishy dish matched with a chilled glass of white wine.

Rounded off with a traditional Tiramisu that was light and fluffy, overall, I rather enjoyed the meal. Prepare to write off around 500 RMB for two people including a few drinks. I would definitely recommend this place, whether for a romantic meal for two, dinner between a group of friends, or going solo for a coffee.

Address: Shop BJ008, 1st floor, Zhong Xin Square, Kang Le Bei Rd, Shan Mei Society, Houjie