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Here’s the low-down on the latest action-
The Beef: Owned by the Popolo group, Gemma maintains the same standards held to the group. Italian staples and standard fare such as cold cuts, pizzas, pastas, mains – and let's not forget the gelato are all featured on the menu. Can’t complain about the food, although the price point is slightly higher than some of its sister restaurants (Bar Centrale, Alimentari). Pizza is a standout, with a thin and chewy yet still crispy crust. The other staples are solid but did not feel particularly unique or inspired. Perhaps in line with the group philosophy of just doing simple things decently well, which seems to be a concept that works.
The restaurant itself is more grown-up than its other sibling restaurants, with darker wood and a dimmer setting, giving it more of an intimate feel. There is also semi-outdoor seating where you can get the best of both worlds – covered roof but still open air – while sipping on an ice cold Spritz. There is also a bar upstairs, which will open shop if there is a bigger party upstairs.
The best part of this whole set-up however, is Buco – the resident gelato store, which feels like artisanal gelato made with down-to-earth natural ingredients. They do also takeaway by the pint if you just want to pick one up to go.
The Gang: More geared towards laowai, suitable for both smaller groups (1st floor) and larger parties (2nd floor).
The Damage: Dinner for 2 @ 600rmb, including drinks.
The Down n’ Dirty: On the 2nd floor, pretty immaculate.
I came to Gemma on a Monday night with my colleague. We started with the happy hour glass of wine until 8 PM (Yes, we were pretty stress out). For appetizer, we got a fish tartare (RMB 120), and except it looked very pretty and well decorated, it didn’t really make an impression regarding of the taste.
As for the main course, the pizza (RMB 110-120) were just simply delicious! It was full of cheese and flavorful with just enough of burned. The Italian thin crust was crunchy yet chewy, and very well-cooked. Plus the service is great, and the staffs are always attentive and friendly. Water on the table was always topped up.
I love it so much and went back later on to try more of their pizzas, and Gemma probably serves my favorite pizzas in town now! The prize isn’t that cheap but they do have daily discounts on certain food, as well as lunch set (RMB 108) I believe. The atmosphere is also worth mentioning. It’s pretty romantic with well interior design, yet casual with the open space and chilling music playing, which is perfect for a date like this!
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