Chef Umberto Bombana is back! The acclaimed executive chef of The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Hong Kong’s legendary Italian eatery, Toscana, has returned to the limelight with a new heartfelt, personal ristorante 8 ½ Otto e Mezzo BOMBANA in Central’s Landmark Alexandra. The name is a direct reference to Federico Fellini’s 1963 biographical movie classic. Like the film director, Bombana is a maestro of his art. Delighting the gourmet palate with unique culinary creations, Bombana has been hailed “The King of White Truffles”.
A native of Bergamo in Northern Italy, he was trained at Centro di Formazione Alberghiera and apprenticed under the talented Ezio Santin at Antica Osteria del Ponte, now a Michelin starred restaurant outside Milan. His impeccable talent soon took him around the world. In 1983, he joined the famous Rex Il Ristorante in Los Angeles, where he was lauded for his simple yet refined regional cooking. The restaurant, owned by Mauro Vincenti, is a regular venue for post Oscar parties. Adding to his foundation were stints in the kitchen with other top chefs such as Gianfranco Vissani, Michel Rostang and Pinuccio Alia.
His signature talent reached an unprecedented level of prestige when Bombana was awarded Worldwide Ambassador of the White Truffle in 2006 by the Piedmontese regional Enoteca Cavour (Italy).
With the closure of Toscana and The Ritz Carlton Hong Kong in January 2008, chef Bombana took some time to reflect on his culinary vision. In the summer of 2009, he and chef Roland Schuller launched an exceptional new restaurant The Drawing Room with Schuller handling the day to day executive chef duties. In less than a year, it already garnered a Michelin star.
In January 2010, chef Bombana returned with his most distinctive and personal project ever, namely 8 ½ Otto e Mezzo BOMBANA, and promises to his most fanciful masterpiece yet. Like Fellini’s movie, it is destined to be an unforgettable experience for anyone lucky enough to go on the maestro’s artistic journey with him. After only few months, the restaurant has been awarded with two Michelin stars: a huge incentive to keep searching the highest quality. The third star arrived in December 2011, and 8 ½ Otto e Mezzo BOMBANA became the first Italian restaurant outside Italy to deserve this high recognition until today.
Chef Bombana’s culinary empire further extended to China where he opened 8 ½ Otto e Mezzo BOMBANA Shanghai in 2012 and Opera Bombana in Beijing in 2013. His Shanghai shop became one of the most popular new restaurants in the city. By sharing the same vision, Opera Bombana aims to provide the very defined and unique interpretation of great Italian food.