This Italian restaurant is located in Central Lan Kwai Fong, on the 24/F of California Tower. Originally booked for dinner, we had to change to lunch now because of government restriction. I was deeply thankful for the restaurant which had made special arrangement to still offer the tasting menu for us on the day.
We were lucky to be seated at the best table, overlooking the nice panoramic view of the Hong Kong skyline, all the way to the Stonecutters Bridge. The restaurant had a nice and relaxing ambience, with good music, chic design and comfortable seating. There was a balcony and in good weather the place would be a perfect spot for enjoying some good wines and food.
We had the 7-course Carte Bianca Tasting Menu ($1,188 each). After serving a nice sourdough together with olive oil and balsamic vinegar, the first course was Apulian Red Prawns, Burrata & Oscietra Caviar. The red prawn was served raw, seasoned with just a bit of lemon zest and shallot, highlighting its sweet taste and bouncy texture. The sauce was made from pear and apple, giving a bit of the citrus acidity to freshen up the palate together with some langoustine oil, which intensified the flavours tremendously. On the side was the soft burrata cheese with a bit of caviar to give a hint of savoury note to the delicate cheese. A wonderful starter.
The second course was Chestnut Velloute, Morels & Truffle. The soup was served in the right temperature, with the rich and creamy chestnut flavours permeating. There were plenty of shaved black truffle on top to add its nice aromas to the soup, with also some morels to give good bite. Warming to the stomach and fulfilling.
The third course was Homemade Tagliatelle, Blue Lobster & Bagna Cauda, and in fact was ‘hidden’ on the menu. Signature of the chef, the tagliatelle was really great in texture, with the perfect bounce and bite. The lobster was nicely poached to give a great sweet taste. There were two types of sauce in the pasta, including the tomato with lobster jus, and Bagna Cauda, made from anchovies, butter and garlic. Together with the pasta it was sublime. My favourite dish of the meal.
The fourth course was Homemade Pappardelle, White Ossobuco Ragout. The pasta was flat and looked a bit like wide fettuccine. The stewed veal was braised in white wine, and together with the pappardelle was amazing in taste. It was equally delicious with the previous pasta, but richer in flavours. Because of these two dishes I would like coming back again to try some of their other pastas.
The fifth course was Citrus Poached John Dory, Samphire, Seaweed & Classic Oscietra. The fish fillet was seasoned well, then poached with lemon juice to impact with a refreshing palate, with a generous amount of caviar on top. The sauce was prepared from fish stock, lemon juice and butter. The samphire and seaweed on the side was quite interesting, as the ingredients were more commonly found in Japanese restaurant.
The sixth course was Australian Striploin, Burned & Pickled Eggplant. The beef was beautifully seared, cooked medium rare. Juicy and tender, I liked the cut as it was not fatty. The eggplant was served two-ways, including puree and pickled. Compared between the two main courses, I would prefer this one more.
Originally the dessert was Cannoli, but the staff told us that they had an issue on the sourcing and could not offer that. Instead, we were served Amadei 70% Chuao Chocolate Fondant served with Gelato alla Super Vanglia. The chocolate fondant was oozing with rich chocolate upon cutting, sweet and rich. To balance there were some berries on the side, with the vanilla gelato soft and complementary in flavours. A good completion to the meal.
The service was good, with the staff friendly and explaining each dish to us. The bill was $2,688 which was reasonable considering the overall experience. On the day the restaurant was very quiet, and it was sad to see how the coronavirus continued to affect the industry and everyone. I hope things would turn better soon and everyone could come out to enjoy nice food again.