Given the popularity of Italian food in Hong Kong, it is an easy enough to spot pizzerias and pasta parlours in just about every neighbourhood on the island side. However, it is thanks to two-Michelin-starred Chef Marco Sacco that the 852 is receiving its first taste of high-end Piedmontese cuisine with the opening of Castellana.
Located on 10th floor of the Cubus Building, the restaurant’s understated interiors are adorned in calm and subtle tones of red and gold, with seating arrangement for 50 guests with two private rooms overlooking Lee Gardens, all conjuring up an intimate atmosphere and the romance that is often associated with Italian culture.
Offering three separate tasting menus with four to seven courses, we opted for the serving of four plates, beginning with the Lingotto Di Mergozzo (Smoked Lake Trout) as our starter. The trout proved to be refreshing while the balsamic vinegar that lay dotted atop of the fish added an extra complexity to the dish. Smoked for hours before its serving, the trout is a true treat especially this far east.
Next came the Ravioles della Val Varaita (Val Varaita Ravioles with Piedmont Toma Grana Padano) – definitely not your run-of-the-mill ravioli – this dish stayed with us long after its completion especially thanks to the truffles sprinkled on top, that gave the dish a rich luxurious finish. In fact, Piedmont is said to be the birthplace of the truffle and Castellana promises its diners that each imported truffle is of the finest quality in the world.
Our third serving to arrive was the Lombo di agnello in crosta di funghi ( Panfried lamb loin with mushroom crust and potato mille-feuille) – a near-perfect threesome where the lamb was tender and juicy, while the potato mille-feuille was as soft as butter, melting in our mouths as we savoured each bite.
The final dish to arrive was the beautifully presented Bonet Piemontese (Chocolate and Amaretti Pudding) a slice of rich chocolate containing a soft pudding that led us down a decadent path of sweetness.
Just at two months’ old, there is already nothing novice about Castellana. With its mastery of the cuisine of Piedmont region and its staff’s knowledgeable service, it wouldn’t come as a surprise to us if Castellana becomes the newest ‘It’ place for Italian cuisine for Hongkongers.
Castellana 10/F, Cubus, 1 Hoi Ping Road+852 31885028 www.castellanahongkong.com
Text: Bailey Atkinson