Saturday, May 13, 2017

Cucina (Hong Kong, CHINA) ★★★★☆

I had a late start deciding where to go for Mother's Day dinner this year and turned out, all of my go-to places were already fully booked. If there's a time to dig out something from the past, I guess this is it!

Less than a decade ago, Cucina used to be fairly high on my list of favorite Italian restaurants in town but things were going downhill after its second and third year. In recent years, they made some changes to the concept by ditching their dual kitchen (Italian and Chinese) and focused solely on being an authentic Italian restaurant. That has worked out beautifully so far.

Apart from an impressive food menu put together by chef de Cuisine, Andrea Oreste Delzanno who joined Cucina in 2015, there's the jaw-dropping harbour view.

Grilled Sicilian octopus and seared Hokkaido scallops on lemon scented potatoes, black olives, pesto and tomatoes ($288) - I was going to get us some in-season white asparagus to start the meal but since none of the moms was fan of asparagus, I ended up ordering some seafood instead. This was a pretty good medley of fresh seafood, highlighted by the grilled octopus from Sicily and scallops from Hokkaido. I thought the sweetness of the octopus and scallops really stood out thanks to the black olives, pesto and tomatoes. Pretty nice stuff but that was just the beginning.

Risotto with white asparagus, crab meat, mascarpone cheese and prosecco ($428) - No way am I leaving this place without some white asparagus. The risotto was very very delicious. It was extremely creamy with lumps of fresh crab meat and small chunks of white asparagus in there. I hate risotto which is super cheesy but this was spot on with the perfect portion of mascarpone and prosecco each providing something different to the equation. That's just an amazing risotto with some of the freshest ingredients from the market.

Linguine with Sicilian red prawns, on its own sauce reduced and fresh cherry tomatoes ($368) - I took a little too much time taking photos (as always) and by the time I was done, the linguine had already absorbed most of the red prawn jus. So this one was on me.

Still I thought we have a pretty nice pasta dish which was a little short on sauce. The linguine was wonderfully al dente and the red prawns fresh and sweet. I can definitely see why it's been picked as one of the restaurant's signature dish.

Honey glazed Iberico pork pluma with green apple purée and roasted bell peppers ($428) - We all wanted some meat to wrap up this meal and had a tough decision to make between the beef cheek (another house specialty here) and Iberico pork pluma. As the one calling the shots here, I went with the Iberico pork pluma which proved to be another winner. It was tender, juicy and the texture which was sweet and a little sticky reminded me a little of our tasty char siu (Chinese barbecued pork). The green apple purée and roasted bell peppers also did their part to offset the richness of the pork. Very nice.

A nice dessert would have put an exclamation on this fabulous Mother's day dinner but no one could come up with anything we liked so at the end, we opted for the bill instead.

It's still a little early to bring Cucina back to my list of favorite Italian restaurants but tonight was a solid start.

Note: Get your 20% discount by making your booking at‎.

Food Rating: 7/10
Price: $$$$
Address: Level 6, Marco Polo Hongkong Hotel, Harbour City, 3 Canton Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong
Closest Metro Station: Tsim Sha Tsui / Austin
Tel: +852 2113-0808

Post a Comment

Please tell us what you think