Saturday, September 10, 2011

one night, 3 restaurants, 8 food fanatics

one night, 3 restaurants, 8 food fanatics. you know that means it's going to be a blast. the beautiful friends at i love hk were kind enough to invite us to a special sneak preview of the Festival of Wine event that is to be held later this month. Hopping around in the style of txikiteo - a Basque tradition of bar crawl which involves plenty of drinks and food - we had the chance to sample dishes and wines from three participating restaurants while seeing new and familiar faces and enjoying the company of some really interesting people in the social media scene.

we started our journey at goccia, a cozy italian restaurant on top of wyndham over a glass of prosecco and the appetizer of smoked swordfish roll. chef fabrizio at goccia is well-trained in southern italian cuisine with focus on seafood, and it certainly showed. our spaghetti with spicy tomato sauce and sicilian red prawns was nicely done, and the baked red gurnard fillet in fish soup reduction with a quenelle of florentine panzanella is refreshing and well-balanced. The dishes also went well with the umbrian chardonnay and montepulciano di abruzzo.

Just when we were about to leave for our next hop, Chef Fabrizio brought out 2 gigantic dessert platters to us to share - as a surprise - and he certainly saved his best to the last. I particular love the dark chocolate and white chocolate "cigars" - one wrapped in mint ("after eight" style) and the other in hazelnut gelato. Oh god i am such an icecream junkie.

feeling half full already from a 4 mini-course dinner at Goccia, we made our second pit stop at la perouse in the building next door. It's a quiet restaurant with a large terrace with an unobstructed view of the mid-levels - a rarity in the area and perfect for outdoor parties. well, this time we were seated inside, and were served a grilled baby rack of lamb served with pan-fried potatoes and mixed veggies as sides, and paired with a young medoc red. of course, sometimes safe choice doesn't hurt though i was expecting something more "out of the box". It's nonetheless decent - put it this way, i don't usually eat lamb but I had a taste of it then finished the dish.

It's already 10:30pm by the time we walked down along wyndham after la perouse, but we were not ready to call it a night quite yet - so we finished off at robata zawazawa with our dessert and cocktails. At a quiet corner down the stairs on wyndham and in the proximity above LKF, on the outset Zawazawa looks to be the kind of place perfect for a last-stop drink after a long night out. As we walked in and up the stairs, we were immediately attracted by the retro decor with hanging red lanterns from the high ceiling - reminded me of Gonpachi at Roppongi except in a much smaller scale, and rightly so since they are both by the same designer!

Our dessert of the night is houji-cha panna cotta with kuromitsu syrup and rice pops. the smoothness of the Japanese tea-infused panna cotta combined with the super-sweet kuromitsu (a dark sugar cane syrup) and crispy rice pops formed such a sublime flavor and texture not like something i would have expected from a robata place. Wow! And I must say the cocktails store owner Kenji-san prepared for us were equally stunning.

bummer i forgot to bring my regular camera so picture quality wasn't that good, but my fellow bloggers AM and PPS did a much better job to capture our moments with their pictures and words.

one night, 3 restaurants, all wonderful food and drinks. you can't ask for a tuesday night better than this.

when? September 6 2011
where? Goccia + La Perouse + Robata Zawazawa, Wydham Street, Central
menu highlights?
From Goccia: Spaghetti with Sicilian Red Prawns and Spicy Tomato Sauce
From La Perouse: Grilled Baby Lamb Chops with pan-fried tomatoes and baby carrots
From Robata Zawazawa: Houji-cha Pudding with kuro mitsu honey and pon rice pop