Friday, December 17, 2021

Dolce Vita

I have been on a roll as far as having Italian food is concerned in this one week in November. After lunch at Estro on a Saturday afternoon then Sabatini on Monday evening, a few days later I was eating at Grissini of Grand Hyatt. I haven’t been back for a while and seems like they have gone through some minor renovation since then, and also a change at the helm with Chef Marcello Scognamiglio’s recent departure. 

But what’s not changed was the laid-back ambiance, and the menu drawing inspirations and classical cooking from around various Italian regions. That and their namesake grissini breadsticks, served while we were studying their menu. 

Their set lunch menu always represented excellent value, and one could choose from 2 or 3 courses with many choices and it’s reasonably priced, and that’s how we started with a few additional dishes to share. We started with a couple antipasti dishes. Yellowtail Carpaccio was one of the restaurant’s signature, with the crudo of yellowtail in thick slices, slightly cured and served with artichokes, sea asparagus and plenty of the aromatic olive oil on top. I love the fatty flavor. 

Vitello Tonnato done in traditional Piedmontese style is always my favorite, with slices of tender veal served chilled with a creamy sauce flavored with tuna. The l’uovo in camicia was the richest of the three appetizer dishes, served in a bowl with the soft-boiled egg mixed with potato espuma and melted Scamorza cheese with green kale and bread crumbs on top as garnishes. I figured that’s the most comfortable bite comes cooler winter months. 

For pasta, we went for the bowl of Scialatielli tossed with zucchini, basil and provolone cheese. At its onset it looked like the pasta dish was not laden with sauces but it sure tasted rich and complex with such simple combination of fresh ingredients. I couldn’t help but felt a sense of déjà vu when the main course of Baccala al Limone arrived. I had a similar dish a few weeks ago prepared by Chef Marcello and I enjoyed it so much that I tried to replicate the sauce in one of the dishes I prepared at home earlier. And it’s good for an encore this time, with pieces of codfish fillet, silky and slow-braised and served with an emulsified sauce prepared with fish broth and oil, and on top was more ingredients such as clams, mussels and capers. And to cap this off was the generous sprinkle of lemon zest giving the dish amazing aroma.

For dessert, Tiramisu was a given since that’s one of their most popular desserts, and this time I also tried their Brioche, served with the lovely sabayon infused with Moscato d’Asti on the side. I did prefer my desserts (especially an Italian one) sweeter but the brioche was perfectly made and served warm.  

What can I say? Life’s been treating me well lately and how appropriate there’s a perfect Italian phrase to describe this. 

(Meal was by Invitation)

When? November 12 2021
Where? Grissini, 2nd Floor, Grand Hyatt Hong Kong, 1 Harbour Road, Wan Chai
Menu Highlights? Baccala al Limone
Drinks? Il Mosnel Franciacorta Brut Rose NV

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