Friday, December 24, 2021

On a Streak

My streak of Italian meals continued with a lovely dinner at Osteria Marzia. I walked by the restaurant, located in a quieter street corner of Wanchai, more than a few times and intrigued by the elegant facade and the streams of customers coming through night and day, but this is only my first time stepping in and tried their food. 

The place and cooking (helmed by Chef Luca Marinelli since its opening a few years back) was said to be inspired by the Italian Southern Coast but the contemporary interior reminded me more of those American-Italian eateries one would find in Manhattan. I particularly loved the wooden window pane and high ceiling with the restaurant located on the ground level of a boutique hotel (that's why the restaurant also serves breakfast in the morning). The menu style was changed recently, now moved to the full pescatarian offering (so no meat) to fit the storyline of Italian coastal cooking. 

And I felt like we must have covered at least half of the dishes listed on their long menu in one evening with a sumptuous dinner served family style. The starter courses were a mix of hot and cold dishes. My favorite was the cuttlefish "fettucine" with the poached cuttlefish sliced thin and cut into stripes and served with bits of toasted pistachio and breadcrumbs, basil-infused olive oil and lemon zest - it did taste like a pasta dish but with a bouncier texture. The Razor Clams were also good, sauteed with the rich salsa verde and topped with crispy bits of lemon breadcrumbs. 

A couple of pasta dishes were then served. The chitarra with lobsters is typical but well-executed, with the noodles slightly thicker than linguine with more of a bite, which took up the flavor of the sauce, made with lobster tomalley and cherry tomatoes. To finish it's the chunks of Boston lobster meat tossed in. 

The main course was another hearty one called "La Zuppa di Pesce", with a selection of market seafood slow simmered in an earthenware pot and served with the stock. As one would imagine, the soup was impeccably flavorful with scores of seafood items (clams, mussels, prawns and so on) threw in.

We finished with four desserts - yes, with only three of us - including the Rum Baba with Limoncello Chantilly Cream which was designed to serve two. I love the rum raisin geleto, freshly churned with the softest texture. With a seafood-centric menu naturally more white wines were poured than red. But my favorite was the sole bottle of red wine served, the one from the volcanic Sicilian region with medium body with a hint of minerality and sweet spices. The Passito, another famous varietal from the island, matched perfectly with the rum baba with the alcohol and sweetness rounded up the classic dessert nicely. 

When? November 22 2021
Where? Osteria Marzia, 41 Fleming Road, Wanchai, Hong Kong
Menu Highlights? La Zuppa di Pesce
2013 Costaripa "Mattia Vezzola" Brut
2019 Cantine Giuseppe Apicella Tramonti Bianco Costa d'Amalfi DOC
2019 Jankara Vermentino di Gallura Superiore DOCG
2019 Marco de Bartoli Grappoli del Grillo Terre Siciliane IGP
2019 Girolamo Russo 'a Rina Etna Rosso DOC
2019 Marco de Bartoli Bukkuram Sole d'Agosto Passito di Pantelleria DOC

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