Thursday, September 1, 2022

Italian Food Hall

The new BluHouse was like one of those fancy food halls we came across whilst in Milan - the likes of Peck or Princi or Eataly Smeraldo were the one came to mind, featuring serious cooking, high-quality ingredients in a casual, laid-back setting.

The restaurant was exactly that, being part of Rosewood Hong Kong and taking up the space by the harborside promenade inside a spacious dining hall with plenty of sun light beaming from outside during the day. A single menu was offered day and night with all dishes listed, but the better idea was to check out the food displayed in the vitrines at the open kitchen stations scattered around the dining area, modeled like a fine deli shop with counters like those for charcuterie and cheese, pizza, baked and roasted items and of course, sweet pastries. On the side there's a separate dining area which offers a more formal setting with a different menu. 

My first visit came as a tasting session over lunch a couple of months ago just when it first opened with a good variety of dishes were brought to our table. Not surprised the classic Burrata was delicious, with the creamy blob of cheese served with cherry tomatoes, pesto sauce and greens, plated like the Italian national flag. I also enjoyed the Insalata di Polpo, with the chunks of tender octopus served with green olives - I could really taste the hint of sea water flavor from the octopus. 

The wide and thick rigatoni was used for the carbonara dish with the hollow shaped pasta well coated with egg yolk and pecorino cheese sauce and served with bits of guanciale, giving it a nice rustic flavor. Lasagna is what it is, with the meaty Bolognese sauce sandwiched in between housemade pasta sheet, but I particularly liked the good acidity balance of the tomato-based sauce. 

I would be happy with just the pizza alone for a simple lunch. They were served by the slices with a good variety of choices. Margherita was of course the most classic, and I also liked the Guanciale done white pizza style without the tomato sauce, with cured pork jowl (guanciale), mushrooms and onions. 

Porchetta was what caught my eye when I saw the whole slab of it lying under the heat lamp at the kitchen counter, with the perfectly crispy skin rolled around the piece of fatty pork. The Trippa dish was another one I like, done in traditional Roman style stewed in a tomato-based sauce until the beef tripes were soft and taken in all the flavor. Completing the line-up for mains were the Ossobuco and Cod Fish served with tomatoes, olives and onions - both of which delightful and well-cooked. 

They did a fine selection of desserts - all of which displayed in the pastry counter right by the window, and some available in mini portions for those who wanted more variety. The lemon tartlet and pistachio puff got my nod this time, and I got my gelato craving well satisfied with the selection from Venchi, served with the Nocciola topping sauce made from hazelnut, olive oil and cocoa.

Thought this is a perfect place to chill in the afternoon on this side of harbor, with Aperol Spritz in hand and casual dishes on the table. That's my definition of a good summer afternoon. 

When? June 16 2022
Where? BluHouse, Rosewood Hong Kong, Victoria Dockside, 18 Salisbury Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon, Hong Kong
Menu Highlights? Rigatoni alla Carbonara

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