Thursday, November 9, 2023

Visitor from Saigon

The constant stream of incoming guest chef continued throughout the summer with Chef Matteo Fontana from Da Vittorio Saigon being one of them, doing a 2-day event at Testina with Chef Marco Xodo in August. And I was invited to check out the menu on their first day of service. 

The amuse bouche of "pomodorino" was cute, with mashed roasted eggplant presented like a cherry tomato with "soil" mixed with pine nuts to add to the texture and a touch of acidity. The two chilled seafood antipasto courses were presented in an unusual manner too - first the thick slices of amberjack were done carpaccio style with slices of peach and cucumber, shiso leaves, dollop of creamy burrata and drizzled with basil oil. I like the combination of creamy texture and sweet flavor. 

In the next course, tuna was cut into thin threads and served raw as "spaghetti" with the bed of the rich Bagna Cauda sauce and pistachio crumble with the nice contrasting flavor. That's one of the signature dish at Da Vittorio that Chef Matteo brought over to introduce to its Hong Kong audience this time. 

The "Egg a la Egg" was another Da Vittorio's signature, with soft-boiled egg, salmon roes, potato espuma topped with caviar. It's elegantly presented in a stemmed glass and with gorgeous layers of different flavors, even a hint of apple. Then there's the proper pasta course by Chef Marco presented in the usual Testina rustic style with the brothy homemade cavatelli and mixed seafood ragu. Lovely homestyle flavor. 

Then there were two main courses. Toothfish fillet was done sous vide with a thin layer of mozzarella "foil" and dried tomato powder on top, and underneath, caper puree, yellow tomato puree and basil oil. The wagyu striploin was also slow braised and served with the rich veal tongue ragu. The straight forward panna cotta with peach was refreshing and full of summer flavor, but I love the second dessert more, with the crispy mini cannoli piped with the aromatic hazelnut Chantilly prepared in front of us. 

When? August 22 2023
Where? Testina, 3/F, 8 Lyndhurst Terrace, Central, Hong Kong
Menu Highlights? Da Vittorio's Signature Egg a la Egg, Oscietra Caviar

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