Luxury at a very reasonable price: We recently discovered a little gem of a concept with the new aperitivo menu at acclaimed Italian fine dining restaurant Grissini at the Grand Hyatt. The idea of aperitivo is nothing new for Italians, who have luxuriated in this easy-going culinary tradition for generations. A simple yet deliciously bountiful spread of cold cuts, cheeses and snacks are laid out
to accompany wine during the early evenings, allowing friends to get together, chat and unwind. Grissini’s young, innovative chef Alessandro Cozzolino aims to bring this beloved tradition to Hong Kong with his new aperitivo menu.

A selection of cocktails, prepared tableside, welcome guests. During our tasting, we couldn’t resist the artisanal Mancino Vermouth, poured over a perfectly honed square of ice and topped with whipped egg white infused with lemon juice and sugar. True to its name, the crispy-on-the-outside, tender-on-the-inside grissini (breadsticks) arrived piping hot from the oven and were so addictive that we polished off almost the entire bunch before the arrival of the antipasti. The classic Italian table is always groaning with a sumptuous spread of food, and the antipasti on the new aperitivo menu stayed true to form. We munched our way through crispy arancini balls bursting with an umami seafood flavour, seasonal salads, rich, velvety Italian cold cuts, tomato bruschetta and thick slices of frittata topped with juicy prawns. One of our favourites was the creamy buffalo mozzarella, accented with ripe tomatoes, basil and a refreshing tomato granita.

We pride ourselves on our insatiable appetites, but the antipasti were more than enough to appease our greediness. However, we couldn’t pass up the chef’s handmade pastas and chose the Mediterranean seafood spaghetti and tagliatelle with mushrooms and pork sausage to further our gluttonous feast. Both pastas popped with flavour, but our favourite was the seafood spaghetti with its succulent, fresh seafood in a light tomato sauce accented with just a hint of garlic. Each strand was cooked to a perfect al dente.

A classic Italian duo of tiramisu and lemon dome cake finished off our very enjoyable meal.

At $380 per person, this may just be the best fine dining deal in town. Arrive anytime between 6–7pm from Monday to Saturday and stay as long as you like. This would be the perfect menu for a date night, allowing time afterwards to watch a film or show. And we did precisely this after waddling our way out to catch a movie at Pacific Place.

2/F, Grand Hyatt Hong Kong, 1 Harbour Road, Wanchai, 2584 7722

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Editor-at-Large, Jetsetter Food Nomad

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