Grissini, one of the city’s most famed Italian restaurants, reopened recently following a lengthy renovation. The newly refurbished venue boasts the same panoramic views of Victoria Harbour, but it now also encompasses a bar and an interactive window where guests can get a behind-the-scenes peek into the kitchen.
At the helm of the new Grissini is Chef Marcello Scognamiglio, who was most recently Chef de Cuisine at the Mandarin Oriental in Bangkok. The young chef brings his own unique take on Italian cuisine, full of accents from his roots in Naples.
Despite the makeover, the restaurant’s namesake – grissini breadsticks – remain the opening act to any meal here. The crisp exterior and warm, chewy centre make these breadsticks dangerously addictive, especially when accompanied by aromatic olive oil and balsamic vinegar. We washed down the bread with refreshing glasses of Bellini ($110).
The slow-cooked veal loin ($230), shaved wafer thin, is woven between dollops of tuna sauce and a good cracking of black pepper. A very rich dish, it is perfect for sharing.
The bonito tartare ($230) is a rather summery dish of tuna tartare topped with sheep’s ricotta cheese, chervil and fig.
Egg and cheese make good bedfellows, and the l’uovo in camicia, or poached egg ($180/$430 with white truffle), proved to be a winner. The richness of the dish was balanced by the bed of wilted spinach. The mountain of white truffle on top definitely added to the appeal.
The classic negroni ($110) is given a lighter twist with the addition of sparkling wine.
The ravioli caprese ($175 for starter/$245 for main) was our favourite starter. It was simple yet effortlessly delicious. Each chewy little ravioli is filled with caciotta cheese and is then steamed instead of boiled.
One of the chef’s signature dishes, the bottarga spaghettini ($220 for starter/$280 for main) arrived in a shower of pungent, umami-laced roe and was comfort on a plate.
The braised beef cheek ($330) had the kind of addictive, gooey stickiness that can only be achieved with hours of patient stewing.
The steamed sea bass ($390) with zucchini flowers, Amalfi lemon and potato purée was our favourite of the mains. The delicate flesh was perfectly cooked and seasoned subtly with lemon.
Served from a large bowl, each portion of tiramisu ($140) was heavenly creamy.
A refreshing new beginning for one of the oldest Italian restaurants in town. We like the new pared-down, casual menu at Grissini, which is how we prefer to enjoy Italian food. The service was, as usual for the five-star hotel, impeccable.
2/F, Grand Hyatt Hong Kong, 1 Harbour Road, Wanchai, 2584 7722, book online
This write-up is based on a complimentary media tasting provided in exchange for an honest review and no monetary compensation. The opinions expressed here represent the author’s.
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