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After months of cooking at home, we finally stepped out in style for our first dinner outing following the relaxation of social-distancing rules in Hong Kong. Our restaurant of choice was Castellana, Foodie Forks 2020 Editors’ Choice Best New Restaurant.

Centred around the distinct flavours of the Piedmont region, the ever-evolving menu is created in collaboration with two-Michelin-starred chef Marco Sacco of Piccolo Lago in Italy. There are à-la-carte options available, although most diners choose to indulge in a tasting menu in order to experience a diverse range of seasonal dishes showcased by the chef.

The first plate we dipped into was a richly aromatic, sinfully creamy dish of melted cow’s milk cheese reminiscent of a mild Camembert, topped with a thin, blini-like disc crowned with beluga caviar. The richness of the oozy cheese was heart-stoppingly indulgent, so we suggest sharing this dish with a friend… or three.

Is this a marshmallow? The whimsical mountain egg and Périgord black truffle comes with an adorable backstory. This dish was created by the chef to entice his son, who vehemently detests the ingredient, into eating eggs. But when served as a meringue-like, fluffy cloud, his son happily gobbles up eggs every time. Mixed with the silky egg yolk and creamy cheese sauce and perfumed with black truffle, it’s difficult to see anyone turning down this elevated egg dish.

A new dish that could potentially steal the limelight from the ever-popular carbonara and sea urchin pastas that have become the hallmarks of Castellana, the homemade egg tagliolini with caviar and champagne foam offers indulgence, but it’s on the lighter side owing to the effervescent foam. The briny caviar also adds contrast, cutting through the richness of the cheese sauce.

Have you ever wondered what vanilla would taste like with fish? Well, we now know that, when done well, this surprising odd-couple combination can make for a unforgettably delicious dish. The cube of tender Arctic black cod bathed in vanilla buttermilk and topped with Huso duricus (kaluga) caviar is pure perfection. The sweetness of the vanilla accentuates the buttery white fish, and the salty earthiness of the caviar provides balance.

Another heavy hitter that complemented the wine we brought along for dinner from Marlborough Sounds in New Zealand (from a trip we made in the time of airplane travel) was the wild New Zealand venison saddle paired with red cherries, foie gras and frangipane. Not huge fans of venison, we were pleasantly surprised by the tenderness and clean flavour of the meat, completely devoid of any gaminess. Our venison saddle was extremely lean yet exceedingly juicy and tender thanks to hours of low-temperature cooking. Tart cherry adds acidity and accentuates the robust red meat, as does the sweet frangipane.

A simple yet delicious crème brûlée, brimming with eggy creaminess, gave our Italian feast a sweet ending.


A restaurant can have that “wow factor” that gets guests talking, but the true mark of a superb restaurant is its ability to capture the consistency that keeps diners coming back for more. In our view, Castellana has dazzled time and time again, and we’re always intrigued about what the next menu evolution will have to offer. Dinner tasting menus start from $1,380 for four courses, upwards to $1,980 for seven courses. There’s also an à-la-carte menu as well as a tidy lunch menu hovering below $300 a head. A new Saturday lunch menu ranging from $380–580 for 3–5 courses is on offer in case you can’t make it out for dinner.

10/F, CUBUS, 1 Hoi Ping Road, Causeway Bay, 3188 5028, 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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Editor-at-Large, Jetsetter Food Nomad

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