We’ve been wanting to try Giacomo since it first opened at Crowne Plaza Hong Kong Causeway Bay in late August, but it’s been difficult to snag a seat there. It seems that diners have been quickly bowled over by Executive Chef Keith Yam’s refined southern Italian dishes. Side note: the unassuming hotel houses several eateries that we rate, Japanese-French Marble Kappo and Michelin-starred Chinese restaurant Imperial Treasure amongst them.
Chef Yam is well-versed in fine Italian cuisine, rising up the ranks of Michelin-starred Italian restaurants in Hong including Tosca (now Tosca di Angeló) at The Ritz-Carlton and Umberto Bombana’s 8½ Otto e Mezzo Bomba. So, after more than 20 years on the scene, it seems about time that he’s making his own starry moves at Giacomo.
We paid a visit to the elegant eatery (we love the pale grey-blue panelled walls, high-corniced ceiling and classical columns) to try out the chef’s tributes to what he calls “one of the truly great wonders of the world” – the Alba white truffle from Italy. Giacomo’s à-la-carte white truffle dishes will be available until the end of the truffle-hunting season in Piedmont, which usually happens around late December.
Let’s start with the seasonal highlights – the white truffle dishes. Chef Yam presented us with the biggest white truffle we had ever witnessed in the flesh and generously shaved this over the speciality dishes until only a mountain of paper-thin, fragrant truffle was visible.
Here’s the homemade ravioli ($880) with mushroom jus and Alba white truffle. Pasta and white truffle are a perfect culinary pairing, and we licked the bowl clean of the deeply savoury mushroom jus.
Bresse poularde ($980) features this prized, rare French chicken crowned with white truffle. We enjoyed the contrast between the crisp skin and delicate meat, and once again, Chef Yam has a way with sauces.
Additional limited-time white truffle dishes at Giacomo include confit Taiyouran organic egg ($850), warm scampi ($880) and white truffle gelato ($480).
We also tried two signature dishes. The marinated shima-aji ($380) is a delicious cold starter. Also known as striped jack, the thinly sliced shima-aja melts in the mouth, receiving a double punch of flavour from the mound of briny Oscietra caviar and creamy, umami tomato emulsion.
A main course, the langoustine ($550) is a snazzy little number. The firm, sweet shellfish is accented with meaty matsutake mushroom and another stunning emulsion, this one infused with the pure, rich flavour of langoustine.
We finished our meal with a cheese selection ($260; not pictured) that included just about the best Gorgonzola we’ve ever had.
The white truffle dishes at Giacomo are sensational, but we’ll be back whatever the season to try more of Chef Yam’s elevated southern Italian dishes. This sophisticated Italian restaurant is one to watch when Michelin time rolls around. Worth the splurge!
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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