Ever since Aqua moved to a new location in Tsim Sha Tsui (H Zentre), I was curious to know what would happen to the restaurant’s former space over at One Peking. It’s too precious to let go, giving guests the most breathtaking views of Hong Kong Island.
Newly unveiled Italian restaurant and bar Vista under Aqua Restaurant Group has officially taken over the old Aqua space, redefining sky-high dining. Heading the kitchen is Chef Andrea Mura, who brings his Sardinian background to Vista with a menu highlighting Italian dishes with coastal influences as well as comfort-food dishes turned luxe.
Featuring two large levels within one venue, Vista’s bottom floor is for intimate dining, while the top floor (opening soon) will be the place for drinks and after-dinner partying.
Left to right (top): Vista Paloma; Italicus Spritz. Classic negroni at bottom.
Before jumping into the food, the cocktails are worth trying for some creative sunset drinks. In addition to the classic negroni (HK$120), I would recommend the refreshing Italicus Spritz (HK$120), a well-balanced tipple containing Italicus Rosolio di Bergamotto liqueur topped with Prosecco, lime and earthy basil.
Vista Paloma (HK$140) hints at citrusy and fruity flavours. It’s a riff on a margarita made with Don Julio white tequila and pink grapefruit soda, with a touch of both green chilli and chocolate on the nose.
The starter of tartare di Fassona Piedmontese (HK$210) was prepared right in front of us. The ingredients mixed in include French mustard and apple cider vinegar, both giving a tart zing. The accompanying savoury crackers tasting of chicken bouillon go well with the beef, but their shape makes it difficult to scoop up the tartare.
The mini pulled pork BBQ sandwiches (HK$175 for 3) are scrumptious. Succulent pulled pork that’s been slow-cooked for 48 hours is stuffed into soft, bite-sized buns before being drizzled with a sweet balsamic glaze.
I would skip the Sicilian red prawn carpaccio (HK$295). We found the flavour too strong (and a bit too fishy). The Bronte pistachio bits give a lovely crunch to the dish, with a luxurious touch of pressed caviar shaved on top.
Vista’s pastas dishes are perfect as either a hearty main course for one or for sharing amongst two diners. The saffron risotto (HK$230) is notable, despite being a little too al dente for my taste. This beautifully creamy, bright yellow-hued risotto is topped with crumbled Italian sausage.
The lobster and lime linguine (HK$340) held its structure but was overcooked. The pasta is coated with a fresh grape tomato sauce, which is more on the acidic end of the spectrum but still delicious. A small piece of lobster sits atop the linguine; it would be difficult to share this dish between two people owing to the size of the shellfish and the fact that much of the flesh was stuck to the shell.
If you’re dining with a group, the simple grilled seafood platter (HK$990) complete with lobster, prawn, octopus, scallop and deep-fried calamari and veal Milanese with black truffle (HK$595) are wise options.
In the veal Milanese, thinly pounded veal cutlet is a fried to a perfect golden brown. Tender and succulent, it’s topped with freshly shaved winter black truffle and dots of truffle mayo.
Tiramisu al tavolo (HK$148) is pure entertainment, with the dessert made right before diners’ eyes. Ladyfingers are quickly drenched in strong espresso, then topped with lightly whipped marscapone cream before being dusted with cocoa powder. Unfortunately, the ladyfingers were a bit too hard to bite in some spots since the espresso didn’t hit every nook and cranny, however, we liked that this tiramisu version is not overly sweet.
Dining with stunning views of the HK Island skyline, Vista offers a very romantic ambience, with noteworthy Italian cuisine to match. Not only is the restaurant an ideal date-night spot, but it’s also excellent for groups, where they can pop open a few bottles of wine and share a multitude of menu items. Some of the dishes can use a tweak here and there, but we applaud Chef Mura’s use of fresh, seasonal Italian ingredients and the dramatic tableside preparation. Still to be launched, I expect Vista’s brunch to be howling!
Where: 29/F & 30/F, One Peking, 1 Peking Road, TST
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.