Weekends are meant for recharging, and we recently relaxed after a busy week with a sumptuous brunch packed full of Italian classics at Lucciola, a restaurant and bar located within The Hari Hong Kong in bustling Wanchai. Available on Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays, the brunch game is strong at Lucciola, featuring a semi-buffet concept complete with gin trolley.
Veneered in luminous jewelled green and amber tones with a splash of brushed brass, the well-appointed interior of Lucciola showcases a long bar and intimate seating. The menu is the brainchild of Piedmont-born chef Francesco Gava and presents a variety of premium cured meats and cheeses alongside classic Italian dishes the likes of salt-baked sea bream and breaded veal cutlet.
Our Saturday brunch began with the antipasti buffet, where we filled our plates with cured meats, creamy burrata, marinated artichokes, olives and piping-hot golden globes of salted cod. There are also three barrels of aged negronis at the bar, created by the restaurant’s manager, Sabrina Cantini Budden, to complement the antipasti spread. We felt the antipasti buffet was decadent enough to already satiate our appetites.
A selection of freshly shucked Fine de Claire oysters, sweet, succulent Alaskan king crab legs, langoustines and briny Ossetra caviar followed, made perfect with a generous squeeze of Amalfi lemon.
Just in case we hadn’t already stuffed ourselves silly, we were also served a selection of creamy Apulian burrata with sun-ripened tomatoes, marinated eggplant dolloped with fresh ricotta, sun-dried tomatoes and pine nuts, spinach salad with roasted walnut, Pecorino Romano and quail egg and veal tenderloin topped with tuna sauce and aged balsamic (otherwise known as vitello tonnato).
The hot starter of Italian black mussels simmered in parsley and garlic is accompanied by homemade rosemary focaccia topped with rich Tomino cheese and sweet, caramelised onion. The focaccia is thin and crunchy, unlike the usual fluffy and rather oily affairs we are accustomed to, offering a relatively guilt-free reprieve for dunking into the aromatic mussels sauce.
Everything is always a shade rosier from behind the gin trolley, and we set our worries aside as we indulged in the hand-stirred concoctions made with the restaurant’s own brand of sustainable Widges gin; the gin is decanted in reusable bottles in order to reduce waste. It goes particularly well with a splash of Royal Botanic herb-infused tonic and a fragrant sprig of rosemary.
Voila – celebration in a glass!
A selection of main courses is also on offer, ranging from roasted baby goat in white wine sauce, to hanger steak, to vegetarian risotto with saffron and asparagus, just to name a few. We went with the homemade braised beef cheek ravioli topped with roasted wild mushrooms and a rich gravy scented with tarragon. The filling is creamy and flavourful, while the fresh ravioli skin has just the right amount of bite. The wild mushrooms are intensely aromatic, and their spongy texture really soaks up the intense gravy.
On the slightly lighter side, the Chilean sea bass fillet in a umami-rich clam broth bejewelled with tomato and potato was perfectly seared, showcasing buttery flakes.
Dessert didn’t just arrive – it rolled in on a trolley, making us feel like kids in a candy shop. We couldn’t resist and opted to sample all three sweets on offer: classic tiramisu, flourless caprese cake and fior di latte gelato topped with chocolate liquor.
What an indulgent way to ring in the weekend! Lucciola’s brunch menu is well curated using premium Italian ingredients. We very much enjoyed the various bespoke, personalised details such as the gin trolley and customised cocktails. Priced at $888 per adult and $458 per child aged 5–11 years old for the non-alcoholic brunch or $1,188–1,388 to include the various free-flow packages, this is a decadent, delicious way to relax and rewind come the weekend.
1/F, The Hari Hong Kong, 330 Lockhart Road, Wanchai, 2129 0333
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.