The interior of Giando immediately indicates you’re dining somewhere special. The tables are dressed in white linen with beautiful glassware. Marble and oak fittings inject an elegant and contemporary Mediterranean style, yet there is still a warm and comfortable feeling throughout. A large vase of lush greenery is on display near the entrance and fills the restaurant with a fresh green aroma.
The restaurant is currently celebrating the Hong Kong arrival – 15 years ago – of its executive chef and owner, Gianni Caprioli, with a special six-course anniversary menu ($898/person), extremely good value for such stunning Italian cuisine. The menu is available until the end of 2019.
Chef Caprioli is as passionate about his ingredients as he is his cooking, sourcing the finest produce from all over Italy. He comes from a family of farmers, so he has great respect for his producers and the land on which things are grown and reared. This shines through in the dishes served; all the fish used is sustainable and seasonal, while the wines are all sourced from small boutique wineries.
You are welcomed to Giando in true Italian style and whisked off to your table where you’re offered a selection of delicious Italian breads. Chef Caprioli took us through the menu and explained a little about where he found inspiration for certain dishes, which was really interesting, I could have listened to him talk about food for hours – his passion is contagious.
Chef Gianni Caprioli
We began our lunch with a plate of beautiful red pepper and aubergine caponata with burrata cream and poached prawns (see header image – it’s so pretty!). This was smooth, creamy and heavenly. Burrata is a fairly new product in Hong Kong as up until recently it was difficult to import.
Next was the seared scallop with pork cheek, corn purée, clams and black truffle. The scallop was perfectly cooked, and the corn purée beautifully complemented both the salty pork and delicate scallop meat.
Other highlights included little pillows of handmade potato gnocchetti covered in a rich, nutty cheese fondue, finished with a heavy showering of freshly shaved white truffle. Who knew a potato “from such humble beginnings” could be transformed into a such a luxurious plate of food?
This is something I love about Italian cooking – the simplicity of the ingredients and how they are expertly paired to create the most beautiful flavours.
Sirloin tagliata with braised sweet onion and herb sauce was the next dish that sent me to culinary heaven. The meat was perfectly pink with a melt-in-the-mouth texture. I loved the crispness of the fried baby potatoes served on the side too.
Unfortunately, at some point the meal had to come to an end, yet what better way to do so than with layers of vanilla hazelnut chocolate mousse and a glistening quenelle of Italian hazelnut gelato. Bellissimo!
It takes quite a lot to really impress me on both the food and interior fronts, and it’s not often that I am left speechless when it comes to how things could be improved. But I have to say my dining experience at Giando was perfect. The service was flawless, and the whole afternoon was an Italian-filled delight. I really didn’t want to leave – in fact, I could happily take up residency there, filling my days with bowls of golden egg pasta, sipping glass after glass of crisp Prosecco whilst being surrounded by charming Italian waitstaff.
Shop 1, G/F, Tower 1, Starcrest, 9 Star Street, Wanchai, 2511 8912, 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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