I know, Thanksgiving has just passed. Heck, on certain days you could stroll the humid streets of HK and still end up sweating through your clothes. But no matter, because there's nothing in the world that can stop me from getting in the holiday spirit. I've been cranking up Bublé since the start of October. I jumped in on my very first Christmas feast two weeks ago (get envious!) at Gradini Ristorante e Bar Italiano at The Pottinger Hong Kong and am convinced that this might be the most festive meal I'll have this holiday season.
Every dish was practically a work of art on its own, begging to be admired in all its glory before being greedily consumed.
The Christmas Eve menu started off with Hokkaido scallop, with an oversized scallop smoked with chestnut wood and topped with a trio of black caviar, salmon roe and olive oil caviar. It's one of those dishes where you feel like you're actually tasting the ocean. The chestnut wood smoke wasn't just a novelty – the smokiness oozed out from every bite.
The festive ravioli filled with spiny crab and lobster cream sauce was the sort of comfort food that makes a good treat anytime of year but especially on a chilly Christmas night. Picture curling up by the fire with a glass of mulled wine in hand surrounded by friends and family; this dish perfectly fits the scene.
Coming to the main course, we tried the slow-baked Tasmanian lamb loin. Served like a beef Wellington, the tender lamb loin was wrapped in San Daniele ham and accompanied by a stuffing of foie gras, black truffle paste and morel mushrooms. With this combination, honestly, what could go wrong? We enjoyed the multitude of textures and every strongly flavoured ingredient that didn't overwhelm the others.
We segued into an extremely decadent dessert that intrigued us with its appearance. Is it food or art? is a question that will never be answered. The roasted Italian chestnut mousse served on a bed of crumbled Amedei chocolate truffles was beautifully rich, ending the meal on the perfect bittersweet note.
It's comforting, it's hearty, it's flavourful and it's beautiful. If you're looking for a festive Christmas meal that can satisfy both your belly and your eyes, look no further than Gradini.
• Three-course Christmas Eve menu (6–8pm): $788 per person
• Five-course Christmas Eve menu (served after 8pm): $1,088 per person
• Four-course Christmas Day dinner menu: $888 per person
Lobby Level, 74 Queen’s Road Central, Central, 2308 3088