Tucked away on a corner of the chic Star Street area in Wanchai is Giando Italian Restaurant & Bar. This Italian-food gem has been a firm favourite since it opened several years go – and for good reason: it offers great Italian cuisine and an elegantly comfortable vibe.
Before I went to this tasting, I’d heard from a few friends that Giando is the crowning jewel in Chef Gianni Caprioli’s stable of restaurants (which also includes Giá Trattoria Italiana and Fishsteria). So I was excited to check out the eatery’s new six-course winter vegetarian menu ($798/person).
The menu aims to showcase Italy’s hearty and versatile seasonal produce. Ingredients including chicory, Jerusalem artichoke, turnip, radicchio, Savoy cabbage and pumpkin are all sourced from small-scale family farms and transformed into comforting, warming dishes.
So what’s on the menu?
Cicoria con gorgonzola, pere e noci en balsamico: we started with a chicory salad that included pear, walnuts and a light, creamy, sweet Gorgonzola dressing. Beautifully balanced.
Vellutata di topinambur e carciofi: next up was a vegan Jerusalem artichoke soup topped with braised artichoke. This one was a bit thin in terms of flavour and texture, but it had a soothing aroma.
Fusillone con cime di rapa e crusco: pasta with fresh vegetables and herbs is such a treat. This fusilli dish was packed with turnip tops and southern Italian crusco peppers. Fragrant and delicious.
Risotto con radicchio e cipolla: fans of caramelised onion will love this risotto. The sauce was rich, creamy and full of that moreish savoury-sweet flavour.
Cavolo arrosto, nocciola e tartufo nero: I’ve had cabbage mains on vegetarian menus a few times, but this is one of the best I’ve ever seen and tasted. Well presented, with sharp, creamy and lightly charred flavours coming together beautifully.
Cheesecake alla zucca e amaretto: the menu ends with a goat’s cheese cheesecake. The texture was very smooth, and it was accompanied by a sophisticated yet homey amaretto-flavoured pumpkin purée.
It’s great to see more restaurants offering sophisticated vegetarian menus. Giando has a lovely one that will be available for the next few months (no specific end date). Give it a try the next time you’re looking for a nice date-night spot, though the noise volume and vibe make it a great choice for a business meal too.
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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