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You know how people say “it doesn’t feel like we’re in Hong Kong” and mean it in a good way? It’s not that we don’t love our wonderful city, but sometimes, especially with the lack of travel these days, it’s nice to escape to somewhere different.
Casa Cucina & Bar is in trendy Sai Ying Pun, but with its spacious, loft-like design and vibrant decor, it feels like we could be in Sydney, Bali or anywhere around the world with a comfy-glam vibe.
Helming the kitchen is Executive Chef Anthony Cheung, a graduate of The International Culinary Centre in New York who cut his teeth at Jean-Georges and most recently spent four years training under Richard Ekkebus at our own two-Michelin-starred Amber. Though Chef Cheung’s background is in fine dining, he’s turned his focus to family-style dining (with casa being the Italian word for “home”).
When you book a table at Casa Cucina, you can choose your vibe. The first floor is perfect for socialising, with a cocktail bar and a “see and be seen” feel. The second floor is great for cosy meals, where guests can dine with a view of the open kitchen. Finally, the third floor – the loft – can be used for private dining, featuring large communal dining tables, rattan sofas and armchairs and a private bar.
Casa Cucina’s menu is all about fresh, wholesome Italian cicchetti (a similar concept to Spanish tapas). All dishes are meant for sharing, though you may be tempted to keep some of these plates to yourself!
Here are some of the highlights:
Hokkaido scallop carpaccio ($108) with pineapple, yuzu and ogonori seaweed
Cicchetti platter ($188) with bruschetta, burrata and bresaola rolls
Mushroom risotto ($150) with burnt butter, mushroom foam and spinach
Duck ragu pappardelle ($178) with vin jaune, Parmesan and chicken liver
Oxtail ravioli ($188) with burnt butter and beef jus
Stuffed calamari ($188) with crabmeat and sea urchin
Cod acqua pazza ($248) with black cod, datterino tomatoes and clams
Tofu panna cotta ($58)
The food at Casa Cucina is easy to recommend. The dishes feature inventive flavours and quality ingredients, and the prices are reasonable to boot – plus, there’s fresh pasta!
If you’re looking for a lighter meal, I highly recommend the cicchetti platter (the bruschetta and burrata are fantastic), mushroom risotto and cod aqua pazza. Those looking for a more indulgent meal would do well with the duck ragu papardelle and tender lamb rack ($255); the lamb is not pictured – we accidentally ate it before we could take a photo! Almost everyone, especially those who love creamy desserts, should try the tofu panna cotta. It may be the most indulgent tofu pudding we’ve ever tried, and it comes with a salty-sweet red sugar and light soy syrup that we loved.
We can see Casa Cucina filling up daily, especially now that restrictions are lifting. It’s just as good for casual lunches and daytime drinks as it is for intimate dinners and cocktails. We hear rumours of a DJ during brunch (when it launches) – keep your eyes peeled.
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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