Friday, May 9, 2014

Cucina, White Asparagus Menu

 Cucina was born initially to be a Chinese & Italian fusion concept back during it’s early days.  I personally hated it back then,  because there is already enough confusion between who invented what dish or a pasta between the Italians and the Chinese,  and oh wait for this too,  this Cucina belongs to the ‘Marco Polo’ Hotel group.   He’s precisely the same guy that everyone blamed for plagiarizing Chinese food into Italian culture during his Asian ventures.   If you do a bit of proper research yourself however,  you will find that pasta was eaten in Italy and other European countries way before Marco Polo’s 13th Century times and were eaten with bare hands.   Nowadays Cucina HK is purely doing Italian recipes and our White Asparagus menu was convincing and thought provoking.   I don’t like to say this,  but I really believe Cucina’s location is not giving it enough proper exposure compared to it’s real food quality.   This is potentially Michelin Star grade food.



One can still see the original remaining Chinese x Italian Decoration Design theme -
I guess Marco Polo and it’s name brings up this image in everyone’s mind,  but not all of it was anywhere near the truth if you do check your facts properly.  I am glad that nowadays,  they are focusing purely on thoughtful and Modernized Italian recipes.


Musica Sheets with Home-made Pesto & Cheese Dip -
This was really addictive.  I got 2nd helpings.  ~  8/10



Softish Bread Roll -
This wasn’t too Italian to me,  but what you expect to find in any Western restaurant in HK setting?


A Pomino Bianco by the famous Frescobaldi winemaker -
It’s Chardonnay and Pinot Bianco based.   Recommended by the Cucina chefs for pairing with some of the White Asparagus menu dishes..



Pan-seared Lobster meat & claw,  White asparagus sponge,  Asiago cheese fonduta sauce and Chopped White Asparagus – $298
This smelled so aromatic when it arrived,  especially with the liquid Asiago cheese being poured in.  The recipe is by no means traditional but modernized.   A good balance between the flavours.  ~  9/10


Home made Fagottini Pasta, Sicilian Red prawns, White Asparagus coulis,  Red Prawn Head foam,  25 y.o. Modena Balsamic Vinegar – $488
There was one big problem with this dish,  the pasta joining points were too thick,  and if you are in Hong Kong,  you will not be wise to make something which resembles a prawn wonton but isn’t up to that standard?    I had to spit out part of the top pasta bits where they fold-over.   On a positive note,  the prawns inside were intense in flavour,  and the prawn heads foam was also working well with the overall theme.   It needs more actual prawn heads and a much less thicker skin honestly speaking from the bottom of my heart..   ~  5.5/10


Farnese Montepulciano -
Works well with the beneath wine and food pairings enough.  
I am easily satisfied with wines nowadays,  or even food.  I have majorly lowered my expectations,  but this slightly spicy and peppery wine with good tanning structure was a safe bet tonight and it had enough of it’s character to stood up..



Oven Cooked Black Cod,  Minted White Asparagus,  Sardinian Fregola,  Leek Cream and Clams stock – $498
The cod was silky smooth,  and the Fregola cooked like a risotto stole the show.  I like the leek and clams concept but it was mild.   I liked this dish if it can be more potent in it’s individual flavours and plus,  $498 for a single dish isn’t something you want to gamble on without knowing it’s performance before hand.   ~  7/10


Meringue,  Milk Ice Cream,  White Asparagus snow & essence,   Berries Sauce – $108
I surprisingly really enjoyed this.  The asparagus input was strange but understandable.  The other milky and berries components balanced it well.   It also comes with a chocolate tree with candy floss.   Somehow this reminds me of a Halloween themed desssert.   ~  7/10


Amazing Night View -
From Cucina.   This Italian kitchen is grossly under-rated in the HK Food Dining Scene,  and the view from here is spectacular indeed.  The menu items are highly thoughtful and pushing the boundaries,  although some recipes were much more convincing than others,  and pricing policy wise some were too aggressively positioned.   But at the end of the day,  a few items here really sang well.




Price: HKD $500-700  Per Person for Dinner.  (Meal Invitation by Marco Polo Hotel)
Ease of Access:  3/5
Food:  ♕♕♕ 1/2 to ♕♕♕♕ 1/2

Address: 尖沙咀廣東道3號海港城馬哥孛羅香港酒店6樓
6th Floor Marco Polo Hotel,  Canton Road,  Tsim Sha Tsui,  Hong Kong
Ph: 2113 0808

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