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A Fresh Take On The Humble Salad

May 25, 2015 Food & Beverage No Comments Print Print Email Email

unnamed (1)aquarestaurant, atop One Peking, presents four new ‘insalate’ to ignite panache and flavour back into the Hong Kong salad scene. From May 2015, aqua’s newly appointed Italian Executive Chef, Paolo Morresi, presents his fresh take on the salad, featuring innovative ingredients in a pared-down, deconstructed style. The four new insalate are part of aqua’s à la carte menu and are also featured in the Italian Express Lunch menu.

The healthy and hearty adaptations of traditional recipes are twinned with seasonal gourmet Italian garden produce alongside jet-fresh sea bass, lobster, succulent pork and Parma ham. From May 2015, four salads, or insalate in Italian, are featured in aqua’s new à la carte menu priced from HKD218 to HKD288.

In Italy, salad is seen as marksmanship of a high calibre restaurant and Chef, and are a precursor to the quality and standard of the main dishes to follow. On a mission to beat limp lettuce and tasteless salads, Chef Paolo challenges the preconceived notion of what it takes to make a salad. With inspiration and creativity, Chef produces refreshingly dynamic interpretations of Italian insalate, a new start to the dining experience, in terms of taste, texture and presentation.

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aqua’s new chef, Paolo Morresi, launches his new À La Carte menu leading the way with a salad-first approach

The first insalata made with fresh Sea bass from the Tuscan town of Orbetello, is presented at its best, carpaccio-style. The Orbetello sea bass carpaccio saladserved with avocado, crunchy vegetables & toasted hazelnuts topped lemon foam, is priced at HKD268. The dish resembles a forest of colours with a mini-landscape of flavour. Inspired by Chef’s beloved Italy, where only the freshest ingredients are used ininsalata composition, the taste and presentation capturing the essence of a summer day in the Italian Mediterranean, with the sea bass pounded using a special flattening technique between two sheets of oiled parchment paper, to achieve that beautiful carpaccio texture.

The next dish, a much-loved and iconic salad ensemble that Chef Paolo chose to tackle with gusto is aqua’s Parma ham and arugula salad served with Burrata cheese, artichoke and aged balsamic caviar. The premium quality, and generously portioned Burrata and famed aqua Parma Ham – both sourced directly from Italy – sit on a green bed of fresh arugula and artichoke. All ingredients are brought together in synergy thanks to the gastro-molecular taste sensation of tiny aged-balsamic ‘caviar’ balls that pop in your mouth. Priced at HKD268, thisinsalata is presented in ultimate aqua-style, on a large white plate inscribed with aqua’s ancient Egyptian ‘ankh’ symbol for life, made from dried olives and salt.

(Left)Orbetello sea bass carpaccio salad served with avocado, crunchy vegetables, toasted hazelnuts and lemon foam

(Right)Farro and Bronte pistachio lobster salad, served with sweetly glazed sweetbreads and homemade bell pepper jam

The third salad is comprised of Australian lobster served alongside sweetly-glazed sweetbreads, on a bed of the traditional Italian nutty grain farro – a healthy choice of grain as its low in gluten – presented in a deconstructed form. The Farro and Bronte pistachio lobster salad, served with sweetly glazed sweetbreads and homemade bell pepper jam, is dressed with fresh basil. The inventive culinary collage (HKD288) is completed with Brontepistachio nuts, grown at the foot of Mount Etna in Sicily, famed for their velvety, rich, sweet and sophisticated taste.

To end on warm note, the Orange mushroom and sliced apple on pork leg cubes made of fresh parsley, raisin and pine nuts served with apple sauce (HKD218) breaks the boundary of salad conventionalism. This dish offers a surprise, in that the salad ingredients, including nuts, fresh herbs and vegetables, are mixed with 12-hour slow cooked pork leg, all encased in neat cube form. These melt-in-the-mouth and full of flavour parcels are beautifully paired with fresh apple sauce, a traditional pairing of flavours but with Chef’s special contemporary flair and visual mastery – who says that insalata was all leaf!

(Left)Orange mushroom and sliced apple on pork leg cubes of fresh parsley, raisin and pine nuts served with apple sauce

(Right)aqua interior during the daytime.

Chef Paolo comments, “I want to refresh the idea of salads in Hong Kong. In Italy, if you can prepare salad well, it shows the calibre of your kitchen. My insalate are authentically Italian, 90 per cent of the produce we use at aqua are sourced directly from Italy – but served in an innovative way. aqua’s insalate are honest! That is why we named our salads ‘Insalate Nostrane – Honest Salads’. They are full of flavour, and truly leave you feeling happy as well as satisfied.”

From May 2015, aqua embraces the future of salads and invites guests to think outside of the salad-box!

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