Rimini native Chef Alessandro Angelini joined Kowloon Shangri-La, Hong Kong as chef at Angelini Italian Restaurant in May 2015. In celebration of his anniversary with the hotel, he proudly presents a new à la carte menu showcasing his cooking talents, his fervent passion for Italian gourmet food and his very own interpretation of modern Italian cuisine through his signature classic dishes and new creations.
The wide range of new à la carte dishes include Cappeletti filled with White Ragout, Vegetables, 18-Month Parmesan Cheese, Cream and Crumble; Bombolotti filled with Prawn Mousse, Lobster, Black Truffle, Pistachios and Almonds; Italian Octopus in Mugnaia Style with Mashed Potatoes and Artichokes; and Roasted Boston Lobster with Crustaceous Mayonnaise, Mint-Flavoured Eggplant and Fennel Cream. His ever-popular signature dishes, such as Raw Sicilian Red Prawns, Avocado, Green Apple and Yoghurt Sauce; Homemade Black and White Tagliolini with Scallops, King Prawns and Red Shrimps served in a Parchment Paper Box and Dover Sole in Savor Style (Caramelised Onions, Raisins and Pine Nuts) with Gratinated Asparagus, remain on the menu.
Having had the opportunities to explore and contribute to the gourmet world spanning Europe, North America and Asia in the last 26 years, Chef Alessandro is dedicated to creating innovative dishes while conserving solid roots in Italian culinary traditions all these years. He is demanding about the food presentation, plating and the combination of ingredients that bring out the best of each other.
As a “demon for perfection” and an avid seeker of culinary excellence, Chef Alessandro uses fresh, fine, seasonal and premium ingredients to create authentic Italian nourishing dishes with a creative presentation.
“My signature dishes speak about my roots, my hometown and they feature my favourite ingredients. For instance, I am particularly fond of avocado for its smooth texture and delicate taste, and it goes well with many ingredients, so I use avocado and fresh green apple to highlight the unique sweet taste of red shrimp from Sicily, and this unique blend coupled with yoghurt creates a light, but tasty appetiser bursting with rich flavours,” said Chef Alessandro.
Coming from the region of Romagna, Chef Alessandro is naturally a big fan of homemade fresh pasta.
“I respect natural flavours of ingredients and love the concept that pasta can be created with a large variety of fillings and combined with many food produces. One of my homemade raviolis is filled with two cheeses, burrata and buffalo mozzarella, and they perfectly match with veal sweetbread, finished with capers, veal juice and 24-month parmesan shavings,” the chef said.
The traditional recipe for Spaghetti Bolognese has a generous portion of ragu (meat-based sauce) covering the spaghetti and is topped with grounded parmesan cheese, whereas Chef Alessandro meticulously stuffs white ragu and finely chopped vegetables inside his homemade cappelletti, which is nicely arranged in a flower shape, sitting on the 18-month parmesan cream cheese.
Although featuring similar ingredients, with different preparation methods and cooking techniques, coupled with a new twist to the presentation, Chef Alessandro turns this classic dish into a completely different one with a light, renewed, refreshed look and refined mouth feel without losing its original elements of taste.
Chef Alessandro and his team prepare fresh home-made pasta every morning without exception. The homemade pastas range from cannelloni to cappelletti, ravioli (usually slightly larger than commercial size), open ravioli, bombolotti, fettuccine and squid-ink pasta, to name a few. All these are available on the à la carte menu day and night and are featured as selected lunch menu options.
Many Italian regions have their very own pastas in different sizes and shapes. Chef Alessandro sticks to his own creations and recommends pasta courses to be best enjoyed as primo (first course) in a meal.
Chef Alessandro is also fastidious about cooking temperature, as the wrong temperature will ruin the natural flavours, colours and freshness of the ingredients.
As he is committed to seeing himself as an entrepreneur, the chef is adamant about establishing the restaurant as the only Italian restaurant in Hong Kong that provides the largest range of homemade pasta varieties and excellent value for money for his innovative, aesthetically pleasing, light, healthy Italian cuisine that is prepared with the most stringent standards of hygiene and food quality.
“I am fortunate enough that the hotel management gives me free rein, and I can make and reinforce my own network of food suppliers all over Italy. Reasons being I have first-hand access to the freshest and most premium-quality ingredients available, most of which are air flown direct from small farms in Italy that produce small, but extremely high-quality food that is grown or processed with utmost care and attention,” said Chef Alessandro.
Apart from the highly trained talented chefs in his team, his best partners in the kitchen include extra-virgin olive oil, Parmigiano-Reggiano and burrata cheese, homemade pastas fruits, tomato, basil and other seasonal vegetables. As for seafood, the chef’s favourites are shrimp and fresh fish from the Adriatic Sea and Orbetello sea bass from Tirreno.
Chef Alessandro describes himself as a simple person with a strong passion for culinary excellence. He is full of curiosity and dynamism, so he is always prepared to learn from every opportunity provided. He likes to talk to his diners, and every time he sees a customer happy with the service and his culinary creations at Angelini, he feels rewarded and knows that the Angelini team is doing a good job. He values team spirit, as he thinks teamwork makes things much easier and helps achieve desirable results.
Born to a hotel-owner family, Chef Alessandro started working in the kitchen at a young age. He felt comfortable and blessed when he was surrounded by the ingredients and had opportunities to learn many ways of food preparation. (For more details about Chef Alessandro, please refer to his biography.)
Hong Kong-based Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts currently owns and/or manages over 95 hotels under the Shangri-La brand with a room inventory of over 39,000. Shangri‑La hotels are five-star deluxe properties featuring extensive luxury facilities and services. Shangri-La hotels are located in Australia, Canada, mainland China, Fiji, France, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Maldives, Mauritius, Mongolia, Myanmar, Philippines, Qatar, Singapore, Sultanate of Oman, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates and the United Kingdom. The group has a substantial development pipeline with upcoming projects in mainland China, Cambodia, Hong Kong, India, Malaysia, Myanmar, Saudi Arabia and Sri Lanka.