To mark the start of the celebrated season, Head Chef, Paolo Morresi, of aqua restaurant creates four new truffle dishes featuring the finest winter white truffles from his home of Abruzzo in Italy – the country’s largest truffle region.
The four dishes, comprising an appetizer, two mains and a dessert are featured as part of aqua’s à la carte menu. The dishes are available from 19 October 2015. Each dish is inspired by the rich colours of an autumnal Italian landscape using fresh ingredients from Chef’s home region.
Foraged from the beautiful countryside of Abruzzo in central Italy and arriving in Hong Kong daily, these fine white truffles are one of the rarest and most expensive foods in the world. White truffles from Abruzzo are known for their unique flavour and distinguished by their intense musky aroma with a white to yellow and brown hue.
Atop One Peking in Tsim Sha Tsui, guests to aqua can whet the appetite with a Truffle butter cocktail, (HKD$198), created by Master Mixologist John Ng, a zesty mixed pear cocktail topped with a light truffle butter infused foam, a wonderfully rich smell upon drinking but a light palette cleanser in preparation for the dishes to come.
Known for his imaginative style alongside the use of fresh Italian produce, Italian Chef Paolo has created an ‘insalata’ appetizer of Marinated egg-yolk, butter demi-sel truffle caviar with white truffle from Abruzzo containing 2 grams of the fine white delicacy (HKD$268). The small truffle caviar pearls blend with the ingredients to enhance and deepen the flavours in the light dish.
Leading on to mains, Chef creates a Wild herb risotto with Pecorino cheese from Abruzzo topped with over 5 grams of shaved white truffle, shaved at the table to finish the dish impeccably (HKD$688). The fine shavings seal the flavours of the risotto and offer a rich buttery taste and vibrant aromatic presence. The fresh wild herbs of Abruzzo perfectly compliment the richer taste of the truffles, warming and wholesome with a superior taste on the palette. It is smooth in texture with a creamy undertone.
Following on, the next dish truly denotes autumn – resembling a forest of colours – a seasonal offering of Pumpkin, porcini mushrooms, scallops, veal sweetbreads accompanied by consommé of grilled porcini mushrooms and pumpkin ravioli topped with 4 grams of white Abruzzo truffle on the side (HKD$698). The consommé acts as a palette cleanser and can be enjoyed before the dish or throughout to compliment the scallops, with the rich and salt flavours working together. Chef Paolo grates fresh truffle over scallops producing a unique aroma and intensifying the taste of this food pairing thus creating something magical on the plate.
To end on a heavenly note, the dessert consists of Pear in mulled wine accompanied with cream of hazelnuts from Abruzzo, and topped with white chocolate wasabi and 2 grams of white truffle (HKD$248). The white chocolate and wasabi powder are melted together to provide the perfect balance to the bittersweet pear.
Chef Paolo comments “The smell of truffles is a scent reminiscent of my childhood days. In Italy, truffle dishes can be simple, for example in my home town of Abruzzo, we enjoy shavings of truffles in our fried eggs in the morning. So I take this on board and I want to bring this essence of simplicity to my dishes but all with immense flavour and a heady aroma”.
The Abruzzo Truffle Butter cocktail is available at Aqua, Aqua Spirit and Armani Prive. The “Autumn in Abruzzo” dishes will feature on aqua’s à la carte menu from 19 October 2015. The à la carte dishes start from HKD$268, additional Abruzzo truffle shavings are available at the price of HK$118 per gram.