A restaurant review of Cucina, Marco Polo Hongkong Hotel
Fine dining with a view in Hong Kong is something which will always be cherished, no matter how many times you go. There are several restaurants scattered around the city which are fortunate enough to showcase the spectacular Victoria Harbour, then there’s the lesser-known, hidden gems to spot when you’re lucky. Marco Polo Hongkong Hotel‘s Cucina is one of those, situated on the end of Harbour City in Tsim Sha Tsui. Cha Siu Papers Times visited the Italian fine dining restaurant to indulge in the gourmet service and excellent cuisine.
Opened in 2007, Cucina is placed in the Marco Polo Hongkong Hotel on the 6th floor, boasting 360-panoramic views of the harbour. “Cucina” means kitchen in Italian, and aims to serve hearty Italian cuisine in an elegant, fine dining setting. The restaurant spans over an indoor area and an outdoor terrace for drinks and food, so we were sat inside on a table facing the iconic skyline view—a truly memorable dining experience. Guests can also watch the daily laser light show from the symphony of skyscrapers at 8:00pm, from the comfort of the table.
About Marco Polo Hongkong Hotel
Marco Polo Hongkong Hotel is situated along Canton Road, one of the most prominent and luxurious shopping destinations. The Star Ferry and Ocean Terminal are right next door to this hotel, convenient for tourists or locals alike and conveniently near the MTR. There are 665 guest rooms and suites in the hotel, many of which boast breathtaking waterfront views. Guests can also opt for ultimate personalised service at The Continental Club, or in the hotel facilities such as the outdoor swimming pool, lobby lounge, gym and all-day dining outlet, Cafe Marco on Level 1. Cucina is housed under Marco Polo Hongkong Hotel on the 6th floor for diners to experience authentic Italian cuisine.
The Chef: Andrea Delzanno
Chef Andrea Delzanno holds the reigns at Cucina and is a culinary maestro. He was born and raised in Piedmont (north west of Italy), the gastronomic epicentre home to gourmet white truffles and some of the finest Italian wines. Andrea graduated from Scuola Alberghiera G Pastore Varallo Sesia and trained with Michelin Star Chef Corrado Michelazzo at the age of 20 across several reputable restaurants across the Aosta Valley of Italy. He then moved to Asia and worked with more Michelin-Starred chefs including Chef Giovanni Grasso (La Credenza), Chef Stefano Baiocco (Villa Feltrinelli) and Chef Cesare Castella (Salumeria Rosi). Andrea has since taken the lead at Sabatini in Hong Kong and has been recognised by Hong Kong Tatler and South China Morning Post for his culinary excellence.
Now the centre stage for Cucina, Andrea is Chef de Cuisine at the Italian fine dining restaurant and introduced his trademark formulas in creative cooking from his hometown. This includes some of his favourite ingredients from porcini mushrooms to red prawn.
We tried some of Chef Andrea Delzanno’s specialties for a taste of heartwarming Italian fare. The wine selection is some of the best in the region so we had to try the wine pairing menu with our meal—and it was exquisite. Everything matched perfectly, the pairing was mastered by the experts. When we visited, it was during the celebration of the Venice Carnival, a distinctive tradition set in Venice, where people ride through gondoliers down the Canal of Venice. We tried a set menu ($788HKD per person + 4 glass wine pairing at additional $380HKD per person) of the chef’s delectable signatures which included a mix of seafood and meats.
After a pecking at the freshly-baked bread dipped in divine olive oil and balsamic, we started with the Creamy Burrata Cheese with Tomatoes, Basil Salad and 24-month Parma Ham, paired with the Perrior-Jouët Grand Brut N.V. The burrata was a creamy, melt-in-your-mouth appetiser, matched with the sweet and salty tastes from the exquisite parma ham—a telling tale of the Italian summers where light snacks are around. Presentation is key with fine dining and Cucina certainly did not disappoint. The chef came around after each dish was served and explained the story behind each of his creations.
Next we had the Linguine with Red Prawn, paired with I Custodi, Pistus, Etna Rosso DOC, Sicily 2016 wine. The dish is one of Chef Andrea’s signatures. He says “It is very important to use Sicilian Red Prawn for this recipe. I always prepare a very good reduction made with the head and coral of the same prawn. Finally, it is best to use Sicilian cherry tomatoes for the sauce which is sweet and bursting with flavour.“. And rightly so, the quality, tender prawn was the star of the show yet the linguine was a fine touch and palette cleanser between the rich taste from the prawns.
The tender and succulent Wagyu Beef Cheek came next, paired with San Filippo, Rosso di Montalcino DOC Lo Scorno, Italy 2016. “Another old and traditional recipe is the Slow Cooked Wagyu Beef Cheek with Barolo Red Wine Sauce on Mashed Pumpkin, which is prepared by using the modern technique of slow cooking that makes the meat extremely tender and juicy” explains the chef. Porcini mushrooms are dear to the chef and his hometown so we were excited to see his interpretation of the indulgent ingredient. It was as tender as we had hoped and the Barolo red wine sauce added an extra taste of richness to the course.
For dessert, we had one of the chef’s homemade recommendations, a sweet (but not too sweet) dish which fulfilled the meal with a decadent finish.
Our experience at Cucina was spectacular to say the least. The food was exquisite and had an authenticity to each dish in the set menu—evidently with the chef’s longstanding expertise in fine dining. Staff were attentive and happy to recommend pairings and the best way to fully make the experience outstanding. We’d definitely recommend ordering a set menu to embrace the signature dishes with the matching wine pairings.
More info: cucinahk.com | email@example.com
Location: Harbour City, Level 6, Marco Polo Hongkong Hotel, 3 Canton Rd, Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong | Phone: +852 2567 8970