Friday, February 10

Linguini Fini, Hong Kong

Staying true to its “farm-to-fork” ethos and socially conscious corporate values, Linguini Fini is an Italian Ristorante that offers high value Italian Cuisine.

Under the direction of executive chef Vinny Lauria, formerly of Mario Batali’s Babbo in New York City, Linguini Fini’s specialty is its ‘nose-to-tail’ dining, showcasing pasta and pork.

- Linguini Fini on Facebook

Thanks to daily marathons of Masterchef Australia 3, my usual Asian food cravings had been cast aside (just for the time being) for some pasta and roasts. Taking a break from the cha chan tengs, we had an Italian lunch at Linguini Fini (1F, The L Place, 139 Queen's Road Central), a relatively new restaurant under the IMH Group. Decked out in a still-in-New-York, retro-modern setting, Linguini Fini has a very laidback, almost devil-may-care ambience that was perfect for the mood we were in.

For starters, they didn’t have the much blogged-about Stracetti di Manzo that day but we struck gold with Linguini Fini’s "White Gold Bars." The mozzarella is from sister restaurant Posto Pubblico and there is a delightful mix through of herbs within the breaded crust.

It was easy to down them both with a smear of some marinara sauce and additional stringy bits of mozzarella. One of those rare moments when being cheesy at lunch is totally acceptable.

The salt-cured egg Genovese linguini really did it for kw. It was pretty good and had more overall bite than bark. I couldn't taste much of the salted egg but the green pesto and walnuts made a delightful sauce for the very al dente linguini. I really wished we had more stomach space to try more pastas.

If like Michael Symon, you believe a meal is incomplete without pork fat, the rotisserie porchetta is a dish worth seeing through the end. Crackling pig skin, tender chunks of fat and pork atop a thick sesame slice of bread that, no doubt, managed to soak up plenty of juices. I loved the accompanying chili mostarda (great kick of mustard) and puckerish onion side salad.

Although I was eyeing the olive oil cake, we had the apple crostata with yogurt gelato (ah, the sacrifices I make in this marriage) for dessert. The homely dessert was more crumbly than flaky and topped with pumpkin cream, sliced apples and a glorious yogurt gelato. Had it not been for the tangy yogurt gelato, I might have been tempted to order the olive oil cake.

Lunch at Linguini Fini was a very delightful and filling. I’m glad we did something different, something considerably more relaxing.

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