New chef Alessandro Angelini brings his Italian dishes with a contemporary twist to the table at the Kowloon Shangri-la’s Angelini restaurant
Highly popular dining hotspot Angelini Italian restaurant at the Kowloon Shangri-la, Hong Kong has welcomed Alessandro Angelini, from the Adriatic city of Rimini, as its new chef.
Chef Alessandro’s passion for cooking began at a young age, when he took up a summer job at a restaurant in his hometown at the age of 14. He furthered his skills at the Alberghiero di Rimini culinary school before launching a career of some two decades spanning Europe, North America and Asia. He has worked alongside such culinary luminaries as Gino Angelini and Gualtiero Marchesi, and celebrities who have enjoyed his cooking include singer George Michael and tennis great Andre Agassi. Chef Alessandro has worked for establishments including the Bauer Hotel in Venice, the Italian restaurant Rosso at the Shangri-la Hotel, Jakarta and the Gaia Group’s Joia restaurant in Hong Kong.
Chef Alessandro’s cooking clearly reflects his international experience, but is unmistakably Italian at heart. This balance is demonstrated on his latest menu. For example, the raw Sicilian red prawns with avocado, green apple and yogurt, presented like a cannelloni, combines the art of sashimi with a Mediterraneanstyle salad. The result is a perfect dance between oceanic sweetness, creaminess and citrusy goodness. Scampi marinated with pineapple, cucumber, watermelon jelly and lime, with the crustacean kept in its natural consistency, also achieves a similar effect.
A visual surprise comes in the form of the home-made black-and-white tagliolini with scallops, king prawns and raw red shrimp served in a paper box. According to chef Alessandro, the container in which the dish is served has been inspired by origami. Aesthetics aside, it also helps lock in the aroma until the food is revealed at the table. Again, the raw crustacean meat adds another layer to the perfectly al dente noodles and the heavenly sweet frutti di mare.
“I come from a place famous for homemade pasta. For me, an Italian restaurant must have good pasta; it is the homemade pasta that makes it unique,” Alessandro explains.
Savore-style Dover sole and gratinated asparagus was inspired by a northern Italian sauce made with caramelised onions, raisins and pine nuts, traditionally used to preserve fish. Here it is employed to complement the natural taste and texture of the fillet. Another main course, pork tenderloin wrapped in coffee with mustard sauce and goose liver, presented as if it were an abstract painting, hits a high note like a symphony of flavours—it is at first sharp and intense, and then the meat emerges to melt into the smooth embrace of the fegato.
Chef Alessandro says, “We focus on ingredients that are straight from Italy—and then we play around with them a little. People go to restaurants for something interesting, for an experience that makes them come back.”
that’s amore Clockwise from left: The Kowloon Shangri-la’s Angelini restaurant; chef Alessandro Angelini; marinated scampi with pineapple, cucumber, watermelon jelly and lime