hun­gry pea

Ex­plore the won­ders of the Ital­ian sea at the Hong Kong out­post of Mi­lan-based Trat­to­ria del Pesca­tore

#Legend - - CONTENTS / JULY | AUGUST -

Caro­line Li gets to grips with some se­ri­ously good seafood at Trat­to­ria del Pesca­tore in She­ung Wan

It’s sum­mer again, and while Hong Kong jet­set­ters travel to gor­geous sea­side des­ti­na­tions like the Amalfi Coast to es­cape the heat, the rest of us are stuck work­ing in this con­crete jun­gle we call home. Luck­ily for us, She­ung Wan has wel­comed Trat­to­ria del Pesca­tore, one of Mi­lan’s finest seafood restau­rants, founded by

Gi­u­liano Ardu in 1976. This new gem is per­fect for those crav­ing a taste of sum­mer in

Italy – and we all have Christo­pher Liu to thank.

A food lover and an avid trav­eller in Italy, Liu had been go­ing to the orig­i­nal Trat­to­ria del Pesca­tore in Mi­lan for 20 years. He be­came good friends with the own­ers, the Ardu fam­ily, and ul­ti­mately de­cided to bring their sense of tra­di­tion and high stan­dards of Ital­ian cui­sine to Hong Kong. “The cul­ture and def­i­ni­tion of a trat­to­ria is that it gives peo­ple a sense of ca­su­al­ness and feel­ing at home,” says Liu.

“I think Hong Kong lacks that, so I want recre­ate this din­ing cul­ture by us­ing tra­di­tional ‘mama’s recipes’ and the best in­gre­di­ents, wel­com­ing our guests into our ‘home’, and of­fer­ing a friendly and fa­mil­iar din­ing ex­pe­ri­ence that doesn’t nec­es­sar­ily break your wal­let.”

Trat­to­ria del Pesca­tore in Hong Kong fea­tures tra­di­tional Sar­dinian recipes first in­tro­duced to Mi­lan by Gi­u­liano Ardu back in the day. One of the must- or­der items is the lob­ster Cata­lana for two (HK$ 800), a sum­mery lob­ster

salad that first made Trat­to­ria del Pesca­tore fa­mous in Mi­lan. This tra­di­tional dish orig­i­nated from Al­ghero, a coastal town in Sar­dinia. Ardu added his own touch with Sar­dinian toma­toes and sliv­ers of red onion, mak­ing this salad as well-known as it is to­day. Even restau­rants back in Al­ghero have adapted their lob­ster Cata­lana sal­ads to the Ardu way! Pair this re­fresh­ing salad with a bot­tle of crisp white wine and it can be a de­li­cious meal on its own.

For your starters, choose from a fan­tas­tic va­ri­ety of fresh seafood items from the raw bar. How about some jet-fresh gam­bero rosso (mar­ket price) aka Si­cil­ian red prawns to start? Or a plate of raw tuna belly on caramelised pep­pers ( HK$250)? The fresh, raw Ital­ian tuna mar­ries the sweet­ness of the caramelised pep­pers very well. For a cooked ap­pe­tiser, opt for the octopus and potato salad (HK$280), in which the ten­der, sliced octopus and the smoky pota­toes make for ab­so­lute scrump­tious­ness. Next up is the pis­ta­chio gratin scal­lop ( HK$125), an in­ge­nious twist on the tra­di­tional gratin. And did I men­tion it’s also gluten-free and one of the most pop­u­lar dishes at Trat­to­ria del Pesca­tore? It’s def­i­nitely not to be missed, un­less you’re al­ler­gic to scal­lops or nuts… or yum­mi­ness, for that mat­ter!

Now onto the pasta cour­ses. A must- or­der item is the spaghetti with clams and mul­let roe (HK$208), a Sar­dinian dish first in­tro­duced by Ardu to Mi­lan din­ers that has become a pop­u­lar dish in many Ital­ian restau­rants around the world. Mul­let roe, also known as bot­targa, is a key in­gre­di­ent in Sar­dinian cook­ing. An­other favourite is the pac­cheri del pesca­tore (HK$250), an orig­i­nal dish cre­ated by Trat­to­ria del Pesca­tore fea­tur­ing grated bot­targa on top of pac­cheri (a fat­ter and flat­ter cousin of riga­toni), mixed with bell pep­pers, sword­fish, squid and a gen­er­ous por­tion of the finest ex­tra-vir­gin olive oil. Not a bot­targa fan? Try some of the daily spe­cials – if you’re lucky, the spaghetti with red prawns will be on the menu. For those that are well- or­gan­ised, re­mem­ber to pre- or­der the seafood stew – a de­lec­ta­ble mix­ture of steamed lob­sters, red prawns, mus­sels and clams in a rich seafood broth with home­made bread to soak up all that good­ness. You can thank me later.

Those with a sweet tooth should try Trat­to­ria del Pesca­tore’s ren­di­tion of the clas­sic tiramisu, or the light and silky panna cotta topped with straw­berry coulis and choco­late crum­ble ( both HK$ 68). Not a dessert per­son? Din­ers will be de­lighted to find that a meal at Trat­to­ria del Pesca­tore al­ways ends with Sar­dinian pecorino cheese (shaved ta­ble­side) and a shot of iced mirto, a tra­di­tional myr­tle- based Sar­dinian liquor – on our visit, it was on the house. Now if that’s not a good enough rea­son to visit, I don’t know what is! Just don’t for­get to make reser­va­tions well in ad­vance…

Trat­to­ria del Pesca­tore 11 Po Yan Street, She­ung Wan + 852 2559 3339 trat­to­ri­adelpesca­tore. it

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