Tuesday, September 06, 2011

An exclusive sneak peek into LKF Festival of Wine..Goccia

**Clueless? Read THIS to know what, where, who, why and how this is all about..**


We kicked off our evening with 6 courses (yes,6!) and 5 different wines at Goccia, our first destination.

Settling down along a long table, we were greeted by representatives from Ilovehk.com and Goccia itself, followed by the long (and dynamic!) pairing menu of the evening.

Prologue - Bread basket 
just a quick note on the bread (or pane in Italian) that I sampled with. The Grissini was exceptionally good and I enjoyed the herbal aroma in the crunchy and wheaty treat; the bacon and cheese baguette had a nice saltiness of baked cheese; while the wheaty bun was really good with black olives in it. Too bad that i was too shy to ask for vinegar and olive oil to dip the bread in - I could easily finish one whole basket on my own, and it was even WORSE that i forgot to try the focaccia!!!!

First course - Sardinian Smoked Swordfish Roll with fennel and mini ratatouille
The Swordfish was quite heavy in salt and had a strong smoky smell, but the light and crunchy fennel slices it rolled in balanced off the heaviness.


The mini ratatouille (or stewed vegetable) was slightly spicy and sour to taste, making it a refreshing compliment to the fish roll and also the homemade cracker with sea salt. The cracker was extraordinarily crunchy and wheaty; i couldnt help but ate two whole pieces of the crunchy snack! It was one thing eating the fish with forks and knife, quite another putting everything together with the cracker. Delicious!

Pairing wine: Prosecco Di Valdobbiadene Col de'Sallici
The sparkling wine was quite 'full' and fruity, which i really enjoyed. The sourness reduced the saltiness of the fish while exaggerating the smokiness in the meat, making both more palatable. It's also very easy to drink and definitely something you'd crave for more - not a good thing if there's many more wines coming! :P

Second course: Spaghetti with Sicilian Red Prawns cherry tomato in a spicy tomato sauce
Sicilian red prawn had long been reknowned for the exquisite richness and flavour, and were very expensive. Most of the ingredients used in this pasta were imported directly from Sicily, making sure that it's taste genuinely Italian.

I was not disappointed: the no-frill pasta was cooked to have the perfect al dante texture, quite wheaty to taste, and the spicy tomato sauce might looked plain on appearance but was SO RICH in seafood flavour. Besides the mild spiciness (I could tolerate something hotter), it was like putting the entire ocean into your mouth - you could almost feel the shrimp swimming around! And i wasn't even eating the shrimp already but the sauce. The shrimp was of course spongy and SO RICH, SO RICH that I almost wanted to lick my plate clean. Yummy!

Pairing wine: Castello della Sala Bramito - Chardonnay Antinori
The wine is named after a deer - Bramito refers to the sound of a deer in Italian. Again, a very sweet and fruity white wine, which was perfectly in sync with the spiciness of the pasta. Take a bite of pasta then a sip of wine, and feel the spiciness spreading underneath your tongue - it spread around like a burning fire, numbing your tongue and it felt so great. The wine was perfect even if you drink it alone, for it had a sweetness similar to tropical fruits like pineapple and lime zest, and i really like that - not a fan of very 'dry' and manly wines I am.

Third course: Fillet of Red Gurnard with Florentine Panzanella and fish soup reduction
(now who said we're gona have just our FIRST course at Goccia?!)
Being a seafood fantic, I was more than happy to have three seafood dishes in a row. I enjoyed the tender and silky smooth fish in front of me, it carried a rich taste of the fish, and was not overly oily.

The fish stock reduction was unbeatably delicious, but what you shouldnt miss was the Panzanella - simply made out of soaked stale and fresh bread in tomato sauce. The bits of fresh basil in the bread were aromatic and - what more can i say other than it was to my likings? :)

Pairing wine: Montepulciano di Abruzzo Placido
Usually we have white wine for seafood and it was quite extraordinary to have a red with seafood - but you will see why. This had been an extraordinarily light one, and AM commented it as a 'white wine-like red wine'. True and it was a good thing for me, for I always prefer white over reds. Like a magnifying glass it stretches the seafood-ness in the fish, leaving a blend of sweetness and freshness in your mouth after each sip. The wine was not very 'heavy' and thus did not cover the flavour of the fish all up, and they were like a couple dancing completely in sync, complementing each other so very well.

Surprise - We were already behind the schedule (we were supposed to move by 9pm) but Chef Fabrizio Napolitano was so hospitable that he treated us to a scrumptious dessert platter, 'not wanting to stuff us with too much'! Not only that Goccia was SO GENEROUS that they had given us each a very, very nice gift - thanks all, really, it was REALLY so kind of you all. :)

Back to the long plate of Italian sweets: we had some of the MOST italian desserts like Tiramisu (of course), hazelnut icecream with crunchy biscuit base, strawberry cheesecake, and chocolate cigars(mint and vanilla).

I enjoyed the Tiramisu BEST, it was really authentic and I am already tired of the creatively decomposed/rearranged/reinterpreted 'tiramisu' elsewhere - hey, if I am ordering Tiramisu its crunchy ladyfingers, heavy coffee liquor and really creamy cheese that i want to see. This had been one of the BEST tiramisu I have had in Hong Kong - the ladyfingers were freshly made and had a nice comby texture; the chef had been generous with the liquor which i liked; and the cheese was thick (yay!) and SOOO rich and creamy.

Everything's perfect except the fact that we had to take quick bites for we got to keep moving!

Full and yet second course's ready at La Parouse...keep reading :)

Goccia Ristorante Bar Terrace
G/F & 1/F, 73 Wyndham Street, Central

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