Situated on the 6th floor of Marco Polo Hongkong Hotel, CUCINA is not the usual hotel restaurant. It is a dining destination. Not only is it located in the heart of Tsim Sha Tsui, the restaurant also boasts an unobstructed view of the spectacular Victoria Harbour
Walking into the multi-faceted dining room, the first visual encounter is the trendy bar area that is ideal for special occasions or a laid-back after-work happy hour drink. Upon entering the dining area, the open kitchen on the left gives diners a peek of what's to come, and the stunning view of the harbour on the right adds a touch of romance to the tastefully-designed space. Close attention was paid to every detail of the dining area to ensure the diners have a unique and private experience in every corner of the room. The outdoor terrace allows guests to enjoy al fresco dining or a cigar after the meal.
As the name suggests, CUCINA caters to those who favour traditional Italian cuisine. However, the dining concept does not end there. It also features an impressive menu of authentic Chinese dishes that is superior to that of many Chinese restaurants. One might wonder how two cuisines can be served side by side. In fact, the chefs at CUCINA have mastered both cuisines, serving superb dishes from both countries to diners who like to enjoy the "best of both worlds
The Pappardelle al Ragu d'Anatra (Home-made pappardelle pasta, duck ragout, pecorino cheese) is a classic Italian dish that is rich and delightful. The tomato-based ragu clings onto the silky thick pasta that has just the right amount of bite to stand up to the intensity of the duck sauce. The saltiness of the pecorino cheese adds flavour without altering the taste of this pasta dish.
The Italian menu features an abundance of seafood dishes. Those who prefer a lighter fare would enjoy the Scorfano in Guazzetto di Pomodoro con Concasse di Vegetali Bruschetta Basilica (Italian rock fish stewed in fresh clear tomato broth, vegetable concasse, bruschetta, basil). The Mediterranean white fish has firm and tasty flesh, and the flavour is enhanced by the tangy tomato broth. Let the bruschetta that sits on top soak up the broth; it makes for a light but satisfying dish.
The Chinese menu showcases an array of seafood and meat dishes, as well as barbecued meats, and rice and noodle dishes that are popular with diners of all ages. In particular, the Deep-fried Crispy Chicken, a traditional Cantonese dish, is not to be missed. The skin is beautifully-coloured and crispy, whereas the meat is juicy and flavourful.
The Sautéed Prawn with Truffle Paste allows the chef to show off the skillful "wok-manship". The prawns are quickly sautéed with asparagus, retaining their plumpness and almost crunchy texture. The subtle truffle aroma adds flavour to this seafood dish but does not compete with the freshness of the prawns.
Those in the know would pre-order the Italian roast suckling pig that is not featured on the current menu. The crispy skin lies on top of multi-layers of scrumptious meat that is tender and melt-in-your-mouth delicious.
To end the meal on a high note, the Strawberry dessert is in order. The sweet frozen strawberries are scattered in between the ricotta foam, olive oil sponge and zabaglione. A very light dessert, the balsamic brings out the sweetness of the strawberries, whereas the pistachio adds a crunchy bite to the dish.
From now till September 15, Citibank credit card holders can enjoy a 15% discount, as well as a complimentary 2lb. cake and a glass of standard drink per diner for parties of 9-20 diners.