Review: Damiani’s 90th anniversary menu at Tosca

After their sparkling Damiani tea set last summer, the Ritz-Carlton Hong Kong is back with another exclusive menu in celebration of the Italian jeweller’s 90th anniversary. Of course, a dinner at Michelin-starred (and fellow Italian) restaurant Tosca was the obvious choice.

We were invited to try out their new five-course dinner, and we have to say, Chef Pino Lavarra has outdone himself. The dishes are, quite literally, culinary gems. Not only do they look and taste fantastic — each course is inspired by a piece of jewellery from the Damiani 90th anniversary collection.

Tip: Before dinner,  make sure you pop down to the Damiani boutique at Elements mall for a look around. Trust us, you’ll appreciate Chef Lavarra’s genius all the more after seeing the nine-piece jewellery collection for yourself.

Food

Yes, it really does taste as good as it looks.
Yes, it really does taste as good as it looks.

We kicked things off with the cured salmon with beluga caviar and white snail caviar, which looked almost too pretty to eat. The unusual color combination of the eggs was an interesting reflection of the black and white diamonds on the 1930s, art deco style Cascade bracelet.

Next up was the squid ink fettuccelle with scallops, lobster, zucchini and tomato, which imitated the bright, playful Bloom necklace and captured the essence of the 1970s flower child. This one wasn’t anything to write home about (we felt the fettuccelle was actually a little over-seasoned), but the third course, crispy monkfish with chickpeas cream sauce, was absolutely amazing.

The Bloom necklace's colours are strikingly brought out in the dish.
The Bloom necklace’s colours are strikingly brought out in the dish.

The succulently firm texture of the perfectly-fried monkfish was a delightful contrast to the crunchy, light batter, making this dish the high point of our dinner. The main course, which was inspired by the Optical 1960s earrings, was stewed oxtail served on potato filled with foie gras, a beautiful contemporary interpretation of this traditional recipe. As you would expect, the balsamic mushroom sauce was the perfect companion to the butter-soft oxtail.

How adorable is the miniature chocolate version of the pendant?
How adorable is the miniature chocolate version of the pendant?

Desert was pain d’épice parfait with chocolate ring hazelnuts and five spices sauce. We loved the attention to detail, with the colourful dots on the plate reflecting the hand-cut amethyst, citrine, Madera quartz and prasiolite jewels embedded in the Tribute bracelet. The petit fours also deserve a special mention — we brought home a perfect chocolate replica of the Damianissima pendant.

Verdict

It’s clear that a lot of thought went into this menu with its picture-perfect presentations and delicately balanced flavour pairings. Combining exquisite jewellery with an outstanding gastronomic experience, the five-course Damiani dinner is an ardent tribute to Italy as a symbol representing the highest quality of craftsmanship.

The Damiani 90th Anniversary Celebration menu is priced at HK$1,680 for four courses or HK$1,880 for five, plus 10 percent service charge. It will be available from 15 October until the end of November 2014.

Tosca, 102/F, The Ritz-Carlton Hong Kong, International Commerce Centre, 1 Austin Road West, Kowloon, Hong Kong, +852 2263 2270, www.ritzcarlton.com

 

MORE: Damiani afternoon tea at Ritz-Carlton, Hong Kong