Hong Kong boasts one of the most dynamic dining scenes on the planet, filled with culinarians and tastemakers galore. In our Cheat Day column, we spotlight some of the top players in the kitchen and behind the bar, delving into their personal favourites during their days off. This week, we speak to Angelo Vecchio of LKF Concepts.
Originally hailing from Lecce in southern Italy, Angelo Vecchio has honed his skills across the globe from London to Oslo, and Beijing to Hong Kong. Some of his notable experiences include time at two Michelin-starred Il Pagliaccio Restaurant in Rome, two Michelin-starred Relais & Chateaux in Tuscany and three Michelin-starred Sketch by Pierre Gagnaire in London.
In 2011, Vecchio came to Hong Kong via the Di Vino Group.
“When I was first landed in Hong Kong, I saw this stunning city that reminded me of London, but with much nicer weather and a beautiful coastline. I was very impressed, and, after a decade, I am still here, and I wouldn’t change it for any other place,” he says.
Vecchio joined LKF Concepts five years ago to run Porterhouse, and now oversees the Western cuisine restaurant division as their group executive chef.
What’s the best piece of professional advice you’ve ever received?
Marco Pierre White used to be our consultant chef when I was working in London, and he was constantly reminding us, “Keep it simple. Perfection is lots of little things done well.”
What is the founding philosophy of Porterhouse?
As its name suggests, the original philosophy of Porterhouse is all about quality steak cut; as we are all aware of Hong Kongers’ love of seafood, so we want to do something different this year. While the restaurant maintains a popular selection of premium steak cuts, we would like to also cater to seafood lovers. So we have decided to roll out a new menu, emphasising an elevated surf and turf concept, adding extensive seafood selection.
What are your signature dishes? Tell us about it.
The Lobster Salad (HK$218) for sure. The poached lobster meat is mixed with Datterino tomatoes, pickled red onion, parsley, basil, and fresh raspberry. It is topped with celery sorbet, giving it beautiful sweet touches to enhance the freshness of the lobster meat.
Our Large Razor Clams Two Ways (HK$238) — you can only find large-size razor clams in Hong Kong! The local razor clams are served both chilled in the shell with diced green apple, seaweed, caviar, crouton, and an avocado and wasabi mousse; and hot, as a creamy razor clam soup with basil oil. Just simply delicious!
Do you cook when you are home? Which is a go-to dish for you?
I sometimes do, and when I cook, I like to make risotto or lasagne for my family.
Cheat Day time: Which are your five go-to dishes/drinks in restaurants or bars in Hong Kong?
I don’t usually dine at Western restaurants unless I am craving pizza or catching up with friends during my day off.
One of the restaurants that I love in Hong Kong is VEA on Wellington Street! I had the opportunity to meet chef Vicky Cheng many years ago, and I have so much respect for the chef. Dining at VEA is always exciting. Their execution of each dish is complex, yet precise, making me want to become a student again and learn from the chef. My favourite dish at VEA is one of their signatures, the sea cucumber with Kuruma prawn and fish maw with caviar and quinoa.
For pizza, I like to go to The Mickey B Pizza Co., a casual pizzeria near my home in Happy Valley. Their pizza is always well made and with a light crust, always comforting.
Ask for Alonzo is also on my top “to go” list. They serve comfort Italian food in a very cosy and dynamic environment. Their meatballs and calamari are my favourite dishes, is a place for me to relax and unwind, enjoy some food comfort food while listening to some of my favourite tunes.
Sushi Kuu is always an excellent place for me to visit when I’m craving Japanese cuisine. I love the friendly ambience and the food there, especially when I can grab a seat at the counter to watch Chef Satoru prepare the guests’ food. It is always fun.
Last but not least is Din Tai Fung. This restaurant never fails to impress with its consistent and reliable quality. It is always nice to bring friends and visitors to experience this restaurant. I enjoyed most of their items on the menu; sometimes, I don’t even mind visiting more than once on the same day because it is always comforting.
Porterhouse, 7/F, California Tower 30-36 D’Aguilar Street, Lan Kwai Fong, Central, +852 2522 6366