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Life is a combination of magic and pasta – Federico Fellini

DiVino is a great place to hang out and have a few drinks, especially since it’s located on Wazzzhappenin’ Wyndham.  The staff are so genial, and make sure it’s never a dull night in this wine bar and resto.

The first time I had dinner here we were blown away by the quality of their homemade pasta.  The home-made black pepper tagliatelle with venison ragout and garnished with Pecorino, for example, excites me every time I see it on the menu.  Luxurious slow-cooked wild venision hind generously covers the peppery thick ribbons with flair and unparalleled richness.

For those that prefer only a hint of chili and spice, humble spaghetti is given an Italian suit of white wine clams, found in their ‘Newcomers’ section.  The spaghetti is always cooked perfectly al dente, and at the same time, is cooked with the white wine sauce long enough so the flavours stick.  Like the Maine lobster linguine, which has a heavier bisque-like flavour, the dish is appreciatively generous with the seafood.

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The signature here is the 500 grams of Burrata DOP with Italian cherry tomatoes and a red onion salad, which I unfortunately have not tried (currently searching for a fellow cheese lover to share this with me).  The beef carpaccio, served with arugula salad, Parmesan cheese shavings, and artichoke hearts, is more than fair recompense.  You might also be able to change to a Bresaola if you’re not too keen on raw meat.  Slightly sweet but aged, lean yet melting, the Bresaola (below) is a fitting appetiser to that big pasta main.

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Andrew also has a soft spot for the French fries with black truffle mayonnaise.  They use hefty chunks of black truffle so this is not for the faint hearted.  I’m not crazy for the fries themselves, as I prefer sizes closer to shoestring – these are rather chunky.

At the moment, the DiVino group is taking part in white truffle season, with their ALBA truffles specially imported from Italy.


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Ever since my shitty main course at Bread Street Kitchen (to be fair: it was soft opening), I have been slowly shifting my home-chef loyalties from Ramsay to Jamie.  The way I’m starting to see it:  Jamie teaches you how to use leftover meat, and is a sweetheart to chickens, whilst Ramsay tells you that your gourmet meat is raw and throws it in the bin.  Now that’s just wasteful.

So I came across a recipe for panzanella by Jamie here:

http://www.jamieoliver.com/recipes/bread-recipes/panzanella-tuscan-tomato-bread-salad

Panzanella is a Tuscan salad that uses tomatoes and leftover bread.  Not much, you say, but the dressing of vinegar, anchovies, and good extra virgin olive oil, gives this loaf something to get soaked about.  Wikipedia references the 16th-century artist and poet Bronzino, who actually calls the salad “another pleasure of this life” (“altro piacer di questa vita”) and I’m not one to disagree.

The red onions Jamie recommends in his recipe, are macerated till heavenly sweet and soft by the red wine vinegar.  This, combined with the strong saltiness of the anchovies, is something the poor Caprese would cry home to his mama about, basil leaves tucked between his mozzarella balls.

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I served this salad with a whole roasted chicken – crispy, but still moist because of a whole forked lemon that I stuff inside its cavity like no tomorrow.  You might’ve noticed the Aquarius in the corner of that photo – my go-to drink when I’m hungover.  If I can make a dinner like this when I’m hungover, there is no way anyone could screw this up.  Stale bread, tomatoes, and dressing – get it done!

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God love vinegar soaked carbs.

Been a while – finally back in Hong Kong for summer, after a pretty grueling year in London.  But you don’t want to hear about this.  I come bearing pictures of food, and hope you will forgive me for my absence.

My mama went to Tai Po market (I, admittedly, was still jetlagged and slept in till 3) and picked up some glorious seafood.  Had some razorclams, mussels, prawns and squid.  In Tagalog, you call squid ‘pusit’, which my boyfriend prefers because it sounds naughty, and it makes him giggle when I ask him if he likes pusit.  Yes, we are children.

Despite the lame anecdotes, this post will hopefully be a little more informational than usual, as I feel I’ve learned a thing or two about preparing and cooking seafood that could be useful to you too.  Definitely no ‘master’, but I do feel a little more experienced with my seafood skills.

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