Pasta

Where:
Penthouse by Harlan Goldstein (I’ve said it before but fuckkk, WTF is this panoramic spinning website bullshit? STAAAAHP HARLAN STAAAAHP)
30/F, Midtown Plaza (Soundwill Plaza II)
1 Tang Lung Street
Causeway Bay, Hong Kong

FYN hot tip:  If you’re getting a cab here, ask to go to Times Square and walk the rest of the way.  If you’re getting the MTR to Causeway Bay, as if you’d ever go to Exit A “Times Square” also known as “The Never Ending MTR Exit to Hell”. Exit F “Hysan Place” all the way, baby.

Phone:
+852 2970 0828

Price:
We were out at HKD800ish a person, including wine.

The deal:
I read about how bona fide restaurant critics who write for reputable publications like the New York Times have to visit a restaurant several times, just to make sure somewhere is genuinely and consistently shit or good.  I’m trying to hold Fuck Yeah Noms to these same exacting standards which is why I made sure I went to Penthouse by Harlan Goldstein THREE fucking times for dinner before I actually wrote it up.  OK, I’ll level with you homies – the lack of recent FYN content is more attributable to HK being relentlessly hot as balls atm which has rendered me completely useless and unable to do anything other than try and get my core temperature to return to normal by listlessly binge watching an entire season of TV in one hit in my underwear on the couch, worshipping at the altar of air conditioning.

FYN artist impression of my last month in HK:

catshallow

I’ve written up Penthouse by Harlan Goldstein before for its fuck yeah lunch set before.  But it deserves a review of its dinner menu because it’s become one of my new favourites in HK as it’s killing the whole package – consistency, ambience, attentive staff and fuck yeah inventive but not ridiculously awkward modern food.  From an interior perspective, it’s impressive with its fuck yeah views of Victoria Harbour displayed through floor-to-ceiling windows (although this has been slightly marred by the inevitable construction of another skyscraper in front of it) and is jiving for a trendy but not stuffy vibe.  Yeah yeah, you know what that means – no tablecloths, but I’m not gonna get my linen grump on cause Penthouse actually are achieving that relaxed dining atmosphere without cheaping out on all the other interiors with enough wooden parquetry flooring and marble walls to keep shit classy.

For all the slams that Harlan may get for being all bombast and bleating about being a celebrity chef, at least he’s fucking in his restaurant and not just emailing in a menu design from another goddamn continent.  Last week when I swung by, Executive Chef Joe was actually on the floor checking in with tables and on this night, he enthusiastically took our table through the menu, effectively telling us that everything’s really special and the only things that we shouldn’t order are the soup, pizza and the ham because we can get stuff like that anywhere.  Everything sounds rad as fuck, even if we have to make some tough decisions to ensure we don’t explode from overeating.  One of the things I fucking love about Penthouse is that their menu changes regularly which means you’re not going to be eating the same old shiz all the time but they don’t do innovation just for the sake of trying to be inventive, which means you avoid staring down a bullshit plate of some red hot Mexican-Korean mess.

We got shit started with a tuna tartare, made from Spanish bluefin tuna and a slow cooked egg (HKD228).  I don’t want to get my egg-wank on but that egg’s yolk was such a fuck yeah – intensely golden and creamy and fucking incredible with the fresh as fuck tuna tartare.  The Spanish chicken behind it probably spent her life as a happy fucker, pecking at the finest golden kernels of corn under a blazing Spanish sun to produce dat deep golden yolk.  Just to pretend we’re going to make some healthy choices, I ordered one of my favourites, the Organic Beetroot Salad (HKD168).  Despite the fact that quinoa shit is some ancient gluten free pseudo-grain and trendy as fuck atm, Penthouse take red quinoa and mix that shit up right.  Fuck yeahhhh, dem fresh flavours – earthy red and golden beets, fresh coriander and cooling cukes are slamming up against the slightly tart cumin spiced Greek yoghurt honey dressing and piquant red Spanish onions. Some blogging assholes would say it was a ‘fiesta of colours’ but I’ll just say shit was fucking gorgeous and refreshing as fuck.

The seared Italian baby squid (HKD188) was served with Lebanese eggplant, tiny rounds of crispy chorizo and saffron aioli was another solid starter.  However, this is all just warm up for my favourite at Penthouse, the pasta round.  I may have already mentioned that Penthouse’s black truffle and uni pasta is one of the best fucking things I’ve eaten this year but I didn’t see it on the menu this time and instead we ordered the Spaghetti Chitarra and the Pork Cheek Taglioni.  The Spaghetti Chitarra is a hand made spaghetti served with Spanish red prawns in a secret red sauce with shaved Bottaga Di Muggine cheese.  I enjoyed this dish a lot and was down with its fuck yeah, bisque like flavour derived from cooking this sauce with stock made from prawn shells.  However, once the rush of carbohydrates had subsided I realised that I’d paid an eye-watering HKD448 (before the 10% service charge) for some pasta with three to four whole prawns perched on top. I made sure to get every last dollar value by sucking out the prawn heads to get all dat briney sea flavour into my life.  But fuckkkkkkkk no, I just can’t get behind a USD60+ prawn pa$ta dish from a value proposition perspective.

Sliding back a bit on price, the cured pork cheek tagliolini clocks in at a far more respectable HKD288.  I fucking love fine textured pastas like tagliolini cause they have so much surface area to catch sauce.  OK, I’ll be real, I fucking love ALL pasta cause I’m an equal opportunity carb whore.  But the problem with taglioni is that if it’s cooked too long (eg. Giando), it turns into a textureless fuck no mess.  Penthouse’s taglioni was a fuck yeah and comes served with all the good shit – a slow cooked egg, cured pork cheek, white truffle butter, pecorino cheese and porcini mushroom powder.  DAT SAUCE though was an epic fuck yeah and once the pasta was gone, I asked for more bread because as a table, we had a responsibility to ensure every last bit of that fuck yeah sauce was taken care of.  As the bread was baked to order, I spent the next five minutes fending off eagle-eyed waitstaff who were trying to do the right thing and efficiently clear our table of our plates while I aggressively defended my white truffle and pork sauce smeared territory from being unceremoniously washed down the sink instead of being rightfully in my belly.

We didn’t order it this time but I gotta give a fuck yeah shout out to Penthouse’s Spanish suckling pig.  If you’re into fuck yeah pig, I gotta highly recommend that you get involved as this bad boy is slow cooked for 12 hours before finishing it off at a high temperature to get that pig skin crispy as fuck. The accompaniments are a massive fuck yeah and move it past from the usual default awesome status of roast pig to being something pretty fucking epic.  Penthouse serve this with a serve of fennel mustard green salsa which has a mellowness and depth to it when paired with the pork.  It’d be too fucking easy for this gang to just serve up pork and some sort of appley sauce, wouldn’t it?  It comes with a whole roasted head of garlic and you should smear it all over whatever bread you can find.  All of this is served on a shredded cabbage salad which has been tossed through with a vinaigrette to give you some acid to cut through dem fatty pork times.

Through all of my Penthouse experiences though, I gotta be real with you and say you’ve got shit for brains if you don’t fucking listen to me and make sure you power through dessert.  It’s a crucial FYN pro-tip for life that you ensure that you order the ridiculously named Harlan’s Surprise Dessert Platter for Two-Three (um, I may have fucked the exact name up) for HKD358.  It’s a mix of all sorts of fuck yeah desserts with the centrepiece being some sort of peanut butter sorbet which had been subject to some liquid nitrogen, to give it a meringue like appearance. The flavour changes and I’ve had it in an equally fuck yeah summer berry incarnation.  The liquid nitrogen means that the sorbet is a light as fuck treat which melts as soon as it comes in contact with body heat.  Just to keep shit interesting, there’s puddles and spoonfuls of different sauces and flavours for contrast.  Powdered dusts, chocolate mousse, banana tiramisus, gelato and white chocolate lava cake, leaving you to change up your dessert experience depending on how you want to mix that shit up.  It’s interactive which makes it sound like it should be a massive wank off but our table did take a quiet moment just to eat and experience all the fuck yeah emotions that were going on.

intenseemotion

So Penthouse’s shit is not cheap but I can get down with the fact that the quality of the ingredients is reflected in this (except for the Spaghetti Chitarra, cause fuckkkk USD60+ pasta dishes).  I always have a fuck yeah time at Penthouse and the staff are on their shit which means you’re always well looked after.  It’s got a bit of atmosphere without being stuffy which I think makes it a fuck yeah venue for hot dates and fun homies.  I know I’m a supporter for a restaurant when I go home and I instantly whatsapp my fellow greedy ass homies to ensure that they know they have to get their ass to a restaurant.  Proof’s in the pudding yo cause after I went last week, I went home and texted five homies that they had to get their asses down to Penthouse.

Verdict:
Fuck yeah on pay day, if you haven’t been already you better get yo ass down to Penthouse and try this shit out with your best homies.  You better believe it, this is one of my favourite dessert experiences in all of HK.  DEM LIQUID NITROGEN DESSERT FEELS.

Where:
Giando
1/F The Fleet Arcade
1 Lung King Street Fenwick Pier
Wan Chai, Hong Kong

Phone:
+852 2511 8912

Price:
Set lunch costs HKD268 (+10%) – three courses plus tea or coffee.

The deal:
Giando is run by Gianni Caprioli, who used to be the Head Chef at Isola.  Not that I give that much fucking weight because that Isola style of two super overpriced agnolottis chilling in some cream sauce, masquerading as a main size serving in a ridiculously huge white plate with a big-ass rim that resembles a comedic ceramic sun hat doesn’t really float my boat.  Giando is going for that casual, elegant dining vibe and claims its focus is on “minimalist, classic Italian dining” using largely Italian produce and was no doubt banking on getting some of that sweet HK harbour view to tempt the punters to their venue.  Unfortunately for them, the foreshore is currently a mess at the moment so instead you get to peer out through the large glass windows at a not-so-scenic construction site.  That’s an unlucky fuck no bummer, Giando.

We sat down and got started on the bag of housemade bread which was a combination of foccacia, bread and crackers.  The staff forgot to ask if we wanted any olive oil or butter but that was the only minor issue with the service during lunch, with Giando’s service staff being largely on top of their shit.  Giando’s bread was ok and not served warm, but it was definitely not that next-level bread game which makes you want to fist handfuls of carbohydrates into your face, throwing all caution about ruining your lunch appetite to the wind.

The lunch set at Giando is a very reasonable HKD268 (+10%) for three courses and a tea or coffee at the end.  Nice touch Giando in not gouging another HKD40 out of your customers for post-lunch coffee.  To start, I went with the Sicilian octopus olive salad.  It was a fuck yeah combination of tender octopus and some freshness provided by the olives, thinly sliced radishes and the lemon in the smashed potato that the octopus was served on. My optimism levels regarding the rest of my meal were fairly good at this stage.

For main, I ordered the black squid ink tagliolini vongole.  The pasta didn’t scrimp on the seafood, providing lots of fuck yeah fresh clams and octopus pieces.  Fuck yeah, I can get behind restaurants which don’t stinge on the quality items.  However the pasta itself was so middle of the road that I’m starting to fucking yawn just thinking about it.  The taglioni was very fine (as it should be) but may have been slightly overcooked, meaning it had barely any texture or al dente bite to it.  The actual flavouring of the pasta was just ok but there wasn’t much going on to bring this dish together.  To be clear, my main wasn’t fucking terrible and I was fine to eat almost all of it but I was just so fucking bored of eating this dish by the end.

Dessert was a pannacotta with a berry sauce which was absolutely inoffensive.  The texture of the panna cotta wasn’t as soft as I prefer but it wasn’t a gelatinous rock hard lump either.  It did the job, qualifying comfortably as an adequate dessert. At least the Americano I ordered was pretty decent, which is a bit of a HK lunch rarity given the shitty coffee you generally get served post meal.

So this is the drum, Giando’s food is fine (I think I’ve used the word fine about 2,368 times in this review) and I’d describe everything as “very edible”.  Which isn’t the highest praise to heap upon a restaurant.  Nothing was a total disaster but shit just wasn’t exciting enough for me to want to come back to see more of what Giando can do and nothing was executed well enough for you to lump Giando’s food into the category of “fuck yeah examples of classic dishes”.  It really was the sort of meal that you eat because you had to eat lunch without being offended, rather one that makes any sort of long lasting impression.

housefeelnothing

I gotta note too that Giando is in a super awkward location in the middle of nowhere which isn’t really close to public transport so you’ll probably have to cab there.  That’s not too bad when you’re getting there but when it’s time to leave, you’re gonna be forced to schlep through Wan Chai before you actually find a cab.  So weighing up the inconvenient location and logistical transport issues against an inoffensive meal that has a sweeping vista of HK’s best cranes, tarpaulins and excavated earth, shit just doesn’t stack up for Giando.  Maybe it’s because I was ordering off a set lunch menu but I don’t make excuses for restaurants – cause fuck, if you serve me a mediocre lunch menu I ain’t coming back to give you another chance at dinner.

Verdict:
Fuck no – because I can’t be fucked with sufficing, unobjectionable meals with construction site views.  There’s simply better restaurant experiences in HK at this price point and style.

Where:
Posto Pubblico (yo IHM homies, I give you guys shit all the time about your shitty websites but your PP website is actually fucking decent.  PRAISE BE A MENU WITH PRICES)
G/F, 28 Elgin Street
Soho/Central, Hong Kong

Phone:
+852 2577 7160

Price:
Appetisers are around HKD100. Pastas are around HKD160-180. Veal on the bone is HKD445.  Service charge is not included – tip what you want homies.  We got out at HKD300+ a person.  Granted, we ordered the most expensive dish between two people which probably could have been shared between four people.

The deal:
I’ve realised that recently I’m increasingly only writing about new restaurants in the Kong because I’ll fucking admit it, you guys fucking love that shit.  No don’t spit your cold pressed slow pour coffee all over the place and fucking deny it, the stats don’t lie.  It’s emblematic of Hong Kong that we are total sluts for the newest (though not necessarily the greatest) restaurants and then it’s onto the next hottest thing that hit town.  Restaurants here open and close in the blink of a fucking eye as a fickle public churn through restaurants only interested in the new names, just so they can fucking name drop before everyone else.  I’m fucking guilty of this bullshit too.  The restaurant homies aren’t coming to this game with clean hands either – taking a fuck no business model of punching out mediocre, overpriced shit based around transient dining trends.  For example – how many more burger joints does HK really fucking need??  I ESTIMATE AT LEAST TWO MORE IN LKF – godspeed Burger Circus and Double D Burgers, may your tacky ads relying on DOUBLE D boobs (geddit??) bring you financial viability and great happiness.

But fuck that shit, this is Fuck Yeah Noms not Fuck Yeah Dining trends (the domain’s still available if one of you assholes wants it) and when Ms Two Serves and I needed to go out for dinner last week, we were trying to figure out if we should try somewhere new.  In the end though, we decided we didn’t want to try somewhere new and be out of pocket HKD600 for shitty service and a ramen taco clusterfuck, and Ms Two Serves wanted meatballs, so we decided on a return to Posto Pubblico.

Posto’s been around for fucking ages, since 2009, which is approximately 30 years in HK restaurant years.  It’s also been fucking ages since I’ve been cause I got sucked into that new restaurant shit vortex.  I’ve always loved Posto but we all know what it’s like to go back to an old favourite and shit fucking sucks as standards be slipping.  But it’s comforting times that when I get there, it’s still the same fuck yeah dark, intimate space with the kitchen right in the middle so you can see shit coming off the pass.  The hip hop track still blares in the background. The waiters are on their game, friendly, attentive and shit’s happening just right.

Ms Two Serves and I snack down on the complimentary antipasto platter of cheese, parma ham and halved sweet cherry tomatoes which have been liberally covered with fuck yeah high quality olive oil. We dunk house-made crusty bread in the left over oil and watch a massive Veal Milanese sail out of the kitchen for someone else.  With dat bone-in beauty burned into our greedy eyes, Ms Two Serves and I decided instantly that we need that glorious milk fed bastard in our life and we abandon our initial plans for meatballs.

Between only two of us, we settle on the Veal Milanese (HKD445) and a serve of the Bucatini al’Amatriciana (HKD160).  The waiter does pause for a second to suggest that we’ve potentially ordered too much because there’s only two of us as we both assure him that we’re good eaters.  Posto’s pasta is always on point and this rich tomato and bacon sauced pasta dish was no fucking exception.  I fucking love bucatini, I am super down with how its hollow tube shape allows it to grab hold of more sauce than normal spaghetti.  But this is all warm up for the massive fuck yeah of epic proportions which is to come – the Veal Milanese.  This veal fillet with its bone-in is pounded thin, breaded and fried.  The Posto homies then pile it high with home made burrata, cherry tomatoes, basil and toss that shit lightly with some olive oil.  Before you eat it, you squeeze fresh lemon juice all over it.  Posto’s one is just so fucking good – the veal’s breaded properly and with the cheese, tomato and basil on top of it, shit’s so good that I was almost adding my salty ecstatic tears to the acidic lemon which cuts through the deep fried breading and the elastic, creamy curds of the burrata.  Such perfection is not fucking cheap at HKD445 but this glorious veal bastard is fucking huge and could easily feed four people or more.  In a revelatory indication of its grandeur, it’s probably the first time in years of dining with Ms Two Serves we’ve had to ask anyone to box leftovers for us.

I always know the mark of a stand out fuck yeah dish when I’m fucking dreaming about that shit days later.  That’s when I realised that I should stop being such a fucking slacker and write this shit up even if it’s not a new opening because it’s too fucking sad if people aren’t aware of the glory of Posto’s Veal Milanese because there’s too many fucking restaurants in HK and everyone is too busy writing about the newest Jamaican x Korean inspired fried chicken slider place that’s just opened on On Lan Street.  So while it’s the start of a new year and I’m slogging my way through good intentions to be less of a fat fuck, the heart always knows what the heart truly wants.  I may be chewing grudgingly on lean proteins and barely dressed salads but fuck, that healthy boring ass malarky to make me into a better version of myself for 2015 just can’t compare to that boss bitch Veal Milanese. So here’s to new year’s resolutions where we don’t always fixate on the new and remember the old as well.

You tell ’em Janet:

poeticjustice01 poeticjustice02

(Sauce)

Verdict:
Fuck yeah – old shit can still be good shit.  DAT MILANESE, ALWAYS AND FOREVER.

FYN Public Service Announcement (26 June 2015):
It has come to my attention that some FYN homies have gone on down to Posto for some intense veal chop loving only to be told that the veal is sold the fuck out.  FUCK NO!  So the FYN hot tip is when you book your table, make sure you ask them to save you one.  Life’s too sad to suffer through veal related disappointment.

Where:
Linguini Fini (Dear IHM, I hope to fucking God you are not paying someone actual hard currency to make your websites.  Y U only have mobile version even for browsers?  Y UR menu section not actually contain a menu??)
49 Elgin Street
Central / Soho, Hong Kong

Phone:
+852 2387 6338

Price:
We got out at HKD340ish per person, including an adequate amount of booze – BEFORE TIP.  No service charge is included (A++ the waiters don’t point this out like assholes as they angle for a tip, hey Yardbird + Little Bao, imma lookin’ at you) – but hey FYN homies, don’t be a ballbag, pay tips to your fuck yeah waiter homies, ok?

The deal:
Linguini Fini has ditched The L Place and moved into a new massive space on Elgin Street, right near the escalators.  You know what that means for any new restaurant – fuck yeah, you gotta have your own vegetable / herb garden (see also: NUR, Arcane, The Pawn, Sohofama) because the latest hot as fuck trend is LOCAL PRODUCE FROM THE KONG (to be fair, Linguini Fini + the gang started that bandwagon a long fucking time ago) but still flying in your water from Italy.  But FYN is not just about GIFs and f-bombs, FYN is pleased to announce that we’re also branching into Research services, so check out this scientific as fuck HK forecast from FYN Research (#1 Non-RMB Research House in Absolutely Jack Shit for 2014):

growingshit

FUCK YEAH,  DISCLAIMER:  
The performance figures contained herein are net of any sort of accurate or statistical content.  Past performance is not any sort of fucking indication of future performance or actual realised forecasts of rooftop herb gardens in HK restaurants (which may be affected by a number of factors including, but not limited to, applicable trends, asshole restaurateurs and a fickle as fuck HK public).

But shit, my fuck yeah love for IHM’s Stone Nullah Tavern is well documented (check it out, here and here yo) so it’s rad times that Linguini Fini is back open for business.  When I called to book, I was told that I was #1 on the waitlist and I thought for a split second that I was trying to get my #soblessed ass into a Saturday Vinyasa class at Pure vs booking a table for gluten filled times on a Saturday night.  But shit worked out, waitlist confirmed and Linguini Fini was rammed on a Saturday night despite it still being in “soft open”.  While Linguini Fini’s stark industrial exposed walls and ceilings look cool as fuck, when you combine it with hard floors, no table cloths, a rock and roll soundtrack and wall to wall punters, it means that if you’re a) over 15 years old b) not a dog, you’re gonna be fucked cause shit is loud.  I know soft furnishings are so passé these days but fuckkkkk, it prevents you from eating in a goddamn echo chamber and being able to hear what your homies are saying across a small table.  Yo Linguini Fini homies, time to invest in some acoustic foam cones for your ceiling cause the home-made pasta which is hangin’ out to air dry doesn’t have the acoustic muffling qualities that you might have been hoping for.

Squeezed into our booth, Mrs Ain’t No Mountain High Enough gingerly peered through the remnants of a hangover and spotted the menu’s disclaimer that pizzas take 30 minutes.  Accordingly, she came storming out of the blocks ordering an 18″ Bronx pizza for an appetiser before we’d even ordered drinks.   Fuck yeah times born out of irresponsible necessity cause get dat homemade tomato sauce, pizza dough and pepperoni in my life.  Shit was huge and could easily feed eight people – fuck yeahhh cause expensive, mediocre food for ants pizza$ favoured by HK restaurants can fuck right off already. Later on we closed our meal with another pizza, the Sausage one which was good but I’d say the Bronx had the upper hand on the Sausage.

Ms Two Serves is back on the scene which means we ordered a shit tonne of food.  The garlic bread comes either with or without melted mozzarella and we foolishly ordered one serve of each.  Don’t make the same fucking mistakes we did, of course melted cheese was going to make things fucking superior.  The vegetable options weren’t just fucking afterthoughts and didn’t just feel like HKD78 exercises in steamed string beans or steamed choy sum.  The misti plate and the salad were all fuck yeahs, but the biggest fuck yeah for me was the kale side.  I know, motherfucking kale, what a fucking hip healthful vegetable stereotype – but the acidic lemon / salty anchovies Linguini Fini paired with it was a fuck yeah.  Pass me my goddamn coconut water already, I got this.

I had been fucking pumped all week to get Linguini Fini’s signature slow roasted  porchetta / pork belly, but as soon as we sat down, our waiter let us know IMMEDIATELY that the porchetta was sold out.  A tragedy of insurmountable proportions – FYN’s reaction at this fuck no news:

pandasad

However, we went with the hanger steak instead which I thought was really fucking reasonably priced at HKD188 and it arrived cut into eight pieces for easy sharing and was a brief fuck yeah (I guess that’s what happens when you share a singular steak with SEVEN people). Every other HK food blog would describe it as “grilled to absolute perfection” – imma gonna settle with tasty as fuck.

But really, if you call yourself “Linguini Fini”, obviously the pasta is gonna be your star attraction and they make everything fresh and on site.  We ordered the Radiatori Alla Vodka, the Ravioli and the Pappardelle Bolo. The Pappardelle is a LF classic using the “nose to tail” of the animal, a mix of pork / beef bolognese style sauce (I’m not 100% sure exactly which bits in between the nose to tail were in it – I would check the menu on their website for details except THERE’S NOTHING THERE) and a reliable performer.  The ravioli stuffed with ricotta was probably the crowd favourite and I can’t lie, I wanted to spoon six of them into my face, but instead settled with half a ravioli given that we were sharing one plate between seven people.  However, I thought the Radiatori Alla Vodka was actually the most interesting.

FYN Fun Fact: Radiatori means ‘radiator’ in Italian and is a relatively new world pasta shape.  This extruded pasta is modelled on an “old industrial heating fixture (a straight pipe with concentric, parallel fins)” – this maximises the surface area which means it’s a fuck yeah pasta shape for catching thick pasta sauces.

But aside from giving you some talking wank-off points for your next meal regarding radiatori pasta (if this gets you laid, please let me know), I was just so fucking down with the radiatori because its dense layered shape gives them a toothy fuck yeah texture. It’s also a spicy fucker of a dish which means some of my boring ass pussy homies were not so into as they made dramatic coughing sounds while chugging water, but because I have massive balls, I fucking loved it.

We closed out with apple pie and cinnamon ice-cream, and predictably Ms Two Serves ordered two serves.  As soon as it arrived though, Ms Two Serves got her judgey pie face on and immediately critiqued it loudly and openly for it having chunky apples and lacking adequate thickness to the base. However, this is a girl who takes her pie making really fucking seriously. Once I was making my own goddamn pie and I sent her a pic of the apples I was preparing and she spotted that I’d par-cooked my apples and I received one message which started with “GODDAMNIT WOMAN, HOW COULD YOU BE SO FUCKING STUPID? NEVER COOK APPLES BEFORE PUTTING THEM IN A PIE” before a tirade of messages regarding how I was going to end up with an Apple Sauce Fail Pie relentlessly washed over me.  I ended up making apple sauce out of the 10 apples with a side of self-loathing before I bought, peeled and prepared another 10 fucking apples just to calm her the fuck down.  Ms Two Serves’ reservations were accurate though and I gotta say that Linguini Fini’s pie was a fuck no – overworked pastry, cold apple filling and the cinnamon ice-cream was grainy and full of large ice crystals.  Pro tip from the  Carbohydrate Supercoach – skip dessert and double down on pasta.

Just prior to the bill, our table had a minor panic moment when we realise that the water bottle we’ve been drinking from has potentially the wankiest water bottle label ever which is a key leading indicator for bank-breaking times for plain water.  Not only does the Beyond O2 label have to be viewed through the bottle, it also claims it has “micro cluster capabilities”, “Über Hydrating, 9+ pH” and “This is Harmony in a Bottle”.  Fuck, for a horrible moment we think we’ve fallen to many a restaurant’s go-to dick move which consists of some asshole waiter cracking open bottle after bottle of expensive imported water without asking the table if that’s what they want until BOOM they make the grand reveal, slamming down a massive final fucking bill where 50%+ of the bill is attributable to nine bottles of imported still water from Italy (HKD98 each, motherfuckers).  Which results in me staring at the asshole waiter, eyes large with hydration, despair and tight-assed sadness:

helpme

Luckily, Linguini Fini are alkalising that shit themselves using locally sourced, sustainable water from Guangdong (ie. HK tap water) so we dodged water-related bankruptcy.  Overall, I can totally fucking get behind a price point of just under HKD400 for a shit-tonne of fuck yeah food (excluding the dud pie), booze, uber-hyrdating alkaline water and relatively attentive service. Next time though, Porchetta, my love, my darling, my moon, my stars – IMMA COMIN’ FOR YOU.

Verdict:
FUCK YEAHHHH.  Thank fuck, because I don’t think I have the mental fortitude to face another HKD600+ average-ass meal at a new/renovated HK Island restaurant before 2014 ends.  Yes, my HK struggle truly is real.

Where:
Zucca London
184 Bermondsey Street
London SE1 3TQ

Phone:
+44 (0)20 7378 6809 or fuck yeah, online booking (HK, Y U not as good at this as UK?!)

Price:
£123 (approx USD210) for two people (service charge is not included), excluding tip.  Three courses, but including a £45 bottle of spectacular as fuck Coppi Barberra bottle of red wine and a £10 glass of grappa.  Spoiler alert – you better fucking leave a goddamn tip here, motherfuckers.

The deal:
The UK Supercoach provided us with a list of UK recommendations and out of all of them, he declared that Zucca was the absolute must visit, fuck yeah stop.  Pro tips from the UK Supercoach also included do not order the carpaccio, the free bread will ensure that you forget the breadsticks at Grissini, get the zucca fritti, make sure to have at least one pasta (and if available, get the white truffle pasta) and the panna cotta. I may have received more than one reminder to get the panna cotta.  I fucking love people who have firm opinions about food (fuck, who would have guessed), everyone should take a vow not to be one of those bullshit friends who when you ask them for somewhere to go, they recommend some half-assed mediocre restaurant but when you really push them, they go “I mean, I guess it’s ok”.  Apathetic homies, Y U recommend just ok restaurant?!  Rules to fucking live by – make your words count for something, always!!

The service at Zucca was a top notch fuck yeah, with our waitress walking us through the menu, explaining all the Italian terms (without the vaguest hint of a condescension) and the backstory to some of the dishes. All the points in the goddamn universe for the menu which states boldly at the bottom “Using your mobile phone is unnecessary and anti-social” – ALL THE FUCK YEAHS EVER TO THIS SENTIMENT.  How fucking nice to be in a restaurant buzzing with people getting their nom on, talking to each other and there was only one guy who was on his goddamn mobile at the table.  No stupid fucking pauses for food photography , checking their blackberries or whatsapping with the fury of a thousand suns.  If you really want to see some pics, check out these beautiful as fuck pictures of Zucca over at The Hunt.  But really, carpe fuckin’ diem for once, you super connected assholes, you can exist outside of your mobile device I swear to god.

We followed the UK Supercoach playguide when it came to ordering.  At Zucca, they make all of their own bread, pasta and ice-cream.  The bread board contained a medley of different types of bread and came out with their own extra virgin olive oil, which is beautiful and green, grassy and complex which almost saw me ruin my appetite as I wanted to demand more bread to get more of dat oil into my life.  For entrees, we got the Zucca fritti and the vitello tonnato.  The Zucca fritti were fuck yeah, crispy as fuck, delicate batons of pumpkin tempura.  The vitello tonnato was a play on the Italian classic of the veal with the tuna flavoured mayonnaise – getting all vice versas chocolate styleez on it, serving barely seared tuna with a pork mayonnaise and  then thin slices of pork with a tuna mayonnaise. A serious fuck yeah, as we dragged fuck yeah bread through the remaining mayonnaise to ensure neither fish nor pig died in vain.

Mr Noms ruminated between getting the pork shoulder or the pork chop and I solved this dilemma by imploring him to consider ‘WWRS?‘ – What Would Roxette Say?

Appeared that the pork chop was calling to him and he tried to imply that I had pork chop envy.  But whoa, back that up homie, cause he was fucking wrong because my bucatini all’amatriciana was giving me life, with each tubular bucatini strand which had even more surface area than a solid linguini/spagetti, to carry dat rich as fuck tomato and pork cheek sauce into my life.

When the panna cotta with gooseberries arrived, I realised why the UK Supercoach had been so adamant that we order this.  Fuck yeah to panna cotta which quivvers to the touch but melted away once you ate this snowy white beauty.  I don’t want to get too Descriptive Food Wank 101 on yo ass but fuck meeeeee, this is probably one of the best panna cottas I’ve had in my entire life. Not being fucking dramatic either.

Sometimes it’s easy to get fatigued with boring as fuck, basic bitch Italian food – but then you have a meal like we did at Zucca, a serious boss bitch where there are NO lowlights and there is nothing more that you could fucking want. Mr Noms laid it down last night, taking price out of the equation saying “If it was free, where would you go back to – Dinner by Heston or here?”.  Which made me think about food and dining and all that bullshit – the tricks, the rankings, the stars, the hype, the photos, the techniques – but what does it all fucking count for?  Who really fucking cares – all I know is that I couldn’t get this magnificent, flaw-free, boss bitch out of my head all day, replaying the whole goddamn thing.

Verdict:
One of the best meals I’ve had so far this year. Fucking stunning.  FUCK YEAHHHHHHHHHH.

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