Restaurant Review: Tosca – Italian cooking in The Ritz Carlton Hong Kong
I slowly come off of superlatives fort his hotel and the related activities to it, but the Tosca in the Ritz Carlton Hongkong rocks. From service to in-house restaurant and truly unbeatable delicious food – it really beats hollow. And I am sure to have enough comparisons.
Before I describe The Ritz Carlton Hotel and bar in following posts, today it is about the Italian restaurant Tosca. It is located in the highest hotel worldwide on 102nd floor. It has an outstanding view (if weather permits) and offers absolute high end cooking. Dining in an Italian restaurant amazed me, but I was told that Asians love Italian cooking, which is the reason why HongKong visitors find a lot of these in the city.
The restaurant itself is open to guests and outsiders and is regularly visited by “Locals”. When we gathered for dinner at 7:30pm, we received a warm welcome and taken to our table. Personnel are incredibly friendly and give you the feeling of dining with friends. Especially nice was Roy, who looked after us pathetically. Right at the beginning we were asked for having allergies that should be regarded for the selection of foods and recommendations. When the answer was “no”, we were told that there are two allergies everybody has: one for bad food and one for bills.
But first things first: the menu.
The fantastic locality is opened from Monday to Saturday (12-14 o’clock), with a brunch on Sunday from 11:30am to 15pm. Every evening from 6 to 10:30pm it’s dinner time. Its recommendable to reserve a table, since it can happen to go home hungry, which would be really, really sad.
Not only the location on floor 102 makes the dinner an unforgettable experience, but also the furnishing. Seating furniture and tables are super comfortable and it gives the impression to rather be a “home” than a restaurant.
Beneath a multi-course meal (1.500 H$, approximately 150 Euro), the menu also offers a more than comprehensive selection. One dish sounds better than the other. We started with a small dish, which was a perfect opening for the night. Already here, cooks proved their talent by revealing not too much of creativity while being quite on the edge. Creativity is the right buzzword for the selection of bread. Away from normal and towards creativity means some kind of pizza bread, staffed with potato slices, for example. Olive oil and balsamic vinegar topped off the taste.
We chose the following starters:
1.) Roasted pigeon, Campari jelly, raspberries and foie gras
2.) Fassone beef carpaccio, aspargus, anchovies and extra virgin olive oil gelato
3.) Raw cooked vegetableswith Buffalo mozzarella
We received cold starters first (2 and 3). The Carpaccio as well as the selection of vegetables on buffalo mozzarella is not only good, but also inexpressible. With an indescribable selection of spices and ingredients cooks succeed to create a taste that is hard to top. To all dishes, the waiter brings suiting wines, preferably from Italy, and stuns me/us with every glass of how well it fits to the course. Adding up to the wine selection, I enclosed the list, which we kindly received printed – another kind of service that is just so outstanding.
After we had the first two starters, one of the selected signature dishes by chef Vittorio Lucariello followed. The meet of dove was not only tender and well spiced; it was just incredible and a pure pleasure for eye and gums.
We were waiting for it to continue, since there were a few more dishes to come. The ordered pasta, which was an entrée, came immediately and is from my point of view on the best I ever had.
„Homemade tagliolini with red prawns, tomato tartare and chilli peppers“
Picture speak for themselves, its just sad I cant make you taste or smell this via internet – you would have really enjoyed it. Spices swirl around the gum, and again a convenient, fresh wine chosen and served with caution by the sommelier.
Now, we needed a little break, but right after that we continued with the two main courses (while I was actually replete) and no one should miss these. Both smell fantastic and look like out of the cookbook by the way. We decided for a main course from the menu: “Roasted Wagyu beef sirloin, potato, shallots purèe, Marsala wine and black truffle“. I had a lot of good meat in my life all around the world, but this one outshines everything.
The second choice of courses, this time from the „normal“ menu, keeps the promise, too. „Lamb chops with pistachios crust and Jerusalem artichoke purée“ is a pleasure for eye and roof of the mouth.
The combination of pistachios crust and lamb, which is to tender you cannot wait, and thereto mash cannot be described.
The “Tosca Experience” is supported by the considerate and friendly service by Roy and his colleagues, who seem to know any wish before its spoken and get it done before its requested.
But we are not done with the food yet. The question arises, what kind of desserts there are (of course not before the cheese trolley passes by) and immediately the question is being answered. Fitting to cheese there is wine, a selection of bread and a little fruit jelly. Especially the cheese on the right of the picture, but also all the others and the cheese of truffle are amazing. If you are in Hong Kong and love cheese, you have to stop by and enjoy an exciting night. (little bit molecularly cooking)
It continues to be exciting with the selection of deserts, which falls into Roy’s hands. Beside a variety of cake with a sauce to die for, we get completely different little desserts. After we almost die of satiety we are totally satisfied with the selection by Roy, until he comes around the corner with a grin and a friendly remark.
While putting the tiramisu on the table, he says:
“You have to try this, even if it is just two spoons – it’s incredible.”
Of course we do as commanded and I was lucky to put 2 of my 4 glasses of wine aside, because the sommelier arrives with another two treats right away. Besides the two sweet wines, we have a 30 years old sherry that is not on the menu. I don’t know how it arrived so fast, but it was the best I ever drank. Just the smell that reached my nostrils when the glass was introduced cannot be outclassed.
After we got through all the starters, entrees, main courses, cheeses and desserts, the night ended after two wonderful hours in the Tosca. Meanwhile the city can only be seen behind a paravan, whereas “to see” rather means the few lights of the Skyline and so we said goodbye with the intention to come back to floor 110. We would not get to that, because you “have to check out the bar”, where we would be expected. We are accompanied “very quickly” to floor 118 to an already reserved table in the Ozone Bar, but more is about to come in another article.
About the price: (everything in HK$, rate approx. 10:1)
The menu appears by 1.500 HK$ on the bill. Starters lie around 130 and 320HK$, Pasta is between 210 and 480 and main courses are between 380 and 480 HK$. Therewith, prices are in the upper level, but more than justified.