Restaurant review: Vasco, SoHo - tasting menus good value and satisfying
The two tasting menus at Vasco offer some delicious surprises
Our waiter at Vasco seemed a little pushy when he strongly recommended that my guest and I order one of the two tasting menus: five seasonal courses for HK$880, or eight "signature dishes" for HK$1,180.
But after looking at the rest of the menu, we realised it was good advice, because two or three à la carte options would have been just as expensive as the eight-course tasting. So that's what we had.
The chef is Paolo Casagrande from Lasarte, the Michelin two-star Martin Berasategui restaurant in Barcelona. We suspected we were in for a good meal with the first bite of the wonderful, crusty sourdough bread, served with five flavoured Bordier butters (salted, mushroom, tomato, spinach and beetroot), and a choice of five olive oils.
There were no misses in the eight courses, several amuses bouches and petits fours. The food is clever with unexpected touches — the first course of raw tuna loin comes with a refreshing celery sherbet. The third course — one of the highlights of the meal — was a fantastic, wobbly foie gras served with artichoke heart and tiny cubes of what the waiter said was horseradish tofu.
Red Palamos prawn (served headless — the only disappointment of the night, because the head is the best part) with sea urchin came with a mussel and fennel "seabed" (as it was listed on the menu), but it seemed like an old-fashioned chaud-froid sauce. The final savoury course was another highlight: roasted French pigeon, cooked medium-rare so it was tender and meaty tasting.
Of the two desserts, we especially liked the light, refreshing rice and cardamom soup served with olive oil sponge cake and olive oil sorbet. We were a little too full to enjoy the delicately crisp chocolate leaf with coffee ice cream and chocolate sponge.
Vasco, shop H701-H708, 7/F PMQ, 35 Aberdeen Street, Central, tel: 2156 0888. About HK$1,000 without drinks or the service charge