Dim sum, noodle soup, steak, no Thai: an Italian chef in Hong Kong on his favourite places to eat
- From Venice in Italy, Marco Furlan is the new executive chef at Spasso restaurant in Tsim Sha Tsui. He tells us his favourite Italian restaurants
- He also likes Chinese dishes, but is no fan of Thai cuisine
Spasso’s new executive chef, Marco Furlan, is a native of Venice. He has been working at restaurants in Hong Kong since 2004.
Regarding Asian cuisine, I prefer Chinese dishes. I don’t like much Thai. I know that sounds strange but I think with my Italian palate, it’s too spicy and too sweet sometimes. It’s not my taste. But Vietnamese and Japanese I like very much.
For Italian food, I look for the chef’s style more than any particular region. I don’t eat out often but I like Giando (Tower 1, Starcrest, 9 Star Street, Wan Chai, tel: 2511 8912).
I also enjoy CIAK – In The Kitchen (Shop 327-333, The Landmark, 15 Queen’s Road Central, Central, tel: 2522 8869). I don’t really go for pizza but I’ll have a real meal there with a couple of appetisers and main course.
For dim sum, I like Federal Palace. It’s a huge place on the second floor of the Citygate mall (Shop 255, Citygate Outlets, 20 Tat Tung Road, Tung Chung, tel: 2626 0181). But I always tell my wife, don’t put soy or vinegar on the food. I want to taste it naturally.
I also enjoy Shanghai Garden Restaurant (Shop 203, 2/F Hutchison House, 10 Harcourt Road, Admiralty, tel: 2524 8181).
For Vietnamese, it’s a mall chain restaurant but I like Viet’s Choice (various locations including Shop G10B, Fashion World (Site 2), Wonderful Worlds of Whampoa, Hung Hom, tel: 2997 1811) in Hung Hom. The staff are very nice and very friendly. It’s the only place where I would eat noodles in soup. Usually I don’t have any kind of noodle in soup, whether it’s Japanese or Chinese.
I also like Robotayaki (Two Harbourfront, 22 Tak Fung Street, Hung Hom, tel: 2996 8438). They deserve more attention because that place is a bit hidden or forgotten. I used to go there more before I started a family.
There’s a steak house I enjoy in the SoHo area called Craftsteak (29 Elgin Street, SoHo, tel: 2523 9500). I also liked the Middle Eastern restaurant across the street, Olive (32 Elgin Street, SoHo, tel: 2521 1608). It was my first time eating some specialised Middle Eastern food and I really enjoyed it.
I have got to know the French pastry chef at the Mira Hotel, Jean-Marc Gaucher, and I really love this explosion of his work at COCO Café & Patisserie (Lobby, Mira Hotel, 118-130 Nathan Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, tel: 2315 5566).
I really like the way The Beefbar (2/F, Club Lusitano, 16 Ice House Street, Central, tel: 2110 8853) operates. Of course, it’s expensive but it costs money to be good.