Ermanno Lelli finds space to cook up his southern Italian favourites at Segreto Private Kitchen

Now in a new and bigger location, chef from Naples enjoys good company as he rustles up the authentic tastes of southern Italy

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 16 November, 2017, 10:33am
UPDATED : Thursday, 16 November, 2017, 10:33am

Having just moved to near PMQ, Segreto Private Kitchen now enjoys double the space it had at its previous site in Lan Kwai Fong. Chef Ermanno Lelli from Naples, Italy, is a private chef who has been in the F&B industry for more than 20 years. He now enjoys cooking his favourite dishes from southern Italy several times a week for those who enjoy authentic tastes of Italy.

A tasting experience at Segreto, though, is not just about the food; diners can sit around the open kitchen while Lelli cooks and talks, and we find it interesting and entertaining. We enjoyed a Calabrese menu starting with golden fried sardines topped with sweet and sour red onions which are marinated in home-made vinegar and served with home-made bread. The warm sardines and cold onions is a light start and it definitely awakens the taste buds. We also liked the Faella Bucatini pasta, with sardine sauce, tossed with a home-made mix of Mediterranean herbs of mint, thyme, fennel and anise crumbles with aged sheep’s milk cheese.

My favourite dish of the evening was the rigatoni ragout, a recipe from his grandma, made with pork belly, neck and beef, Parmesan, egg plant and mozzarella. The pasta is an artisanal rigatoni for Naples; it is shorter and fatter than the usual rigatoni pasta. The dish really delivered in terms of its rich flavour and texture. It was homey and filling, and there was a fight for seconds from the group we were with. The meat dish was also a winner - pork ribs, olives, peppers, red wine and cheese. For dessert, we had a Cabrese favourite - chinulilli made with figs, chutney, almond and bitter orange sauce. After which, Lelli treated us to his special espresso with almonds and a coffee liqueur.

This is a perfect fun night out with a group of good friends, especially those who enjoy authentic Italian homestyle cooking, paired with good Italian wine.