Chef’s Corner I’m trying to understand the magic of Italian cuisine and who better than Michelin-star chef Francesco Brocca of Goccia Restaurant and Wine Bar to explain the magic of carpaccio. “It’s my favorite summer dish,” he told me, “the delicate thin slices of raw ingredients, the Italian herbs, the top-quality olive oil and the tangy dressings are perfect for the summer’s warmer weather – especially when paired with a glass of chilled Champagne.” He’s done up five dishes he likes: duck breast, veal with truffle, salmon and sea scallops, lobster and artichokes, each with their own healthy dressing. Chatting about matching food with wine, we had a bit of a laugh with a glass of Rosé Veuve Cliquot, which we concluded would be a fine pairing with any of the dishes. Of course, Brocca gave me the usual grief about being a French snob and pointed out the many great Italian prosecco choices that would be best mates with carpaccio. G/F, 71 Wyndham St., Central, 2167-8181. All New Menu Those crazy French – if they’re not head-butting you, they’re making up new and ever more delicious menus. I’m talking about the bold adventures SPOON by Alain Ducasse is taking with an all-new menu format that redefines fine dining with a mix of the classics, as well as some dishes that are hot on the menus from different SPOON restaurants around the world (the lineup changes monthly). Also this month a special four-course menu by chef Tjaco van Eiken goes for $450 until Aug 20. It’s tied into the Phantom of the Opera replete with all kinds of references to the show, which frankly confused me but then I haven’t seen it. InterContinental Hong Kong, 18 Salisbury Rd, Tsim Sha Tsui, 2313-2256. Doin’ the Right Thing I’m not usually a charity mouthpiece, but this one’s a very good thing: all August at the Fourth Floor restaurant in Harvey Nicks, 10 percent of the price for the cocktail of the month will go to Aids Concern. Help others by helping yourself - to a martini! The Landmark,15 Queens Rd. Central, 3695-3389. Coolin’ Off The Heat What better way to beat off the heat on roasting summer nights than with some cooling homemade ice cream? Tiffin at Grand Hyatt Hong Kong is featuring a summer ice cream promotion from August 10-27, showcasing a range of homemade ice cream at the dessert buffet every night. M/F, Grand Hyatt, 2584-7822. No Time to Catch Up Ever feel like you haven’t had the chance to catch up with your friends over a nice meal, what with the impatient waiters hovering in the wings, ready to kick your lazy ass out at the next available moment? Well, you won’t have to worry about this at Madison’s, since they are now serving what is probably the longest lunch in town every Sat. Available all afternoon from noon until 6pm, Madison’s new “Saturday Long Lunch” includes some of the restaurant’s specialties, like the Madison’s Caesar salad, snack platter of Peking duck rolls, tandoori chicken, crispy whitebait and babyback ribs, mini-sirloin cheeseburgers with fries, and even mini-desserts. And for those who long for a real laidback vibe, splash out an extra $100 and you’ll score an unlimited refill of sparkling wine. Bottloness tea and coffee is also available for $50. Madison’s, G/F Hutchison House, 10 Harcourt Road, Central, 2523-4772. Organic Goodness It’s not only good for your health, organic food is also good for the environment. It preserves the life cycle, which supplies our food chain. And GREAT, the premier food hall in Hong Kong, is launching an “Organic and Healthy Products” promotion until August 17. From organic groceries to gluten-free products, the promotion features over 700 food items for the first time in Hong Kong. GREAT, Basement, Two Pacific Place, Queensway, 2918-9986.