Delish Eats: Aria, Regional Italian Flavours Expressed with Love
September 11, 2023
Restaurant history: Aria Italian opened in earnest fashion in July 2020, joining Lan Kwai Fong Concepts Group as a contemporary offering to showcase the strength of Italy’s earth and animals, tracing from the north to south for imported goods and recipes shared at the restaurant.
Chef story: Angelo Vecchio is executive chef for the Central-based restaurant group, directing its western concepts. With Aria, chef Vecchio is committed to reflecting Italy’s biodiversity and strong regionality, with variance in flavour and culinary spectacle.
What’s the vibe and venue like: Aria stands proud in Lan Kwai Fong, towering above its neighbours to soak up a rare view of distant West Kowloon, Lantau, and bustling SoHo. The Italian restaurant is supreme in taste and interior design, with a unique Italianity that can be sensed when dining. We recommend reserving a table as sunset hits to witness the restaurant fill up with purple and orange light.
How much does it cost: Between four of us for a weekday dinner, our meal of three appetisers, two pasta dishes, two secondi meat dishes, and one pizza came to HK$3,278, reasonable for the number of dishes served.
What’s the menu about: A hearty approach to sampling each corner of Italy, with Roman, Milanese, Pugliese, Sicilian, Sardinian, and Napoleon features of appetisers, pasta and pizza selections, and meaty main dishes.
What did we order: Carpaccio di Ricciola (HK$208), Melanzane alla Puttanesca (HK$208), Burrata al Pomodoro (HK$238), Chitarra alla Crema di Tartufo & Funghi (HK$278), Fettuccine all’Astice (HK$388), Salmone (HK$298), Milanese (HK$468), Costata Kagoshima A4 (HK$1,192 / 400g)
Carpaccio di Ricciola: Joining beef and tuna in Aria’s carpaccio collection, the cut of yellowtail paired with a yuzu dress and orange brought out a heavy honey note on the palate that pleasantly ended with cured umami aftertaste.
Chitarra alla Crema di Tartufo & Funghi: Nutty and creamy are two words you need to treasure with this dish. The house-name chimera pasta holds a yeasty bite, complemented with a powerful aromatic mix of garlic, mushroom, heavy cream, and truffle paste.
Salmone: Stacked on a yeasty, sweet thin crust, mozzarella, ribbons of smoked salmon, mayonnaise, olive dust, and dill combine for a smoky and light pizza bite. The smoked salmon gives off a strong cured aroma that pairs well with the sweet dill and mayonnaise.
Milanese: One of the two stars of the show, the veal Milanese was served with a thin but crunchy batter that infused the white meat with a buttery and salty undertone. Each bite was pillowy and held a flavour note of rosemary.
Costata Kagoshima A4: Whilst not strictly an Italian cut of cow, the A4 wagyu cut was sublime. Squeeze out of the confit garlic, serve with English mustard, and mush into each bite of the wagyu for a soothing experience, tasting salty goodness that trickles into your brain and opens your serotonin tap wide.
What we liked: The wagyu cut was some of the finest I have ever flavoured. Thin salty crust, fat that literally melted on the tongue, and a toned umami body that hit home strong ox flavours in the beef cut. Magical.
What we didn’t like: I was impressed with the unique serving of the Buratta with a coating of bulb tomatoes, but the cheese itself was small in presentation. The Salmone pizza was not punchy, with a lack of olive dust as listed on the menu, under-delivering on my salty expectations.
What you should order: Carpaccio di Ricciola, Insalata di Cesare, Chitarra alla Crema di Tartufo & Funghi, Milanese, Filetto di Tonno, Costata Kagoshima A4, Parma
Location: Aria, 24/F, California Tower, 30-36 D’Aguilar Street, Central, Hong Kong
Contact details: +852 2804 1116
This food review is based on a complimentary media tasting provided by Aria in exchange for a truthful review and no compensation. The opinions expressed within represent the views of the author.
Enjoyed this article? Check out our previous Delish Eats reviews here.
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