It’s no secret that dining privately in a chef’s home has been popular with HK’ers for a while now and I don’t believe that trend is slowing down anytime soon. Having sampled places like Ta Pantry and La Mieux Bistro, I had some idea of what to expect when dining at Cuore Italian Private Kitchen. But my preconceived notions of what a private kitchen looks like were far surpassed when entering Chef Andrea’s home.
Upon entering Andrea’s home, you are welcomed with the warmth of his hospitality, the aromatic smells from his kitchen and the rich hues of the red, black and white décor. You immediately feel as if you’re just having dinner at a friend’s home… except for the fact that your friend happens to be an extremely accomplished chef with a professional kitchen to boot.
Bespoke Parties (shameless plug!) did a wonderful job planning the table settings and décor for the dinner. For a party of 10, we sat in a large square table at the centre of Andrea’s apartment, surrounded by views of the Aberdeen harbour, Andrea’s impressive library with massive photograph portraits and of course, his state-of-the-art kitchen.
Dinner began with a smoked swordfish carpaccio from Sicily served with a Mediterranean vinaigrette and sliced cherries. Although paper thin, each slice exuded a lovely smokey aroma and flavour. The sweet tang from the sliced cherries was the perfect accompaniment for this starter. Chef Andrea gave a memorable intro to the dish, informing us that the swordfish we were eating was actually caught using an ancient form of spear hunting!
Next came the homemade ravioli, which had to be my favourite course for the evening. Encased in the perfectly made al dente pasta was a light ricotta and pear filling. Each parcel was carefully fashioned with a twist, reminiscent of Andrea’s memories of unwrapping candy as a kid. The cheesy parmesan crust definitely finished off the dish with pizzazz… for someone who has been carb-free for a while, this was an amazing reintroduction!
The next course was meatballs in tomato sauce (two to be exact!) with hummus crostini on the side. Maybe it was because the first two dishes packed so much creativity and flavour, but this dish was slightly underwhelming to me. The meatball itself was dry despite swimming in sauce. The crostini was delightful but left me wondering why it was chosen as an accompaniment. What redeemed this dish, in my opinion, was the tomato sauce which was both aromatic and rich in flavour. During this course, Andrea shared with us memories of his childhood in Italy helping Grandma prepare enough tomato sauce to last the whole year!
Finally, dessert! Over a friendly banter as to who makes the best chocolate in the world with our Belgium friend and Italian chef, we ended the dinner with a flourless truffle cake dusted with cocoa powder. Divine! Each bite was smooth and rich: you would expect nothing less from the finest Amedei chocolate. What was lovely about this was that it was definitely not too sweet — the perfect way to end the evening!
If you’re looking for food with a story and a delicious home-cooked Italian meal in an intimate setting, Cuore Private Kitchen is the place for you. It’s the perfect option for wining and dining on a night out with friends sans babies and toddlers!