Aqua’s New Homegrown Garden Brings Unusual Italian & Japanese Herbs
Fresh to the Table
(Hong Kong, 11 September 2019) Using state-of-the-art technology, aqua restaurant is home-growing in the kitchen Italian and Japanese herbs, many of them never tasted before in Hong Kong. The herbs are hand-picked at their peak of freshness and served in six delicious new ‘Homegrown’ dishes specially created by aqua’s chefs to bring out the amazing flavours and freshness of the herbs.
aqua’s chefs have now become green-fingered gardeners too! Seeds from Italy and Japan are planted and carefully nurtured in high-tech miniature grow boxes inside the restaurant kitchen. When the herbs are at their peak, the chefs harvest them and immediately serve up the delicious ‘Homegrown’ dishes. As part of the experience guests are presented the herb at the table so they can pick and snip the herbs to add the final touch to their dish.
Amongst the six ‘Homegrown’ dishes are:
|Oxalis is a European herb with an unusual sour and bittersweet tanginess. Aqua introduces this in the Chilled beetroot, Champagne jelly & summer fruits gazpacho with homegrown oxalis (HK$228); a creative dish with an accumulation of complex flavours. Served cold, the herbs are infused into a soup of beetroot, vinegar and black pepper, which is then poured over a stunningly presented plate of black garlic, pickled cherries, strawberries and sweet Champagne jelly. Using one of the most famous cooking techniques in France, the dish is topped with an eye-catching black tuille, adding a contrasting crunch to each bite.|
|Mitsuba; a three-leaf herb also known as ‘Japanese wild parsley’, has subtle peppery notes. This Asian plant is used in the photogenic and vegetarian Lotus wood, avocado & fig sushi with homegrown mitsuba (HK$298). Famous for its pink hue, thinly sliced lotus wood is marinated in vinegar and used to roll a soft, flavourful parcel of sushi rice, avocado and fig slices which are perfectly paired with a creamy peach and mayonnaise sauce. The sushi is tied together with fresh scallion and topped with sprigs of mitsuba at the table, to add refreshing bitter notes which carefully balance the sweetness of this dish.|
Next in the urban farm, Italian sorrel miraculously grows in two types from the same plant, producing both purple stemmed leaves and green lettuce-like sprigs. It is used in the simple Italian dish of three Pan-fried Hokkaido scallops with homegrown sorrel pesto & crème fraiche (HK$278). The cooling white sauce compliments the rich scallops and the miniature sprig of sorrel which is garnished tableside. Made with freshly picked sorrel, garlic and chilli, aqua creates a nut-free Italian ‘pesto’ alternative which delicately tops each scallop beneath a fresh, green garnish of zestful sorrel and sweet dill.
Pakuchi; derived from the Thai word ‘pakchee’ meaning coriander, is distinguished by its potent herbaceous taste. Taking inspiration from an ancient dish in the mountainous Hida Takayama area of Japan, Grilled wagyu sirloin & sea urchin hoba misoyaki with homegrown pakuchi (HK$628) showcases the peppery, green leaf. Presented on a bed of spring onion and finely chopped homegrown pakuchi herbs, the grilled wagyu beef is placed on this green base and topped with fresh, sweet and rich uni. The dish is served with cooked burdock root and crispy garlic chips, along with a moreish house-made sauce made with sake, mirin, soy sauce and sweet miso. More than just decoration, the dish is presented on hot stones and a large dried “hoba” magnolia leaf which has been slow roasted over a charcoal fire with the beef and sauce to add smokiness and to also bring out the nuttiness of roasted miso.
Up in the bar, aqua spirit has crafted Pakuchi Collins (HK$120) made with the muddled Asian herb, which adds a refreshing and floral twist to this thirst-quencher. Presented in a dim sum basket, this cocktail is made with Tanqueray No. 10 gin, honey, lemonade, lemon juice and fresh lime. As part of aqua’s Because Brunch, this is the welcome cocktail, served in a charming miniature plant pot topped with a dried lime slice and eco-friendly potato straws to sip through.
These six new ‘Homegrown’ garden dishes and cocktail will be available for lunch and dinner until the end of November. Aqua’s Because Brunch on weekends and public holidays also allows guests to self-garnish brunch dishes with these four hand-picked herbs and all brunch-goers will be gifted with a jar of homemade sorrel pesto to taste and try at home. Brunch is priced at HK$688 per person, including free-flow Laurent-Perrier Champagne, sake, wine and signature cocktails.
Address & Booking Information:
aqua, 29 + 30F, One Peking, Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong
T 3427 2288 | www.aqua.com.hk | FB @aquahk | IG @aquahongkong
With dazzling views of Hong Kong’s harbour and skyline, ultra-stylish interiors and an innovative menu offering the very best contemporary Italian and Japanese cuisines, aqua tops the list of the city’s sophisticated dining destinations. Chill out in the glamourous penthouse lounge and bar with vibes from the aquamusic DJ team, cool cocktails and the in-crowd. aqua is proud to have been named one of the ‘Hottest 100 Tables’ in the world by Condé Nast Traveler magazine and ‘Best Italian Restaurant’ in the ‘Ospitalità Italiana’ awards, presented to aqua by the Italian Chamber of Commerce.
Aqua’s homegrown Italian & Japanese herbs
|Chilled beetroot, Champagne jelly & summer fruits gazpacho with homegrown oxalis (V)|
Lotus wood, avocado & fig sushi with homegrown mitsuba (V)
|Pan-fried Hokkaido scallops with homegrown sorrel pesto & crème fraiche|
Grilled wagyu sirloin & sea urchin hoba misoyaki with homegrown pakuchi
|Pakuchi Collins - Tanqueray No. 10 gin, honey, lemonade, lemon juice & fresh lime|
© Liana Technologies