Hong Kong: Fine Dining at Aqua

Nigiri Platter at Aqua

Nigiri Platter at Aqua

Aqua is well-known for having the best harbor views of Hong Kong. Located on the 29th floor at 1 Peking Road, the view was breathtaking with tall ceilings and glass windows enveloping the whole room. I appreciated how much space was in between each table. I think I’ve gotten too use to the crowded bistro environment in Paris where you can’t even leave your seat without a waiter moving the table or you end up unintentionally eavesdropping on the conversation happening one table over. This was a private dining experience.

Left: Squid ink pasta with uni sauce; right: nigiri platter

Left: Squid ink pasta with uni sauce; right: nigiri platter

Aqua serves Italian and Japanese food on two separate menus (Aqua Roma & Aqua Tokyo) and the menus are both quite extensive. My mother and I started the meal with a beautiful nigiri platter. Each piece of nigiri was incredibly smooth and buttery with the fish melting in your mouth. For my main dish, I ordered the squid ink pasta with uni sauce and mussels. While I appreciated the texture and consistency of my pasta, I wasn’t in love with the sauce. It was rich and very heavy. This seems to be a recurring problem whenever I order pasta with uni sauce. I need to stop getting my hopes up and stop ordering things with uni sauce.

Aqua: Foie Gras

Foie Gras

My mother ordered the pan-seared foie gras, which was served hot on a piece of brioche toast and topped with cherries. This dish was much more promising compared to my pasta dish. I love any foie gras dish served with fruit because I think the sweet and savory combination is absolutely perfect. The sweetness of the fruit helps cut the richness of the foie gras.

Aqua: Harbor View

Aqua: Harbor View

Despite the rainy weather, the view was amazing. The timing was perfect and I actually got to watch the sun set over Hong Kong. I could definitely see Aqua as an excellent destination to celebrate a special occasion and it is the perfect spot for a romantic date. The service was also excellent and I was tended to very closely.

They have a private dining room, which is absolutely gorgeous. I didn’t want to take any photos of it because there was an event happening. Not like I’m planning one, but it would be a great venue for a rehearsal dinner/company holiday party. In terms of the food, I recommend sticking with the Aqua Tokyo menu over the Aqua Roma one. Aqua– a nice place to treat yo self!

Inside Aqua

Inside Aqua

SF Birthday Extravaganza I: Flour + Water and Bi-Rite Ice Cream

I’ve been majorly behind on updating my blog and it’s because I’ve really been too busy eating! I’ve had a lot of fantastic meals over the past week because of my birthday. One of my closest and dearest friends, Peter, was in town for one day and I suggested flour + water in the Mission. It’s been on my must-try list FOREVER, but I’m not willing to wait 2 hours for a table and they seriously have limited reservations (like 2-3 months out).

I got to F+W at 5:30pm on a Thursday (it opens at 5:30pm) and there was already a line. Seriously?! People, do you not have to work? Peter didn’t get to the restaurant until around 6pm (they only seat complete parties), but luckily, it was still early and they sat us at a communal table.

Flour and Water Pizza

Salsicca Pizza

Flour and Water squid ink pasta

Squid Ink Pasta with Uni

Flour and Water Sage Pasta

Sage Pasta with Pork (drool)

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My 2nd dinner at Mario Batali’s Babbo

I’ve had multiple people tell me that Babbo was the best meal of their lives. Considering that you can make reservations one month before your dinner, the demand for a table at Babbo is high. Even after you make the reservation, you have to call a separate line to confirm your reservation a couple of days before. Despite calling a month in advance, I had to accept dinner reservations at 10:30 pm on a Sunday (stupid East Coast reservation time difference). I gladly took it for the chance to eat at Babbo.

Full house at 10:30 pm even on a Sunday. The place was popping.

Babbo definitely impressed me on multiple fronts. First, I liked how even though there was also two of us at dinner, they gave us a table that could seat four. There’s nothing I dislike more than feeling squished next to your neighbors and not having enough room on my table for food. I looked around and we weren’t the only ones who were given a larger table.

Second, service was impeccable. Our waiter was warm and friendly and actually gave us his opinion on the food. I get annoyed when I’m trying to choose between two dishes and I ask the waiter/waitress for a recommendation.

“I don’t know. They’re both so good but just different.” -Normal stock response

Thanks, genius. That helps me none. There’s a reason why I’m asking you for help. Don’t cop out on me. I was trying to decide between the Spaghettini with Spicy Budding Chives and a One Pound Lobster and the Chianti Stained Pappardelle with Wild Boar Rag. Our awesome waiter pointed out that the Chianti pasta was unique. My friend chose the Garganelli with “Funghi Trifolati.”

Waiter explained that the pasta was red because it'd be soaked in the Chianti sauce.

Funghi never tasted so good.

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