Venchi, the renowned luxury chocolate maker from Turin, Italy, and Cantina, Hong Kong’s newest Italian restaurant in Tai Kwun, have teamed up to present a “Chocolate Dinner” from March 1 to April 10. Chocolate lovers will adore this limited and deliciouspre-Easter dining experience
An exclusive tasting event to unveil the innovative menu was held on February 16 at Cantina, where Venchi gelato and signature chocolates were on hand to fully immerse guests in a truly unforgettable evening of Italian chocolate.
Venchi master chocolatier and creator of the Venchi recipe, GB Mantelli, flew from Italy to Hong Kong to collaborate with Andrea Mura, executive Italian chef of the Aqua Restaurant Group, to curate an incredible five-course dinner with Venchi chocolate at Cantina.
The new dishes were a celebration of both Venchi and Cantina’s profound Italian culinary and cultural origins. Chef Mura and GB Mantelli developed an honest Italian recipe for each course.
The first course of dinner began with a savoury starter. Mini sesame cones were filled with a rich mantle mousse and parmesan mousse, topped with a 50-year aged balsamic vinegar and Venchi’s iconic Chocoviar 75 per cent rich dark chocolate.
The second course is a refreshing seafood tartare – an ode to Sicily. Serving is done by inserting a fork into the fresh red prawns of Mazara, followed by a piercing pop of chilli. On top, guests will find 75 per cent Chocoviar chocolate chunks. Underneath is a unique biscuit-like base made from breadsticks, anchovies and lemon zest, innovatively infused with melted Venchi white chocolate ingots and salted nuts.
In true Italian style, there is a primo which showcases incredible handmade chocolate pasta. Cantina’s moreish angnolotti with slow-cooked wild boar, from the Piedmont region, has been specially transformed with Venchi cocoa powder. The dusty chocolate essence is kneaded into a dough, which is then folded and stuffed with rich and tender shredded wild boar meat before being stuffed into the dough. The carrots had previously been slow-cooked for over eight hours. The pasta is then topped with a simple drizzle of butter, crushed almonds and fresh thyme, adding a floral and sweet contrast to the bitter chocolate.
Amongst the main courses was an impressive grilled Iberian pork chop. The tender meat was paired with sweet and extremely soft caramelised pears and unusual shallots soaked in white rum to create a soft and fragrant experience. The finishing touch is the sauce – braised with pork bones, herbs and spices and infused with a mouth-watering blend of Venchi Gianduiotto.
For dessert, the menu features a sweet treat of chunky crushed Piedmontese hazelnuts and fragrant cherries to match Venchi’s refreshing signature strawberry sorbet. The dessert is topped with a dark chocolate tart melted with dark chocolate sauce.
You can choose to start or end your evening with The Dispensary Bar’s V-Punch. This creative tipple is made with Venchi white chocolate and pistachio-strained white rum. It is combined with white chocolate liqueur, lime and fresh passion fruit juice. It is then washed with coconut milk. The fruity, sweet and sour components are then heated and clarified into a single punch, which takes over eight hours to complete. The punch is served on the rocks and is garnished with vibrant green salted pistachios and coconut flakes as a garnish.
Where: Block 01, Tai Kwun, Police Headquarters, 10 Hollywood Rd, Central