The whole object of travel is not to set foot on foreign land; it is at last to set foot on one’s own country as a foreign land.” – G.K. Chesterton

Saturday, 28 December 2013

Christmas lunch @ Cafe Deco Pizzeria (Elements), Hong Kong

We are coming to the end of another year, and I hope you had a lovely Christmas! Since we already hosted a festive celebration at home earlier this month with some friends during my sister's visit to Hong Kong, we opted for a low-key Christmas day with Steph and her friend at a restaurant that opened up in the mall downstairs a couple of months ago. Cafe Deco Pizzeria took the place of another restaurant, and so far it looks like it's doing a lot better than the previous tenant did. Since the pizzeria is located opposite the entrance into our building, I always walk by it, and the tables are always full at peak meal periods. The festive menu looked good, the location is conveniently close to home, and it was an opportunity to give this restaurant a try. Despite making reservations a week in advance, the restaurant couldn't find my booking, but we managed to get a table - not the best table for our group, but a table nonetheless. Service was attentive, and both wine and water glasses were kept topped up. We could choose from the festive menu (four courses with a choice for the mains), or go a-la-carte, and all four adults selected the festive menu. The dishes were plated with care, and the food not only looked good, but tasted good too.

The appetizer was Smoked salmon with salmon rillettes, pumpernickel and lemon relish. I love salmon, so I really enjoyed this course. The salmon rillettes were placed on a small piece of thick crunchy toast, with a slice of good quality smoked salmon wrapped around them. The contrast of textures and smoky flavours all combined very nicely on a small plate - a great start to the meal.

Soup course was Light cream of morel with roasted chestnuts. This creamy soup with the earthy flavours of the mushroom and the sweetness of roasted chestnuts was delicious, and I found myself wanting more. Bread would have been a good accompaniment to the soup.

For their main course, the guys chose the Roasted turkey, apricot stuffing, festive vegetables, truffled potato and giblet sauce. The turkey was tender and juicy, and it was pretty good for a turkey dinner.

Steph chose the Fregola risotto with lump crab meat, tiger prawns, pecorino and basil. This was also my first choice, but I gave it up for the pizza to share with my son (hubby thought I was a fool to give it up for pizza, but ordering a full-sized pizza from the a-la-carte menu for a 5-year-old seemed rather excessive). Steph kindly offered me a taste of her bowl, and it tasted good with the umami flavours of the sea. The fregola gave a coarser texture than conventional risotto made with rice, which made us all wonder what kind of grain it was.

The boy and I enjoyed the Festive pizza with butter ball turkey, chestnuts, sweet potato risoles, spinach and cranberry salad, crispy bacon and sage oil. Although it was a full 12-inch size, the 5-year-old easily polished off half the pizza (but not the spinach!). It was a little strange having sweet ingredients like cranberries and chestnuts on a pizza, but there was only a small amount of them - just enough to give a festive flavour every second bite.

Dessert was Chocolate pudding filo with dark cherries and eggnog sabayon. The filo was filled with fruit mincemeat, which Steph said tasted festive. The ice cream was delicious with bits of cherries in it, and the eggnog sabayon pulled all the ingredients together nicely. This was a successful dessert which everyone enjoyed.

We don't usually invite friends to eat at restaurants we haven't been before, hence it was good to hear Steph remark after our meal that we always choose good restaurants to bring her to. We were pleased with our first visit to Cafe Deco Pizzeria, which ensured that it won't be our last.

Cafe Deco Pizzeria
Shop 1005,
1st Floor Elements
(Kowloon MTR Station)
1 Austin Road West
Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon
Hong Kong
Tel. +852 2196 8099

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