Saturday, April 19, 2014

Giando - Convention Eats

Linguini with shrimp and crabmeat
Looking for good eats around the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre (HKCEC) is a bit like trying to find a good soy sauce in Chinatown. There's lots of soy sauce, just none of them are really worth their salt (literally).

The Centre itself is a bit of a lost cause when it comes to food (if I had to choose, I would go to the cafe in the lobby - at least they have semi-decent sandwiches and drinkable (albeit very milky) coffee - but if you're looking for a proper meal, and the Grand Hyatt is too, well, grand, then you're stuck for choices.

About 3-5 minutes walk from the Grand Hyatt, through the garden and overpass, you'll come to Fenwick Pier and the Fleet Arcade (where I keep hearing you can buy cheap magazines from the US ships that come in, but I've never verified that claim). Inside, where Vero used to be, is Giando, an Italian restaurant opened by ex-Gaia Group exec chef, Gianni Caprioli.

I'm not saying it's perfect - I would avoid the pizza, for example, unless you like your pizza to be on a cracker-like base (in which case, I would suggest you go buy crackers instead) - but the pastas in general hit the spot. They tend to be lighter (healthier, maybe?) and (hence) a little less satisfying than the ones at say, Otto e Mezzo - there's a certain moreish quality to Otto's I can't put my finger on - but they're also not $400 a pop. (I absolutely do not endorse paying $400 for a good pasta, but the logic is like, say, if you're living in London and you find a spot-on char siu rice and, every so often, you go and spend half your pay on it because you need it right now). Suffice to say that Giando's pastas can satisfy those cravings and leave you with a hundred bucks to spare.

Soft poached egg (with intensely orange, almost red yolk), green pea puree, prosciutto
The restaurant's lighter cooking style steers me towards the seafood and vegetarian pasta options, of which there are many. I've never been compelled to try one of their mains, so I can't say much about that.

White chocolate mousse
Desserts are really an afterthought. They're hotel buffet quality. Have a coffee and (comp) biscotti instead.

Despite being so "out of the way", it's surprisingly popular and busy (probably due to its proximity to LegCo) on weekdays, so book ahead. They have a nice big round table or two, which makes it a good choice for western with a larger group.

Giando [map]
1/F Fleet Arcade,
1 Lung King Street,
Hong Kong
+852 2511 8912
Lunch and dinner daily

1 comment:

  1. Do you do your own food photography? I love them!

    Were there any veggie options at Giando?