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Armani / Aqua

In the heart of the extensive elevated walkway system in Central is the passageway from Exchange Square to Landmark, through Chater House’s “Armani Floor”, that ultra-glitzy level dedicated to Giorgio Armani’s flagship retail outlets. Thousands stream through the corridor daily, gawking consciously or otherwise at the luxury products on display. Less visible is the floor above where the trendy Armani / Aqua operates, serving combo Italian and Japanese cuisines to discerning guests. 
 
Aqua is, of course, a well-known brand in Hong Kong’s dining scene. It operates, among others, the Aqua Luna junk, which roams the harbour and with its distinctive red sails and has become an icon of the famed Victoria harbour. The Armani / Aqua, though, evokes not nostalgia, but pleasure derived from a thoroughly contemporary dining experience in which iconic cultures in food and fashion blend seamlessly together. 
 
The spacious restaurant is richly decorated in warm yellow and red hues. The plush red-carpeted catwalk leading to the restaurant is a stunner; the Armani inspired décor is minimalist yet elegant, with a generous dining room providing privacy for its luxuriantly decorated dining booths and tables. 
 
Our dining experience is a wine-paring dinner featuring both Italian and Japanese dishes – an interesting combination, for sure. The four-course dinner started with Sushi: Bluefin Tuna, Giant Shrimp, Yellowtail, Grilled Fatty Tuna Maki, Deluxe Scallop with Lobster Sauce Oshi SushiAnd what a way to start a meal! Each of the sushi pieces is fresh and delicious, and quickly consumed. A dry sparkling wine, Sorelle Bronca Proscco “Modi” complements the sushi nicely. 
 
Next is “Plin” Ravioli Filled with Kurobuta Pork Belly, Dried Apricot and their Kernelspaired with a French white – Henry Bourgeois “Les Baronnes” Sancerre. This innovative dish offers an interesting and refined taste. The ravioli is distinctively Italian and we liked the way it’s prepared, slightly dry and lightly pan-fried, with the pork belly oozing flavour.
 
We shared two mains: Grilled Salmon and Scallops Served with Caramelized Onions, Sansho Miso and Yuzu Puree, and Black Angus Striploin Served with Warm Rocket Jelly and Saharan Hoarfrost Salt. The distinctively fusion seafood dish was paired with a nice Louis Jadot Bourgogne Blanc Chardonnay from Burgundy. The Yuzu puree is most interesting, with the citrus flavour adding a dash of sweet-sourness to the salmon and the scallops, perfect for light summer fare.
 
The beef was paired with a full bodied Torbreck “Woodcutter” Shiraz from South Australia’s Borrosa Valley. The beef was served plainly, just the way we like it, needing only a simple salt seasoning to bring out its authentic juicy meatiness – a taste that lingered long, thanks to the accompanying Shiraz.
 
We finished the meal on an Italian high note, with the Armani Tiramisu in “Tozza” dessert, paired with a sweet wine, the Prunotto Moscato d’Asti from Piernonte, Italy – both are lightly sweet and delicious.
 
At $688 per person, the tasting menu is reasonably priced, a pleasant surprise considering the venue. The wine pairing is priced at $298 per person, which is also very good value for money.
 
Glamour, excellent food and attentive service – Armani / Aqua is a worthy dining experience for any occasion.
 
 
 
Armani / Aqua
2/F, Landmark Chater (Chater House), 
8 Connaught Road, Central, Hong Kong
3583 2828
 
 
 
(Edited on 2 August 2017)

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