Over recent years, I think it’s fair to say that Hongkongers have become more culture hungry, and art has therefore become much more of a ‘thing,’ with several significant art exhibitions throughout the year and art galleries opening up all over town. Wong Chuk Hang, with its industrial buildings that offer a lot more space for your money, has, for a long time, been known for its private kitchens, hidden away in hideous factory buildings where you’d least expect to find them. It has recently also become known for its art galleries. Cross a private kitchen with an art gallery and you get Dine Art, a beautiful and delicious new space that combines fine Italian food with stunning art.
Executive Chef Cosimo Taddei hails from Florence, my favourite Italian city, and claims he learned everything he knows from his mother. He previously worked for El Grande Group, most recently as Executive Chef at Domani. At Dine Art, Cosimo partnered with artist and art-lover Michael Nock, transforming their 4,000 squarefoot space into a foodie hangout for people who appreciate art.
In true private kitchen style, Dine Art caters to only one group per night, for a minimum of 10 diners and maximum of 24, keeping things intimate and personal. Diners can enjoy a glass of prosecco on the comfy leather sofas, or browse the art collection while waiting for everyone to arrive, before moving to the table overlooking the long open kitchen.
Chef Cosimo’s cooking style respects traditional Italian cuisine, using high quality produce imported from Italy, prepared in a rigorous yet simple fashion. Our meal began with a cold appetiser of hamachi carpaccio with tomato essence, raw scampi, basil and jerusalem artichoke chips. This was not only beautiful to look at, but tasted divine, with flavours so incredibly fresh and light.
The hot appetiser of hokkaido scallop with goose liver, hazelnut purée and lemon foam was obviously a bit more intensely flavoured, yet it still seemed beautifully light. The scallop was cooked to a perfect bouncey texture, whilst the cooked foie gras was incredibly buttery and rich, nicely balanced by the light lemon foam.
Chef Cosimo is known for his delicious handmade pasta. Our ravioli with buffalo ricotta, semi-dried tomatoes and grey mullet bottarga seemed so simple, and yet it was insanely good. Apparently in order to not let the bottarga overpower the whole dish, Chef Cosimo first freezes it and then crumbles it over the pasta. The flavour is subtle and yet perfect.
For main course, we were presented with slow-cooked veal tenderloin, Jerusalem artichoke purée, baby vegetables and lemon chantilly. The veal, which was so tender that I could easily have cut it with a butter knife, was absolutely delicious and paired beautifully with the lovely spring vegetables and the tangy yet sweet lemon chantilly.
Remember that time I gave up sugar for Lent? Well, I’m kind of doing it again, which meant I sadly couldn’t enjoy the gorgeous deconstructed tiramisu. Here, atop a bed of crumbled biscuit, was a tidy dollop of mascarpone, topped with coffee jelly – quite different from the classic version of this dish, but nonetheless apparently a tasty one.
Dine Art’s menu changes every month and is priced at $880 – not bad for a unique private dining experience with excellent food in a gorgeous setting. The space can also be hired for standing functions and I’m told Chef Cosimo whips up some pretty awesome canapés. It also opens as a restaurant for lunch, with a selection of three-course menus starting at $98. Dine Art is a lovely addition to the neighbourhood and I look forward to sampling the set lunch menu soon!
16/F Kwai Bo Industrial Building
40 Wong Chuk Hang Road
Tel: +852 2805 8555