In Beijing, I ate very well. I had a good friend who took me around during my stay and he made sure I had plenty to eat and drink. He even brought me to Opera Bombana, a new restaurant concept by the renowned Chef Umberto Bombana in Parkview Green Mall.
Unlike 8 ½ Otto e Mezzo Bombana in Hong Kong (I haven’t tried this yet), Opera Bombana is less formal – dress down Italian, so they say. The kitchen makes its own pastas every day and the breads are made from flours imported from Italy.
After a drink by the bar, we tucked into a series of dishes paired with excellent champagne and wines. The lobster and avocado salad was perfect for the hot Beijing summer I had to endure. Fresh pieces of lobster meat cradled in a cup of creamy avocado and dressed with caviar – now that’s indulgence!
Caprese salad was a beautiful symphony of tomatoes, mozzarella, basil, salt and olive oil. But it was the foie gras that bowled me over. Rich, fatty, creamy and simple, the way it should be. Fabulous! The prosciutto was imported from Italy and went well with the fresh bread platter laid before us.
The lobster tagliolini was by far the best I’ve eaten. This was a simple, rustic dish of freshly made pasta cooked al dente, and tossed with succulent lobster pieces and light tomato gravy. Also stunning was the porcini risotto, laced with truffle oil and topped with more porcini on top to intensify the haunting aroma.
Our mains were a platter of pork neck and loin, and a gorgeous-looking rack of lamb, both screaming “Eat me”! The pork neck was fork tender and flavourful throughout, and I thoroughly enjoyed the varying layers of the pork loin – crisp skin, creamy fat and succulent meat.
Desserts were an exciting bunch, much to my delight. Pistachio trio, banana sorbet, soufflé limoncello and tiramisu, all delicious in their own way. It was my best meal in Beijing – from impeccable service to good wines and excellent food. And surprisingly, fairly affordable. The above was about RM150 per pax, excluding alcohol.
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Food: 9/10 (non halal)
Verdict: It was a really good Italian meal.
LG2-21 Parkview Green Fangcaodi,
9 Dongdaqiao Lu, Chaoyang district
Tel: 5690 7177
Business hours: Noon to 10.30pm