DiVino Patio

Rating: ★★★★☆

Address: Shop 11, 1/F, Causeway Centre (Brim 28), 28 Harbour Road, Wan Chai 灣仔港灣道28號灣景中心(Brim 28)1樓11號舖

Telephone: 2877 3552

http://www.divinogroup.com/restaurants/divino-patio/about-us/

DiVino Patio, a lively, buzzing bar and restaurant in Brim 28 in Wanchai, is an operation by the DiVino Group, which also owns other hip restaurants and bars in town, including DiVino Wine Bar & Restaurant, Spasso and Goccia.

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The spacious, inviting decor and excellent wine list make DiVino a great haunt in the area. Free Italian tapas are offered during happy hour from 5.30pm-8.30pm during the week, which include some of my favourites, such as pizza, Italian ham and cheeses.

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The frittatas were worth a mention, as they were flavourful and tasted gorgeous.

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In February 2014, DiVino will serve a Terrines and Pâté Feast by offering a range of terrines by 100 gram portions as starters. Terrines and pâtés are very suitable winter comfort foods, as they are satisfying and help keep you warm.

(1) We started off with a free range chicken breast and fresh tarragon terrine ($128/100g). Even though the chicken meat was quite lean, it was certainly not lacking in flavours, and the terrine was clean tasting and had a good bite. All the terrines are served with toasted farm bread, gherkins and garden salad.

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(2) There are suggestions for wine and beer pairing, and a bottle of Tre + Due beer by 32 Via dei Birrai was suggested to be paired with the chicken terrine. 32 Via dei Birrai is an artisanal Italian microbrewery. Their beers are some of the top craft beers in the world, renowned for their variety of exquisite flavours, high quality, traditional brewing methods and innovative bottle designs. These certified vegan and organic craft beers are usually only served at upscale venues, such as hotels and high end bars.

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The beer completely won me over – it was amazingly light and pure, and a fruity, citrus note made it absolutely memorable; it was simply a notch above any other beer I have ever drunk before. A bottle of these artisanal beers costs the same as a normal bottle of wine, so it was only right that we drank it from a champagne glass!

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(3) The traditional duck pâté ($168/100g), made with duck meat and duck liver, had a flavourful, refined taste, and was not greasy or overly filling at all.

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(4) The duck pâté was suggested to be paired with Curmi beer. This beer was not as light as the previous one and had a spicy kick, but it was similarly clean tasting, thanks to the premium water used in brewing.

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(5) The country style pâté ($118/100g), flavoured with guerande “fleur de sel”, had a pungent, fiery tang. Country pâtés are meant to be homely and rustic, and are traditionally made entirely of pork as it is cheaper than other meats.

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(6) The suggested pairing beer was Audace, which had a higher alcohol content of 8.4%, and was more fizzy with a stronger flavour.

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(7) The final dish was the foie gras and yellow wild mushrooms terrine ($138/100g), which was delicately creamy and decadently flavourful.

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(8) The suggested beer for it was Oppale ($188), which had a 5.5% alcohol content, and had pleasant notes of toffee and caramel.

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I will happily come here again within February to have another round of terrine, pâté and artisanal beer!

DiVino Wine Bar & Restaurant

Rating: ★★★☆☆

Address: Shop 1, G/F, 73 Wyndham Street, Central 中環雲咸街73號地下

Telephone:  2167 8883

http://www.divinogroup.com/restaurants/divino/about-us/

Cheese fondues always bring back fond memories of Switzerland for me, so I was utterly excited to be able to try the fondue sets available at DiVino Wine Bar & Restaurant. The fondue sets are served in an individual Le Creuset pot and burner, and are available for a minimum of two persons.

Some people only like to dip bread into cheese fondues, but dipping the right vegetables can be equally delicious!

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(1) The first fondue we ordered was the Fonduta Svizzera ($300 per person), comprising of Gruyere, Vacherine Fribourgeois and a hint of Kirch wine. The texture of this fondue was more runny like a thick soup than stringy like melted cheese. It was silky and creamy, but was not my favourite option.

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(2) The second flavour was Fonduta Alla Valdostana ($280 per person), which used fontina cheese. This was alcohol-free, and was more cheesy and flavourful than the previous one.

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(3) The third flavour was Fonduta al Gorgonzola ($250 per person), which used a recipe of gorgonzola. This fondue was pungent and had a thick, oozy texture, which I found completely irresistable as a cheese lover!

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My favourite place for cheese fondues is Chesa at The Peninsula Hong Kong, but DiVino is certainly a great option in Central to satisfy a cheese fondue craving!