9 February, 2015
Eat & Drink

Guilt-free dining with Armani Aqua’s Retox Detox menu

9 February, 2015
Want to splash on a fancy meal, but minus the calories?! Well you’re in luck! Armani Aqua have come up with a fine dining ‘Retox Detox’ menu that takes out all the usual calorie-lade creams, butters and other indulgent ingredients, replacing them with light bites and fresh food. Each dish clocks in at under 350 calories, with the whole set menu coming in at under 1,000 calories – ideal if you are really watching that waist-line but still want to enjoy a nice meal out. We headed over at lunchtime to try it out in an attempt to stick to our slightly (ok, very) waning New Year’s Resolutions…Entering Armani Aqua is magical as you stride through the shiny black and red hallway, lit up by candles. Once you enter the dining room, the slick interior is certainly impressive (all designed by Armani, of course!). We took a place at a comfortable booth and couldn’t wait to see what they had in store for us…

armani aqua - entrance

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The Retox Detox menu also comes with four different ‘healthy’ cocktails that use superfood ingredients to give you an extra boost. Cocktails minus the guilt (and the hangover?) – yes please! We liked the look of the Ginger, Aloe and Wheatgrass Smash and the Organic Cucumber and Manuka Honey Martini… you’ll get all your essentials vitamins in with these immunity boosting beverages!

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armani aqua retox - fish

We began with a starter of seared sea bass fillet with dashi broth and organic green herb miso (286 calories). The broth was strongly flavoured with the green miso, giving the otherwise bland fish a burst of flavour. This pleasant little starter was ideal for whetting the appetite and we were excited to see what the next course would be…

armani aqua retox - ravioli

We then went on to try blue crab ravioli with sea vegetables, organic green pea elixir and white truffle oil (97 calories). You could tell the pasta was fresh and homemade from the al dente texture, and the crab was lovely and light inside. The green pea elixir added a sweet flavour that complemented the crab, and the sea vegetables added to the freshness of the dish with the crunchy texture.

armani aqua retox - fish 2

For mains, I sampled the tomato crusted Mediterranean sea bream with Sorrento lemon and saffron organic vegetable stew (328 calories). The tomato gave the fish a strong, deep, earthy flavour and the various vegetables all had a wonderfully fresh bite to them.

armani aqua retox - chicken

Whilst I enjoyed the fish, the other main, the ponzu free range chicken breast with organic sweet corn and black truffle, definitely stood out. The tender chicken was perfectly cooked and the truffle flavour was luxuriously strong, with a rich sauce to accompany it.

armani aqua retox - dessert

You can’t have a dinner without finishing with dessert! Luckily the Retox Detox menu doesn’t skip out on arguably the best course, offering up a pretty plate of Italian basil and Amalfi lemon curd with organic raspberries (277 calories). The lemon curd was creamy and light with a great citrus flavour that went beautifully with the fresh tartness of the organic raspberries. The basil was a little strong but added an interesting element to classic flavour combinations. A great, sweet ending to the meal!

armani aqua - booths

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While the service was very attentive (our water was constantly topped up), I did feel that there was slight confusion amongst the staff and they weren’t the friendliest. That being said, our plates were meticulously presented and the waiters always kept a close eye on the tables.

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If you’re looking to celebrate an occasion or you simply want to enjoy a nice meal without feeling guilty, this menu is definitely worth trying! The dishes are really tasty and flavourful, and it feels good to know that the ingredients are all meant to improve your health, not hinder it. The low-calorie menu means that you can splurge without feeling like you’ll need to hit the gym the next day, and the presentation of each dish is elegant and dainty. Armani Aqua is a very impressive restaurant, with swanky decor and moody lighting… hello healthy date night!

Armani Aqua, 2/F, Landmark Chater (Chater House), 8 Connaught Road, Central, Hong Kong, 3583 2828, armani-aqua.com

 

Hi, I’m Lauren and I was born and raised right here in Hong Kong. That being said, with a blonde-haired, blue-eyed mum from England and a Chinese-Australian father, I would definitely say that I grew up as a third culture kid! I love every part of this city and all its many contrasts; from the green of the country parks (and the scary monkeys…) to the shimmery lights of the skyline – it never gets old. I’ve always loved to travel and living here is such a privilege as we’re so close to so many incredible countries and different cultures. I’ve always got a bad case of wanderlust and I’m constantly on the look out for an adventure… here’s to my new adventure at Sassy!

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