VIDA Lounge & Restaurant on the second floor of the Kerry Center hit many right notes for us. Fresh, high quality ingredients? Check. European-style cooking that respects the pure taste of ingredients? Yes. Sunny balcony and a central location? Done. Affordable well-priced lunch sets? Even better.
The chef comes from a background in Italian cooking, so the Italian dishes are pretty good bets to order. We got to sample a wide selection of VIDA’s dishes and here are some of our favourites.
Steamed Dalian Clams with White Wine (98RMB) features big, plump clams flown in daily from Dalian. VIDA searched around for the best quality clams with stable supply and quick delivery to Hangzhou, then steamed them simply with white wine, parsley and garlic to let the natural flavour of clams come through. The broth was delicious and we were drinking it straight and using bread to sop up the last bit. The large portion size was definitely enough for sharing.
Australian Bone-In Sirloin M3+ (248RMB) was an excellent steak. Even though ours came out fully cooked, it was still tender and meaty. We’re sure that a medium-cook would yield even more flavour. There are no bothersome sauces here to cover the taste of beef, just some smoked sea-salt and grainy mustard for condiments. The beauty of this bone-in cut is that you get all the lovely fatty parts next to the bone.
VIDA will soon be coming out with attractively priced brunch menus that will not only be offered on the weekends, but also from Monday to Friday, great for a quick working lunch or stretch it over a couple of hours if you are lucky enough to have the time. We got a preview of some brunch items and they are delicious.
From the brunch menu, the Classic Lasagna main course was scrumptious. It’s made with 4 kinds of mushrooms, béchamel sauce, Bolognese and lots of parmesan. The cheesiness was very evident, ensuring a rich and satisfying lasagna.
The Wagyu Beef and Goose Liver Burger also appears on the brunch menu. The foie gras is mixed in with the waygu beef patty, making it juicy and luxurious. With such extravagant ingredients you don’t need much for toppings, just some melted Emmental cheese, tartar sauce and tomatoes. The little new potatoes on the side come all the way from Spain.
Desserts are definitely worth a try too. Like the Thai Durian Mousse Pastry (65RMB) with thin, crispy layers of pastry sandwiching sweet durian filling.
The Tiramisu (55RMB) is also an indulgent treat with lady fingers heavily soaked in strong, potent espresso and creamy, hand whipped mascarpone.
This restaurant has aspirations to increase Hangzhou’s level of knowledge and appreciation for how western food should really taste and they plan to stand firm on their high standards. They are already off to a great start.