Fireplace-style food for friends and family
Kelvin Chai, formerly the executive chef of Mercato, recently launched his own project: Caminetto.
His modern Italian bistro is hidden inside the new office and lifestyle hub – The Roof – which is sprinkled with plants everywhere.
The modern-but-relaxed interior of Caminetto features a posh, open-view kitchen in the middle of the space, representing a "caminetto" (fireplace) that friends and families all sit around for good food and chats.
Chai named his restaurant "Caminetto" because he wanted to create a warm, friendly space – nothing pretentious, just chill with food and laughter.
With a long culinary background, the Shanghai native brings his very own style and unusual approach toward Italian fare.
The priority is the fresh ingredients.
The chef personally picks some of the best local ingredients instead of the classic imported ones – such as the Majiagou celery from Qingdao, Shandong Province, as well as native baby cabbages and crayfish.
The creative use of the local ingredients together with classic Italian cooking techniques bring out surprising results.
I started off with appetizer of octopus and potato foam. The presentation is appealing with curls of octopus, a handful of capers and smoked paprika on top of the potato foam. I loved their potato foam with its light, smooth consistency, and each ingredient contributed to a super-balanced flavor.
The plate of silk handkerchiefs, pesto, fresh ricotta cheese, cherry tomatoes came next. The homemade fresh and delicate pasta squares are thin and silky, made in a similar way to lasagne and are paired with pesto, punctuated with ricotta and cherry tomatoes. The result is a refreshing pasta plate ideal for summer.
The custom-made wood-fired brick oven that stands proud inside the open kitchen shows Caminetto's dedication for good pizzas. The pizzas are definitely not following the true Neapolitan pizza rules but the fun combinations of the toppings are tempting to try.
Opening hours: 6pm-10pm
Address: G06-07, The Roof, 458 Madang Rd
Average price: 360 yuan (US$55.59)