Taste of Shelter
Shelter Italian Bar and Restaurant at the Hysan Place is a forward-thinking dining concept by Shelter Census Group, with a mission to encourage a sustainable and responsible lifestyle in Hong Kong. The establishment hopes to achieve this objective by emphasizing the provenance of the ingredients – organic produce used where possible – to prepare the Italian menu. The Restaurant’s commitment to encourage sustainable living in the city extends to collaborations with community non-profits such as the eco-friendly social enterprise Green Monday.
Executive chef Simonetta Garelli put together a menu dominated by northern Italian specialties in addition to a few regional dishes such as Tuscan specialties. Her culinary expertise in sublime preparations such as the lobster cream soup infused with homegrown lemongrass and mint; hand-rolled pici spaghetti tangled in spicy red sauce made with organic tomatoes; and monkfish tail sous vide-style with cannellini beans, salami and peppers. For secondis, try the prime tenderloin steak, the hormone-free beef pan-seared then served with beer foam and organic tempura vegetables. Finish the meal with the vegan-friendly cheesecake, a low fat version of the dessert prepared without any eggs or cream cheese.
Additionally Shelter Italian Bar & Restaurant features a teatime menu (available from 15:00-17:30) and a pizza selection defined by popular flavours. Bar snacks are also available, such as fried polenta, tomato bruschetta and other Italian-style nibbles.
Great food requires exceptional ingredients. Shelter Italian Bar & Restaurant takes pride in the provenance of the ingredients by sourcing seasonal and organic produce from nearby local or regional farms. Dishes that has prepared with food imports such as Italian cold cuts have been sourced from top producers that share our ethos for high-quality produce. Our dedication to ingredients extends to growing our own crops right on the premises – the Organic Farm.
The restaurant’s 42-square metres garden is home to a variety of vegetables, herbs and fruits trees. All are being raised without any fertilizers, preservatives or genetic modification.
The garden adds another level of social excitement to the dining experience, an element of such scope and scale rarely seen at restaurants located in areas as dense and urbanized as Causeway Bay. We believe there is a world of difference between organic produce and the commercially grown variety: aside from the numerous environmental benefits, there is a huge discrepancy in flavor. “Vegetables raised with chemicals involve hormones that make the plants grow faster, which is why the results have less taste and aroma,” says Mawin Cheung, the CEO of Easy Organic Farming, the eco-friendly organisation that helped establish the garden at Shelter Italian Bar & Restaurant. Meanwhile our dedicated farmers regularly oversee the restaurant’s garden to ensure the crop grows healthily.
Simonetta Garelli honed her craft from several prestigious kitchens around the world. That includes the Villa de Quar in Verona where she worked with Bruno Barbieri, a celebrated Michelin-starred chef who is also a judge in the Italian edition of the MasterChef TV series.
Other prominent posts include senior sous chef at the award-winning Clos Maggiore in London, which earned 3 Rosettes in the AA guide 2013. Eventually her talents led her to Asia: prior to joining Shelter Italian Bar & Restaurant, she was chef de cuisine of Giovanni’s at the Sheraton Shanghai Hongqiao Hotel and the executive sous chef of Bene Restaurant at the Sheraton Macao Hotel.