The One With Gusto – All Things Hearty & Enjoyable

Update: Gusto is now no longer in operation.

Home comfort food. Hmmm. In addition to simply cooked but delicious food, a restaurant has to be set up “just right” to provide that vibe of comfort and homeliness for its patrons, whom may turn up as if they just got out of bed.

Hearty Dinner At Gusto

Not that I have seen any of sleep-ware while I was at Gusto recently. The small restaurant, tucked discreetly at Happy Valley, was a gem of a find. Literally. The signboard was discreetly displayed in dark colours (errr, why?) so it can be an adventure to find if you are visiting after dark.

Word from the wise: Bring with you the actual address.

And what a find it was. Comprising of two floors, the place was impeccably designed but not in-your-face kind of way. You get the feel that you are at a classy place, but you wouldn’t mind turning up in your slippers and a hood.

Hearty Dinner At Gusto

I particularly like the lighting fixtures. It was so… industrial, but classy.

Hearty Dinner At Gusto

There was even a private dining room upstairs, complete with a video projector, comfortably fitting a party of twelve. I took a look and immediately like how cozy and private it was.

Hearty Dinner At Gusto

But the best part about Gusto is its food. The best description was “comfort food” – food you order in vast amount, consumed at leisure over newspapers of the day or a stack of your favorite magazines.

Macaroni N’3 Cheese Grain (HK$75)

Hearty Dinner At Gusto

The signature dish of Gusto, and definitely a home comfort food. Baked macaroni with smoked mozzarella, fontina, cheddar cheese and white truffle oil. A scrumptious combination to start off your meal. Or as breakfast. Or as supper. Or even with your coffee.

Hand Cut French Fries with Chilli & Cheese (HK$90)

Hearty Dinner At Gusto

This dish is new to me. I have had chips (as in, French fries), I have had potato wedges, and these hand cut fries were sized somewhere in the middle. Cooked with rosemary, thyme, garlic, paprika and spicy mayo, they are best consumed piping hot. We let it sat for a little too long and the fries went soggy.

Shrimp & Scallop Cocktail (HK$100)

Hearty Dinner At Gusto

A beautifully made “cocktail”. I like how fresh the roasted shrimps and scallops were, all crunchy to the bite. Served in a cocktail glass, the seafood was livened up with spicy salsa and avocado. A definite recommendation. Tell all your shrimp-loving friends.

Spicy Boneless Buffalo Wings (HK$75)

Hearty Dinner At Gusto

I am not exactly a fan of buffalo wings, and that’s mainly because I seldom like the sourish hot sauce with my food. Then again, every now and then I will come across some good buffalo wings which deserved some space in my stomach, and this one counts as one of them. The boneless wings was served with ranch dressing and homemade BBQ sauce.

Cobb Salad (HK$85)

Hearty Dinner At Gusto

If you like your salad to be calorie-friendly and on the light side, this cobb salad is to be avoided at all cost. A delectable combination of chopped salad, chicken, romaine, bacon, hard boiled eggs, avocado and tomatoes, I had not one, not two but three servings of this. A pity for my fellow diners whom had to share this with me.

Cream of Pumpkin Soup (HK$50)

Hearty Dinner At Gusto

A bowl of creamy goodness. I am impartial to pumpkin even at the best of time, but this one was tangy and a delight to go with the side of toasted bread. Mopping up the remains of the soup with buttered chunks of bread is the only fitting way to go.

Gusto Burger (HK$120)

Hearty Dinner At Gusto

The secret of a good burger is in its patty. But of course. I prefer mine not to be machine made (as in, like, fast food), so this hand ground angus sirloin patty was a great choice for a main. Top that up with bacon, mushroom, caramelized onions and cheddar cheese, you must give this a go if you are burger lover.

BBQ Baby Back Ribs (HK$150)

Hearty Dinner At Gusto

The baby back ribs ripped apart the moment we cut it with fork and knife with just a gentle touch. That was surprisingly tender, I thought. A good sign? Yes, it was, for the slowly roasted meat seem to a melt in my mouth too. The BBQ sauce was a tad too sweet to my liking, so the next time I should ask the chef to spice it up a little.

Squid Ink Pasta with Scallops & Tiger Prawns (HK$130)

Hearty Dinner At Gusto

I discourage people from ordering squid ink pasta if you are on a date, for obvious reason (if you don’t know, I can’t help you). But the Gusto’s version, served tiger prawns, scallops, asparagus and fresh tomato sauce, was springy with a delightful texture, and wasn’t all that cringe-worthy (again, I can’t help you if you don’t understand this, but I reckon you should give squid ink pasta at least a try).

Amedei Chocolate Chips Cookies

Hearty Dinner At Gusto

You would think that after a such a lengthy dinner, we must be bursting with food and can no longer eat anymore. That would probably be true, if not for this delightful combination of Amedei chocolate chips cookies served with milk. Yes, that’s milk. You can now do it openly in Gusto instead of shamefully indulging yourself hidden at home.

Hearty Dinner At Gusto

Touted as the world’s best chocolate, the cookie was warm, moist yet held well together, even after dipping it in milk. To me, it was the BEST dish of the entire night. We were gasping in delight with these cookies, so much so that the manager, Victor served us yet ANOTHER portion of the cookie.

We were in chocolate heaven.

This was an invited tasting session. Check out Janice’s photo and review, and keep a look out on JJ’s blog for his.

Gusto
41 Yik Yam Street, Happy Valley
2838 2689

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