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Travel a Delicious Route North with Via Roma

Join us in welcoming Chef Andrea Rumere to Via Roma. The bright young native of Turin journeys to Beijing after nine years in Shanghai, ready to share a fresh perspective on Italian cuisine at the Kempinski Lufthansa's well-established restaurant. While keeping with Via Roma's focus on classic Italian favorites, Chef Andrea brings a distinctive note courtesy of porcini and other north Italian favorites. 

Visitors can look forward to a marketplace of little antipasto bites to pair with your aperitivo while waiting for your guests to arrive. Fresh herbs shine throughout the menu, but especially in the bruschetta, as do the olives in the airy focaccina. We loved how light is the light ham paté, even more, enjoyable than the fresh sliced cured meats and lucious Italian cheeses. 

We can only praise the smoked salmone marinato (¥118) -- we're usually skeptical of the fishy flavor we find in poor versions, but the quality here is exceptional. This has the tender consistency and delicate flavor we've longed to discover. 

Ricotta della casa (¥118) is, of course, made in house: The consistency is exquisitely fine and the flavor is rich and warm, with just bare hints of citrus. And we were simply thrilled at the ingenious aspic of tomato: It's the perfect flavor and texture, without the watery mess of the raw vegetable (even if this does break away from Chef Andrea's home style commitment). It's classically delicious with a balsamic reduction and daubs of deep green basil oil, refulgent with flavor. 

For your entrée we can recommend the perfectly tender and balanced purée of chicken in the ravioli (¥98). To hell with tomato sauce: We'll take this chicken stock demi glace, savory without too much salt, rich without overwhelming us. 

Andrea's hometown hero—the noble porcini—dominates the Risotto ai Porcini (¥128), an expertly prepared version of this difficult dish. Here the rice is just as tender as it should be—and no more. Likewise, the slices of mushroom, in a rosemary sauce that dances playfully on the line between overwhelmingly earthy and absolutely delicious. If only the fungi would ask Rosemary to dance instead of stealing all the spotlight. 

End the affair with a mousse zabaione (¥98), a traditional dish from the North, even older than tiramisu. Whipped of egg yolks, sugar, and Marsala wine, it's powered farmers and kids since time immemorial. It will charge you for a power nap, to sleep off all this rich and wonderful food. The accompanying blueberry sorbet and savoiardi cookies are very well prepared but just can't match the sheer tastiness of the mousse. A wonderful dilemma to face. 

We applaud Chef Andrea for all he's brought to Via Roma, and Liangmaqiao in general. Don't leave the Kempinski Lufthansa for hotel guests: Explore inside and discover a new love of northern Italy. 

Via Roma
Kempinski Hotel Lufthansa Center, 50 Liangmaqiao Lu
Tel: 6465-3388 ext. 4215

Adam Robbins is a former Managing Editor for City Weekend Beijing. After leaving small town Maine for an education at Harvard and UT Austin, he moved on to Minnesota to help win marriage equality. Before traveling on to Shenzhen, he spent three years helping the Beijing LBGT Center, Beijing Gender, and other LGBT institutions survive this period of scrutiny and restriction.



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