China Dinner
Bailliage of Tianjin
Tianjin, October 12, 2019
Italian-style Tientsin in the 1930s
" Italian-trained Chef Jimmy Xin created an amazing menu "

The Bailliage celebrated a “Tientsin in the 1930s” themed event at the former Italian Concession in the heart of Tianjin where the buildings still feature elements of the real Italian Liberty and Art-Deco styles. For one night, we travelled back to the same period when gentlemen donned classic pinstriped suits and panama hats, while ladies shimmered with bright red lipstick and wavy hairdos.

The colours of the Italian flag and warm atmosphere filled the private dining room at the Venezia Club Italian Restaurant & Winery. Hailing from Venice, restaurant owners Renato Pegoraro and his son Gabriele, together with their Italian-trained Chef Jimmy Xin, created an amazing menu. They selected traditional Italian dishes from old menus prepared in honour of important political figures visiting the Italian Concession in Tianjin during the years between 1932 and 1936.

Members and guests were feted with a delightful first course of homemade goose liver mousse wrapped in cherry jelly with orange sauce (included in the menu in honour of the visiting President of the Egyptian Council in 1932).

It was followed by vegetable purée soup - a revamped version of the classic minestrone soup (included in the menu offered by Consul Galeazzo Ciano in honour of the visiting Austrian Minister of Foreign Affairs in 1936).

Both dishes paired so well with a refreshing Valpolicella Superiore DOC from Verona.

Packing a punch, the well-known Italian risotto (inspired by a menu prepared in honour of the British Foreign Secretary Sir Anthony Eden visiting in 1935) was elevated to a very elegant dish accompanied by Australian baby lobster and cooled down by Vermentino Amistral DOC from Sardinia.

Next was pan-fried Norwegian salmon (included in honour of a German delegation in 1936) with a mousse made with light cheese, dill, chopped chives and lemon.

The lamb chops for the main course (prepared in 1932 in honour of US Treasury Secretary Norman Davis) were cooked at low temperature, wrapped with mixed herbs and perfectly-partnered with Barbera d’Alba Superiore DOC from Piedmont.

Chocolate mousse garnished with raspberries (celebrating The Army and Aviation Force in 1933) incorporated the Chaîne emblem in white chocolate. It was aptly the official finale. But then there was a surprise when restaurant owner Renato offered everyone a slice of his homemade Tiramisù paired with Dannata 69, an aged liqueur made with chocolate and chili from Distilleria Zanin.

So came to a close another successful event celebrating what Chaîne is all about: great food, fine wines and warm camaraderie; yet another evening that will be long remembered.

Dr Michael Ho, Bailli
Domenico Palumbo, Vice-Chancelier