Sofia Italian dinning overlooking Yalong Bay The Ritz-Carlton Sanya

| December 9, 2014 | 1 Comment

Luxurious resort vacations are unique in ways they offer extraordinary experiences: among those most valued by guests is the choice of culinary destinations accessible within the resort environment. Welcome to Sophia at the Ritz-Carlton Sanya, where guests can enjoy an authentic Italian dining experience overlooking Yalong Bay along China’s Hainan Island.

Sofia Italian dinning overlooking Yalong Bay The Ritz-Carlton Sanya

Upon entry into Sophia, the design features of this signature venue are manifested in timber, grained and polished wood, marble tops and masonry floor-covering details. A first impression is the aesthetic consistency of the resort’s architectural inspirations drawn from classic building designs akin to Beijing’s Summer Palace. Thus, transitioning from the main building, with its high-pitched ceilings, dark rich wood and opulent furnishings, appears seamlessly when stepping into Sophia’s otherwise stylish and contemporary setting.

Sofia Italian dinning overlooking Yalong Bay The Ritz-Carlton Sanya

Sofia Italian dinning overlooking Yalong Bay The Ritz-Carlton Sanya

Sofia Italian dinning overlooking Yalong Bay The Ritz-Carlton Sanya

An eye-catching wall display graces the entry hall, made up of a large woven canvas exhibiting long-stemmed flowers, possibly made of copper. Equally striking is a large wooden table with a thick marble top standing in front of floor-to-ceiling wine displays. A sizeable wheel of Parmesan cheese, and Italy’s love of wine, signifies the choice of cuisine here to be discovered among Ritz-Carlton Sanya’s ample choice of culinary destinations.

Sofia Italian dinning overlooking Yalong Bay The Ritz-Carlton Sanya

Thoughtful and courteous staff welcome their discerning guests, mindful, so it seems, of each patron’s anticipation to experience Sophia and the flavour-richness of southern Italian fare. Stepping into the main dining area, the enormous ceiling height, an intriguing artistic installation of wooden sticks floating beneath the ceiling, and tall windows framed by distinctively red tapestry curtains, all add to experiencing the uniqueness of this place. Comfortably seated, eyes are quickly drawn to the vibrancy of chefs seen creating behind the glass-enclosed kitchen sphere. Mediterranean cues informing Sophia’s architectural interpretations; the kitchen window enclosure is creatively framed with a wall-covering mosaic of tiles.

Sofia Italian dinning overlooking Yalong Bay The Ritz-Carlton Sanya

Sofia Italian dinning overlooking Yalong Bay The Ritz-Carlton Sanya

Explaining the seasonal menu is Chef de cuisine Filippo Fondatori, a native from Pistoia in Italy’s Tuscany region. “Italian food has its own tradition of great produce, elegant display, and honest, original flavour – all factors that differentiate it from other cuisines,” said Fondatori. Daily specials vary depending on season and access to typical produce from Italy’s diverse regions. It is the quality of these ingredients that has built Sophia’s reputation for authentic Italian cuisine, in spite of being so many miles away at this beautiful stretch of Yalong Bay.

Sofia Italian dinning overlooking Yalong Bay The Ritz-Carlton Sanya

On this occasion, the culinary journey began with Crispi Baby Calamari localized with a dash of Hainan’s own chilli-lemon aioli. Delighted by Chef Filippo’s recommendations taken from Sophia’s ‘aparativi’ selections, the Grilled Scamoza and the most-tenderly cooked Pork Belly are the evidence of Italy’s distinctive flavours. Following these, the Hainan Red Snapper with fava beans and green pea couscous, and the most flavoursome Grain Fed Sirloin Steak Tagliata, were among worthy ‘pesce’ and ‘carni’ main course selections.

The Sophia dining experience is certainly among the many highlights of this luxurious resort vacation, so are the memories of place, tastes and the famed hospitality extended from Sophia’s thoughtful and courteous staff. Bon appetite!

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Category: Food & Wine, restaurants

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PhD in Consumer Engagement – the engagement of customers with one another, with a company or a brand. The initiative for engagement can be either consumer- or company-led and the medium of engagement can be on or offline. With a strong focus on fostering consumer experience innovation, I seek out brands, product, service and experience providers that thrive to define the art of customer engagement.

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