Ovens dedicated to “lacquered” cooking and Asian cuisine for this Oriental Market in the Ostiense area which starts again with distance and special dishes
They had opened in February, a few weeks of glory, then the first harmful news from China began to arrive. Even before Italy suffered the lockdown, the beautiful walls with themed wallpaper of Huobi Mercato Orientale were dismayed by the emptying room. Owned by a Chinese family and frequented by countrymen, Huobi was among the many Asian restaurants affected by the fear of the unknown virus before he even found patient zero.
A new situation for Valentina Weng's family, in Italy for at least two generations and always engaged in catering. Before Huobi, they had been successful with the Dogana, an all you can eat not only oriental but international, and then moved only a few meters ahead, always in the Ostiense district, in one of the premises of the former Biondi mills. The proposal was limited to Asian cuisine and in particular to Chinese and Japanese cuisine, the name Huobi was chosen, which literally means money, not only in a commercial sense, but including the idea of an emotional, cultural and culinary exchange.
The restaurant: modernity and tradition that go hand in hand
Over 800 square meters for 350 seats, even if after the reopening they have been reduced to 150, even going beyond the requirements for spacing and giving more space for respect between one table and another. What is striking about Huobi is the magnificence of the architectural project, curated by the Gad architectural studio, which emphasized the industrial spaces of the former Biondi mills, characterized by a very high ceiling. The project focused on the three ovens that arrived directly from China, the only ones of their kind in Rome, reserved for “Peking lacquered” cooking. Here and there for the restaurant, there are many references to oriental culture: from the inevitable lanterns, to what appear to be the doors of a Chinese temple, not to mention the wonderful wallpaper that takes the visitor to a Mongolian-looking military camp.
The best Peking duck in Rome
Considering the use of dedicated ovens, it is no coincidence that Huobi can boast the best Peking duck lacquered in the city. First of all it is always on paper, you don't have to book it in advance as it happens in many other places, and it is presented perfectly: thinly sliced, with the crispy parts well represented, abundant sauce, with vegetables and rice paper sheets to make the rolls to eat in a mouthful. There is no shortage of other Chinese specialties: the Jumpingfish (flying fish) and pork ribs are a must. The range of sushi and sashimi is also very varied, with some delicacies such as the union of sushi and truffles.
From lunch to delivery
There are many ways to use Huobi, from lunch for € 7.90, which provides a faster stop for those who want to eat a dish during lunch break, to home delivery, activated after the lockdown to also favor those who prefer not to leave the house . Waiting to regain confidence with the indoor spaces, as was said, at Huobi they have less than halved the covers and have relaunched their convenient formulas, including all you can eat (€ 15.90 for lunch and € 25.90 at dinner), which in the evening includes one of the special dishes (Peking duck; Huobi Soup; Jumpingfish; grilled prawns; special scallops).
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