2019-04-01 10115 瀏覽
It was our second visit. Our first visit about a few years ago hadn't given us a very impressive impression but we had just ordered a few items from their a la carte menu so we thought maybe it was a time for a re-visit and for trying their set lunch menu. A window-side table had been reserved quite a while ago during weekday lunch. It seemed that after a few years their a la carte menu looked pretty much the same. I still remembered that we had tried Marinated Tuna Tartare which was quite good
A window-side table had been reserved quite a while ago during weekday lunch.
It seemed that after a few years their a la carte menu looked pretty much the same. I still remembered that we had tried Marinated Tuna Tartare which was quite good while their Baby Lamb from Aveyron and Short Rib & Beef Tenderloin were nothing outstanding especially the former.
There were two lunch sets: 4 courses including appetizer, pasta, main and dessert or cheese at $1080+10% and 3 courses with either pasta or main at your choice and everything else the same at $780+10%. As we were not so hungry, we decided to go for the 3-course lunch set.
Very soon, a bread basket was served to us with olive oil & vinegar already waiting on our desk. There was no introduction of the bread.
The bread was served warm with very crispy and thin crust and pretty soft and airy interior. They went great with vinegar which was sour and slightly sweet. I didn't like the olive oil which was kindly served to me by a server pouring it onto a small plate near the plate for the bread. Quite a waste because most was untouched.
The cheese stick and the thin crisp were both very crispy, with the former being very rich in cheese flavour.
The Amuse Bouche seemed to contain 3 starch balls with cheese and beetroot. The server did introduce to us that there were cheese and beetroot but we couldn't recall what the balls were made of. Taste- and texture-wise they seemed to be made from starch and they were totally TASTELESS! They were nothing comparable with Japanese chewy rice balls. The cheese flavour was very very weak and even the beetroot sauce was the same. The only good thing about the dish was probably the look. Quite disappointing indeed.
The second bread basket was Rye bread. Again the bread was served warm and the crust was very thin and crispy while the interior was very soft and airy. Again it went great with the vinegar. You would soon know why we need to eat so much bread because the portion of the dishes was really quite small, except for the pasta.
Roasted Octopus with Roasted Artichoke, Aromatic Herbs Dressing
We ordered both appetisers on the set lunch menu to share. The roasted octopus was ok in terms of texture which was not particularly chewy or tender but it didn't taste particularly fresh. The artichoke was very salty and a bit too rough. The dressing had nothing special. Overall, it was quite disappointing.
Scallops in Bread Crust, Sweet Peas Emulsion, Black Truffle
This appetiser was much better as the scallops were cooked quite well, with crusty crust made with bread and not fully cooked interior of the scallops. The sweet peas emulsion was ok, not particularly outstanding while the black truffle didn't smell or taste particularly nice either. It could have been even better in my humble opinion.
The server had asked if we would like our main and pasta to be served together. It was really appreciated.
Scampi Trenette with Datterino Tomato, Basil, Scampi Jus
We chose this over the other one because we didn't like vegetarian pasta much. The Trenette was really al dente, I would say it was of the perfect texture. The Scampi Jus was sufficiently rich and every piece of Trenette was well-flavoured by the Jus. For some reason I found it very slightly spicy which was quite good and appetising. The small Scampi pieces were fresh and crispy too. A very good pasta indeed but definitely not something you couldn't find elsewhere so I had discounted the rating a bit to give it 4 given the fame.
Roasted Kinki Fish with Fennel and Tarragon Sauce
The fish had crispy skin but except that there was really nothing special. The sauce was ok but nothing outstanding. The portion was extremely small. The fish was much smaller than my palm.
Please note that there was no removal of the bread crusts from our table before the serving of our desserts.
Warm Apple Puff with Vanilla Gelato, Caramel Apple Jam
The apple puff was slightly warm with a slightly crispy crust. As it was just warm but not really warm enough, there was no particular pleasure to eat it together with the cold vanilla gelato, which was melting as you could tell.
Almond Soup with Panna Cotta, Almond and Orange Blossom Gelato
The almond soup was very outstanding though. First of all, it was really special, somewhat like Chinese sweet soup. It was sweet, maybe a bit too sweet to too many people but I liked it, and cold with strong aroma of almond. There were some nuts added to enhance the texture of the sweet soup. You could also break the thin sugar coating on top to add further crispy texture. The gelato wasn't particularly rich in orange blossom though. The best dish of the meal, overall.
There was no Petit fours or coffee/tea included in the lunch set.
Interior decoration was not particularly outstanding with pretty low ceilings. It was quite full on a weekday for lunch and there was not much privacy although it was quiet enough for a nice chat. Not really a place for special event I would say. The view of the window seats was nothing spectacular just overlooking Mandarin Oriental Hotel and office buildings. Service was ok but it could have been better, e.g. my cup of water was often empty.
One point to note was that we did happen to see Chef Umberto Bombana running around throughout our meal.
As a 3 Michelin star restaurant, I must say this dining experience was pretty disappointing. At this price, there were definitely better choices at the same district at a similar price with better environment and privacy and even food! I think our second visit would be pretty much the last visit.
Let me attempt to compare this dining experience with those recent experiences at other top-notch Michelin restaurants:
8½ Otto e Mezzo BOMBANA
Amuse Bouche: 1
Price: $860 for 3 courses for weekday lunch without petit fours or coffee/tea
Amuse Bouche: 4
Price: $990 for 5 courses for weekday lunch
Mandarin Bar + Grill
Amuse Bouche: 1
Seating: 3 too close to another table for non-window seats
Price: $760 for 3 courses for weekday lunch without coffee/tea or petit fours (but with takeaway madeleine)
Amuse Bouche: 4
Price: $680 for 3 courses for weekday lunch
L'Atelier de Joël Robuchon
Amuse Bouche: 5
Meat: 3 One dish was great but another was a failure
Price: $660 for 4 courses for weekday lunch. Great petit fours!
Amuse Bouche: 2
Price: ~$700 for 4 courses for weekday lunch without coffee/tea. Great petit fours!