September 15, 2009

Size does matter

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Tonight my friends behind the Press Room Group invited their friends - about 60 of us - to S/M/L, their latest venture in Times Square.  This location is different from their previous outlets in that it's catering much more to the masses.  As one of the partners put it, the price point is just a tad higher than someplace like Spaghetti House...

Upon arrival, I was handed a stored value card for use with the Enomatic machines and immediately began to try out some of the wines.  The wine prices were pretty reasonable, with most "S" portions (50ml) priced around HKD 20.  I picked out a few wines and tasted them with "M" portions (100ml).

We sat down at the long, communal tables and waited for the food to arrive.  The menu for the evening was pretty large, and food mostly came in M or L portions for us to share.

Spanish Serrano ham / salami milano / dill pickles - a good way to start the evening. Drizzled with a bit of olive oil.

Crostini / tomatoes / olive / basil - a very simple and yummy starter.  Apparently the S portion gives you just two of these, which would be enough for a taste but not too filling.

Meatballs / spicy tomato sauce - not bad at all.  Another simple and homey dish.

Foie gras / confit chicken / truffle salad / toast - this came in a jar (as would a few other items) and the combination was pretty interesting and yummy.  The creamy sweetness of the foie was well-balanced by the smoky, savory flavors of the confit - not to mention the texture of the shredded chicken.  This was good enough for me to have a second serving.

Salmon tartare - this is a DIY dish, where we would have to mix in the quail eggs, lemon juice and the herbs ourselves.  Not so impressed but then again I never liked the combination of lemon and salmon.

Seared tuna / sesame / soy / sake - actually not bad.  Lightly seared with a raw and tender center.

Sauteed green beans / tomatoes / garlic - the beans were fresh and crunchy, and the tomato sauce was made from fresh tomatoes, without the sweetness and/or salt from canned versions.

Deep fried polenta / parmesan / tomato sauce - interesting to see this on the menu.  Looked like giant fried mozzarella sticks at first, but the polenta was actually pretty OK.

Spicy lamb kebab / mint yogurt / onion salad - this was really awesome.  Full-flavored lamb on a stick, no holding back that yummy taste.  I didn't want to detract from the taste so no yogurt was gonna touch my lamb.  Oh and the onion salad was a nice complement.

Classic lasagna al forno - not bad.  Just the comfort food that I may be in the mood for from time to time.

Linguine / clams / white wine / parsley - pretty standard stuff... nothing to complain about.

Crispy pork belly / red cabbage-apple coleslaw - not the best I've had but you won't hear me complain too loudly... after all it is crispy and crunchy fatty pork!   Coleslaw's not bad.

Risotto / braised ox-tail / parmesan - now this was pretty good stuff.  The braised ox-tail was tender and yummy, and the risotto was al dente.

Chargrilled chicken / mojo sauce / mango salsa - actually not too bad... a bit spicy and the mango salsa made it pretty interesting.

There was a trio of desserts: the pear and almond slice / vanilla sauce was ho-hum; the lime cream with vanilla pineapple was not bad; but the pot of chocolate / chocolate mousse / fudge was divine.  The mousse itself was yummy but the rich and sweet fudge cubes... how could I resist devouring this?

There was just too much food, and I actually didn't even touch a few of the dishes.  Overall I thought the food was pretty decent, and if I were looking for a meal with a few home style dishes, this is definitely one place I would keep in mind.  Next time, though, I'd be able to get a bunch of bite-size orders and sample more dishes.

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