February 27, 2016

Italian food with gorgeous view

Pin It

I found myself at Cucina in the Marco Polo Hong Kong Hotel tonight.  Hello Kitty was doing some research for a project, and we decided to have dinner here.  This would be my first visit.  In fact, I had never even heard of this place.  But hey, I heard this place has a pretty good harbor view, so why not?

The menu was reasonably compact, with a mix of Italian dishes together with other not-so-Italian choices like lobster bisque, foie gras...etc.  I chose a selection of what I felt would be representative of what the new chef could do.

Cappuccino al funghi porcini con biscotti al parmigiano - this was pretty decent.  Slightly over-seasoned for my taste, but most diners will probably find it perfectly fine.  They even threw in a slice of porcini.  The Parmigiano biscotti are not bad, either.

Linguine ai gamberi rossi di mazara del vallo con la loro salsa ridotta e pomodorini freschi - any type of red prawns just automatically pushes buttons with me, so of course we had to have this.  The linguine, unfortunately, was a little overcooked.  But the red prawns were delicious, and as usual I greedily sucked out the heads.  The prawn reduction was delicious, but in all honesty it was a little one-dimensional.

Guancetta di manzo wagyu cotta lentamente su pure' di zucca, porcini e salsa al Barolo - wagyu beef cheek slow-cooked in red wine?!  Doesn't get better than that!  The beef cheek was sooooo tender... and the collagen didn't hurt, either.  This was very, very good.  The pumpkin mash was pretty decent, and the beans on the side added some textural crunch.  But I wish they'd used better porcini on top.

For dessert, I initially had my heart set on the zabaligone, but as I looked at the picture of the tiramisu on the iPad - yes, for some reason they brought us an iPad to show us the desserts - I was intrigued enough to order it.  Unfortunately, while it looked like a deconstructed tiramisu, and tasted perfectly fine, it wasn't as interesting as I had hoped.

We decided not to open the bottle of cheap-and-cheerful Langhe that we brought along, opting instead to choose another cheap-and-cheerful wine from the restaurant's wine list.

2009 Sartori L'Appassito - initially some green and herbaceous notes, which I thought may be signs of TCA.  Still some black fruits in the nose.  Opened up well after 30 minutes and the green notes disappeared, leaving a nice and fragrant nose.  Soft on the palate.

This turned out to be a decent meal, and I couldn't find much fault with the food.  Pricing, too, was reasonable.  But the issue here was the service...

When we first got seated, we immediately noticed that our white tablecloth was not clean.  And one of the plates in front of us wasn't clean either.  That's pretty shocking for a hotel restaurant, and I can't remember my last similar experience.

There there was the case of staff delivering another table's dishes to us, which really shouldn't happen.  And they didn't remember that we wanted to share our main courses, even though we told them so once upon ordering, and again when they delivered the wrong dishes to us.

And when we asked for the bill, they neglected to charge us for the bottle of wine we ordered.  While some people might have been happy about this, we just take this as another part of their incompetent service...

The restaurant has an outdoor bar area immediately adjacent to the restaurant, which is on the top level of parking lot structure.  They have gorgeous views of Victoria Harbour, and one can sit here, order a drink or a cigar, and take it all in.  We decided to do just that after dinner.  Alas, being out on the deck is like being in Siberia, and we - along with 6 other tables - were neglected while every single remaining staff at the restaurant seemed to be busy changing tablecloths or doing some mundane task that isn't the least bit time-sensitive inside the restaurant.  Sigh...

No comments:


Related Posts with Thumbnails

TripAdvisor Travel Map