November 19, 2008


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I got my chance to try out a hot new restaurant today - Domani. Last week there was suddenly a lot of talk about it amongst my friends, so when I needed to be around Pacific Place for lunch, I decided to try it out. Having been told that it was tough to book, I asked Quintessentially to book for me, and was told last night that I had to be waitlisted. They did call back to confirm my table this morning, so I was pretty happy.

When I arrived at 12:30 - a little early for Hong Kong - the restaurant was pretty empty. Surprisingly, even at 1:30 there were quite a number of empty tables. Now I began to wonder why I was waitlisted in the first place...I can't imagine that there were that many cancellations in the span of a few hours!

The space was very nicely done - comfortable seating and nice, high ceilings. There was an outdoor section which looked pretty cozy, but it's a smoking section and I saw people puffing away. 

I ordered a 3-course set lunch, since I was warned about the smallish portions by my lunch date. On her previous visit, she was unsatiated after two courses and thus was compelled to have dessert. I figured I could have something light and healthy...

I started with panzanella con cannocchie, sedano e anguria. The small but juicy and delicious mantis shrimp (with the colorful nickname of 賴尿蝦) are laid on top of a pile of flavored breadcrumbs, with shredded celery on the side drenched with olive oil. And yes those are watermelon blocks on the plate. Overall the dish was reasonably light and tasty. Not a bad start.

My main course was cernia con carciofi e salsa al vino bianco. The garoupa was fried and reasonably tasty, but it was a tad dry for my taste. It's easy to get good steamed garoupa at any Chinese restaurant, or even at cha chan teng (茶餐廳), so I was little disappointed today. The gob of foam on top is flavored with artichokes, and there are also artichokes on the side.

I was actually reasonably full at this point, but went for the ananas, lime, granitas menta. The chunks of pineapple are topped with a big scoop of crushed ice, flavored with lime and Crème de Menthe - hence the hint of alcohol. Pretty refreshing and light.

In spite of the execution for the garoupa, I still thought lunch was pretty decent. I'm curious about how this place would do for dinner, so I'll just have to make a trip back some time and see (and taste) for myself.

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