April 29, 2012

A little tongue teaser

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It's my last meal in Hong Kong this trip, and I arranged to meet up with 2 lovely ladies for lunch.  For all the buzz this place has created since it opened, I've amazingly managed to stay clear of Linguini Fini.  I guess it was about time that I checked out the place…

I was running really late and wasn't able to check-in first, so I ended up bringing my big duffel bag to the restaurant.  I showed up at the reception on the ground floor, gave them my name for the reservation, and was sent upstairs.  I exited the elevator, and spent a few seconds looking for the ladies.

Having failed to locate the ladies - who had their backs to me - I wondered why none of the staff came up to me to see if I needed any help.  They seemed content to leave me standing around like an idiot…  Finally I asked the two people closest to me for help, saying that I had a reservation and that my friends were already here; could they please help me locate my table.  Blank stares came my way for a few seconds.  After asking for a second time, one of them disappeared, presumably to look up where they had seated my friends with the reservation under my name.

Finally, I was seated next to My Favorite Cousin.  Three of us looked over the menu, and the cousin excuses herself and ask me to order for her.  As I started to order dishes for more than one person, the waiter seemed to want to stop me from over-ordering.  Still annoyed by the episode earlier, I shut him up and told him to "just listen to me".  What the hell was the kid thinking?!  Do they limit how many dishes a guest is allowed to order?!

I don't often do this, but I got onto Twitter and tweeted about my experience at the door.  Not surprisingly, the guy who watches over IHM's social media channels picked it up almost immediately.

Not sure why they decided to serve us the pasta before our antipasti arrived, but my fazzoletti "nose to tail bolo" showed up in front of me. It looked a little messy, but tasted damn good.  My Favorite Birdbrain Cousin thought it was bolognese, but it's soooo much better than that!  What's not to love about beef cheeks and oxtail?!  Testa is best...  Oh and I liked the way they shredded the Parmigiano.

The trippa al forno came in a cute little mini cocotte.  My Favorite Cousin's really not Chinese like the rest of the family, since she freaks out over eating offal.  But even she had to admit that the tripe was pretty good.  I did really like the flavors, including the stringy mozzarella, but I would have preferred for the tripe to be cut into slightly smaller chunks.

I had a slice of the homemade pancetta.  It tasted awesome, but I couldn't begin to tell you how much oil ended up my fingertips…

We were pretty full and ready to get the bill, but the manager had been alerted to my presence, and the fact that there was a disgruntled customer in the house.  Complimentary desserts were on their way…

Hot chocolate affogato, graham cracker biscotti, marshmallow gelato - kinda interesting to have marshmallow as a gelato flavor, but it kinda works.  The thick chocolate sauce was an interesting substitute for coffee.

Lemon olive oil cake, poppy seed gelato - this was OK.  The waiter suggested that we spread the gelato onto the cake like butter.

Not so impressed with the desserts, but I definitely liked what I ordered.  I'll have to find another opportunity to try out their special "infused" pasta, as well as that lardo chicken I saw on the menu!

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