Saturday, June 18, 2011

Do not come on your Bad Hair Day. - 798 Unit & co.

We have been to the newly opened Just A Restaurant by 798 unit & co a number of times and find the food impressive. Therefore we immediately bought the $400-worth cash coupon for eating at 798 - it was nice having good food at half the price with the coupon. The only downside of the coupon was that we had to book the table in advance. Not a big issue as we planned to eat there after watching a movie at the Times Square, Causeway Bay.

798 unit & co is on th3 13th floor on Times Square, a part of the mall I dont usually go to - there are way too many good restaurants out there along the streets. After a short journey up the escalators we got to the place - a dimly lit relaxing bistro it appeared to be.
We were not greeted very warmly by the staff, and the place was still setting up as we were brought to our table. The staff were copying the special dinner sets for two and etc. onto the large chalkboard, and sadly one made a very serious and laughable mistake without noticing.
The menu was printed on an A3 paper, on both sides. Not a great variety of dishes are available, but we were pleased and satisfied with what we were offered to choose from.

A small plate of sliced french baguette and butter was also brought to us. I thought it was icy cold and stone-hard but it turned out to be warmed and crispy. Did not like the butter however as it tasted too bland - we got not to be too health-conscious when it comes to butter, I think. You either eat the full-fat butter, or you dont eat it. NEVER substitute it with a low-fat variety as that always suck.

My dad loved the French Onion Soup he got at J.A.R, complimenting the richness of the flavour and the caramelized onion every time he ordered one. This one he got at 798 looked 99% the same but was much blander in taste. Matter of fact it tasted diluted and there was little sweetness of onion in it.Has the chef forgotten his salt and pepper? I'd rather throw it away than drinking it, to be completely honest.

Ma's wild mushroom soup with truffle oil was awful as the onion soup. Despite its deceiving brownish look it tasted like water. There were lumps of mushroom floating in the soup but they looked more like floating rubbish rather than part of the soup. There was flavour in them but they were locked in, instead of released into the soup. The truffle oil had not injected any flavour nor aroma into the soup, only giving it an oily appearance. I have no idea what the white thing on top was - it could be a lump of cream or truffle cream but I am not sure, as it tasted as bland as the soup was. It was really bad - the WORST mushroom soup i have ever tasted in my life. Even a random cream of mushroom soup from a local Chaa Chen Teng could K.O. this.

I did not have soup by myself and we ordered a baby spinach & toasted corn salad. It was okay - more than an okay in fact. The baby spinach leaves were fresh and crisp, and the corn cob were sweet and really juicy. The little halves of tomatoes were so-so, not extraordinarily juicy, but I really like the sour and refreshing salad dressing. It tasted like something between vinegar and the Italian dressing. My dad said it was too sour for him but i thought it was okay - the tartness of it balanced against the greasiness in the bacon bits. In general,it was a very simple but good salad.

-->There was a long, sleepy wait before the main courses were ready. A quick side note on the delivery of dishes first - I could clearly see how the food were brought from the kitchen to the delivery island from where i sat. As we were waiting I saw three dishes, suspected to be what we ordered, being brought out by someone in white from the kitchen. I thought a server would quickly bring them to our table, serving them fresh and hot from the stove. They didn't, and something really strange happened. The restaurant was not very busy by then and there were servers walking around in the arena, and I was quite sure they must have seen the unserved dish on the island. I do not know if there is a rule of wait-for-5-minutes-before-you-serve-the-dishes here at 798, but they just ignored the covered dishes and walked away. Whether there was really a rule or whether there had been an attitude issue, I do not know. All i know is that if the dishes were not brought to the table once they were ready, they would possibly go lukewarm, even stale, and I do care about the temperature of the food I have, a lot.
Anyhow, both me and my food did not mind waiting as long as the taste and temperature were still acceptable.

Rosemary roasted rack of lamb - with spring vegetables, pancetta & mint bearnaise. We wanted it medium but it returned medium-rare - even better as i prefer pink meat over well-cooked ones. The lamb rack were excellent. We loved what we got at JAR and that was why we ordered this at 798. This was even better than that we had! The meat was extremely tender yet so full and rich of the distinctive taste of lamb. It was definitely NOT overcooked (it couldnt be, obviously!) and an awful lot of juice was still locked in it. The exterior of the racks had the distinctive taste and crispiness from a roast, and i love the bits of crumbs that gave it a thin crunchy twist. It was perfect and I ended up holding the thin bone lovingly with my hands!
It tasted even better with the mint jelly and mustard, two must-haves. The mint bearnaise sauce, a close relative to the Hollandaise sauce which i love, was great. It tasted just right of egg yolk, butter, while the mint in it made it a less greasy sauce to dip the meat in. Even the vegetables with pancetta, taking up the juice from the lamb, was delicious. All in all while i expected to have just an lukewarm, so-so lamb rack, this was much better than what I had in mind. I would come again just for the lamb rack - it was really THAT delicious!

Chargrilled U.S. thick-cut pork loin chop - with roasted pineapple, apple-potato salad & honey mustard. Dad's pick it was. I usually avoid ordering pork chops in Western restaurants, especially not the expensive ones, as many use frozen pork chops and they always return so dry, tough and coarse that you could not even eat it. This was a thick-cut and much to my surprise, it remained tender after being grilled and bore the distinctive marks of charcoal. The meat was tender, the fibre were fine, and you could find juice in it; it tasted naturally of the sweetness of pork too, unlike the ambiguous, unidentifiable piece of meat people call 'pork chops' you get elsewhere. The honey mustard was a perfect match of the chop, and i enjoyed the roasted pineapple more than the so-so apple salad. They used too much mayo in it, i think. But all in all - a hidden gem the dish was!

Slow-cooked oxtail risotto. My pick this time as i adore risotto - I love how the rice grains have picked up the rich flavour of the stock. They were way too tender to be called authentically Italian, and more cheeses and cream should be used had it been prepared in other restaurants, but we all LOVED this more-creative-risotto. Bay leaves and sun-dried tomatoes mixed with the rice varied the texture while flakes of soft, aromatic, shredded ox-tail meat were truly delicious. The rice was great and thanks to the reduced amount of cheese and cream, we could finish it without wasting any of it!

The food was great - except the soup perhaps - while the service was really bad. The managers pulled a long face whenever she came by, and was not very polite when i tried to redeem the coupon, asked for mustard and mint, or just for general inquiry. I think i heard no 'thank you' throughout the night from anyone from the crew too. I do not mean everyone have to be smiling with their teeth visible no matter how tired they might be but theres something so basic and simple that one working in the F&B industry should never forget and miss. I have been there, working in the industry as a summerjob, and i know how shitty it feels sometimes. But even I would not serve my customers with a long face no matter how miserable my life was, and I dem

0 意見:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...