Friday, February 13, 2009

Dinner at Grissini (HK)

Went out for Italian dinner today at Grissini@ Grand Hyatt Hotel. There was some Channelnews asia event at the hotel and many reporters were snapping away at all the big shots coming through the main lobby. Remembering my last personal experience in Budapest Four Seasons, where I was most unceremoniously shoved aside by Bill Clinton's body guard as old Bill was crossing path with me through the hotel's main door, I am not in a hurry to get in the way of another mob.

Frankly, dinner was quite a let down and disappointing. U can be sure that we wont be back in a hurry, or rather, won't consider going back.

The service is polite but relatively slow, inattentive and at times no service staff were in view for minutes. When asked about the base for a particular pasta item in the menu, the staff had no idea but she was polite enough to state she would find out and get back to me. Hmm.. not exactly great training if she wasnt even sure what goes into the pasta sauce, for an ITALIAN restaurant. Well at least the chef was nice enough to change the base for me.

Granted the view of the harbor was spectacular with the lights, laser show going off and tonight, shrouded by misty fog, it still didnt warrant the price nor the time wasted waiting for food to arrive. At one point, our plates for starters were sitting so long on our table that I had to wave and wave for some service staff to remove it. I had to like raise my hands 4-5 times before someone finally saw me, that is excluding the few minutes before trying to even LOOK for one service staff.

The bread stick was excellent, and probably the only decent thing for the whole dining experience.

My fried calamari starter while wasnt close to disaster, was pretty far from good. In fact, I couldnt quite understand how an expensive restaurant can ruin a simple dish by over salting it. What made it worse was the way it was presented, like bloody KFC chicken pops in a paper wrap, with greasy oil spot showing through the wrapper. The sauce was bland and absolutely worse combination to go with the food. The whole serving looked cheap, tasted cheap and they are charging me HK$160 for it. I could get a spectacular fried calamari in Sydney for half the price and twice the serving size.

My pasta fared slightly better though I didnt quite like the olives in my tomato base sauce. The linguine was cook right and scampi done right, but it was not something that tickled your imagination nor one's palette. I suddenly missed the fantastic pasta I had in Tokyo back in Nov. That was my last Italian meal.

My husband's choices fared much better. The mussels starter was reasonably good and so was the veal sirloin which was tender. Though again, I personally found it a little oversalted for the meat sauce. Not as bad as my calamari.

We waited ages for the choc pudding dessert till I had to wave for someone again to check on my order and it came prompto. Sigh. Again, not a dish that made me excited nor wow. I had more interesting facial expressions over a hawker fare than here, and I had more memorable food reviews of food at tasted at the backpacker alley in Ho Chi Ming than this.

So word of advice, skip this place even if u have cash to burn. There are much better options out there.

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