Friday, December 13, 2013

HK food Review: Dinner at BCN (Barcelona)@ Soho Central, peel street

Decided to try a Spanish dining spot for a change. So called up BCN ( BarCeloNa) and got ourselves a seating at 7.30pm for two. 

Unlike other restaurants, BCN will watsapp the menu to you and u are expected to decide what menu u want at least one day before the dinner. So I chose trip to Spain.

 The weirdest thing is that the whole dining party must have the SAME menu for a non table seating. So if a party of 4 comes here and u want different choices, I reckon it makes more sense to make 2 reservations request to sit side by side. It's quite hard to talk for a party beyond 3. 

When we arrived, only a party of 2 Korean gals were here. The place is empty otherwise. That doesn't bode well for a Friday peak dinner night. 

The whole place is counter seating. No tables. Considering the whole place is empty, am surprised that they sat us just next to the Korean gals with one seat apart. So we could hear each other's conversation. 

By 8.30pm, it's still only the 4 of us. By now, I'm almost 3/4 way done. 

For starters, we had iberico ham n cheese. Nothing to rave about.

The next dish is octopus with potato sitting in a pool of olive oil. If u love slurping up oil, I guess this will do it for you. Personally, was a little let down by both the presentation as well as the dish itself. While the octopus itself is cooked well n sweet, retaining its seafood flavor, yet the potato slice was rather bland n disappointing. The texture combination is a let down. I would think it needs some other pairing to give the dish more character. It may be authentic but if u have an overpriced menu, I expect something better, and a larger slice of octopus to start with would b brilliant.

Following shortly, comes croquette dish. As mentioned before, croquette is my speciality... And frankly, this is kinda hit and miss dish. Out of 3, only the middle one was any good....

By now, I wasn't wow but neither too bitterly disappointed. Just when I thought I could remain suitably neutral about the dishes, the garlic soup which followed next was frankly the first disappointment of the eve. I think this Garlic Soup is about as exciting n tasty as a can of Campbell soup...what lies within this bowl is cubes of potato n a large chunk of garlic. Seriously dude...u don't open a restaurant, charge an arm n a leg and serve me this.

Before I can recover from shaking my head, the seafood paella was squally disappointing. The flavor was acceptable but the rice was so chewy that I couldn't go beyond 5 spoonful. I had to ask the chef if paella is intended to b this chewy. The last paella I had in Spain def wasn't this chewy where I could still see the complete white within each grain despite the seafood soup browning. 

The chef initially said it's meant to b chewy, but less than risotto. I told him that his was definitely MUCH harder n chewier than risotto. I offered my plate for his tasting. He took a bite and insisted it was perfectly cooked. He said "I stayed in Spain 3 months..." And then He went on defending his dish that "he didn't want to bastardized the dish to HK style" and that ALL his other patrons love this dish. Instead of doing something about it there n then, his parting words were "u should let us know next time u want it softer"

Buddy, in the first place, how would I know your seafood paella would be so hard, 50% harder than risotto and definitely unlike wat I had in Spain Barcelona. Secondly, what makes u think I'm gonna come back???

When a chef is so defensive to a simple question, it's really no point continuing the conversation. I left it as it is, he walked off and even when he saw that we didn't touch the dish further, no offer to cook it further, no nothing. Not a simple apology on my obvious disappointment.

The next dish slow cook pork was very good though n cook to perfection. However, while the cinamon sweet sauce was good, personally I didn't like the pumpkin purée. I think it had a tad too much of something else either some oil or butter which ruins the natural sweetness of pumpkin.

The dessert Catalan Cream was again nothing great. The cream was warm at some parts and cold at some parts. Not a very good redeeming ending.

All in all will I be back? Never.
Not on my list to recommend. 

Do I think this place will last, sadly, I highly doubt it. The chef (from tonite) definitely needs to rethink about his recipes, overpricing and cooking techniques....also, too many waitress n staff for such a small place. 

No comments: