It seemed rather difficult to actually get a seating with chef Mok during weekends since he is almost always fully booked by "regulars" that booked a room etc.
We couldn't get him last Sunday and initially we were told Sat nite at 7pm would be possible. So we changed our dinner plans instead. However, comes sat afternoon, I got a call citing that Chef Mok is not available to us as he is being booked again for room. So I assumed that "normal" guests are second class to the rich who can have regular meals there even if we had already reserved a slot in advance. The lady kept recommending the other chefs. Hello, I know there are other chefs, don't state the obvious. What is annoying is that when I did the booking the first time, I had already told her WHO I don't want to cook my meal but on sat, she recommended the pretty boy again. I know I didn't want pretty boy Cal to cook my meal and so thankfully Chef Stone was available. Was I annoyed by the last min change and the apparent "I don't rem what u told me" service, kinda annoyed but well what can I do unless I don't eat there right?
When we arrived, we were seated and chef Stone came to greet us. He told us if the beef tenderloin would be ok and since my man prefer his meat less fatty so we said ok.
Service by waitresses was rather patchy. Not much interaction except they would stand behind u waiting to be called. Another regular and wife, whom they addressed by name, came in slightly later and I supposed being "someone", the waitresses greeted them warmly, and offered to hang their outer jackets etc. No one bothered to ask us if we like to hang our jackets, and even when we are seated next to them, with our jackets obviously hanging off the chairs, no one seemed to spot this service oversight or discrimination. Even when their fren came in much later to join them, service was also top notch to them. Another walk in couple seated to our right was also given the less than warm hospitality. That's a second thing that rub me off the wrong way. Shouldn't service be more uniform when we are all paying guests, though I must admit that they are nice enough to allow the couple to our right to share only 1 set meal between them.
While service was a let down, the food was still exceptional.
Apparently they had changed the menu this time round.
They had gotten rid of the scallop, replaced it with buttered abalone instead which actually works better for us.
We had known Stone chef from sessyu days. We had enjoyed his cooking because he had always
cooked our meat to perfection. This time round, he remained top notched and did not let us down. His seasoning was just right, and u can tell he is very careful about how much salt he sprinkle over the meat. He would carefully sprinkled it over the meat just at a right height, instead of the showy flashy "flinging seeds" technique the other pretty chef does. As well, we noticed he used suitably lesser oil as compared to pretty boy chef.
The buttered abalone was superb.
It was fresh and succulent with the slight chewy texture I like. Would be better if they sliced it a little thinner so that it would be easier to chew for ladies. However, taste wise, there is no faulting.
The lobster...remains as good as per my last review.
The foie gras was excellent and this time round I noticed they got rid of the round berries which I had
reviewed previously as being too bitter. Good decision on that. Also, it was not teriyaki sauce but a more gentle fruity sauce. Fig perhaps? Not sure and forgot to ask.
This time round there is extra vege salad. It's a bit strange to serve it in the middle of the meal instead of at the start. It consist of carrot stick, asparagus, the usual suspect in some home made light sauce. Nothing wow there.
The next thing is tenderloin.
Personally, I much prefer the meat we had in Oct. It was prob rib eye which was fattier and sweeter. The meat we had this time though looked marbled, was not as fatty and to me, loses the distinctive beef flavor. Also, it doesn't taste as good with wasabi as the fatty cuts. The fried rice is still paired with the lobster head miso soup packed with generous raddish mushroom though I must say chef mok's fried rice taste better than chef Stone.
The seasonal fruit remained as honey dew but instead of grapes, it is paired with strawberry.
All in all, the meal remains outstanding. At the end of our meal, chef Mok found time to come to our station and cook the ala carte dishes for his regular sitting to my left. Apparently chef Mok is heading to japan next weekend so he won't be around.
Would I come back, I guess so for the food and I hope the discriminating service staff would improve on their evidently suck-up attitude since we are all paying guests. Even if chef Mok is not available, thankfully there is always the lesser known chef stone so I guess it's ok.