L'altro - Unimpressive Food and Tiny Portions


On the surface, L'altro has all the fixtures of a nice restaurant from the sleek decor to the fancy platings. Since I was staying in town over the holiday break, I decided to make reservations at several Michelin restaurants I wanted to try and L'altro was one of them. Whenever possible, I'd like to make reservations online and this restaurant had that capability. I made the reservation online by filling out their form, and got a call shortly confirming my reservation. Nice~

Located at The L Place, the restaurant was bright and airy during the day and had a view over The Center. The decor was sleek and modern with minimal colors except for the festive decorations. An impressive series of wine refrigerators took up one side of the restaurant. 

Our table happened to be right next to the Christmas tree! How festive! We were given a rather large table that can seat 4 people even though there were only 2 of us. It may be because the restaurant was actually not that full at all during lunch time. 
The lunch menu was pretty simple with 2 courses at $268, 3 courses at $298, 4 courses at $398. We each picked the 3 courses with a starter, main, and dessert. When I asked the waiter to explain some of the items on the menu to me, he just sort of recited the menu which wasn't that helpful. We also noticed some wrong spellings on the menu (like the word potato), which is not a big deal but it does reflect on the attentiveness of the restaurant. 
Bread Basket - our bread basket was plentiful and most importantly - hot. No olive oil or balsamic vinegar was given however. Not an issue as each of the bread was pretty flavorful. The tomato bread roll had bits of dried tomato bits as an added texture. The rosemary bread roll was fragrant and tasty. The sourdough wheat bread was tangy and refreshing to eat.
The starters came out rather quickly after we ordered. 
Slow Cooked Japanese Egg, Delicate Salad and Mustard Dressing (3/5) - the slow cooked Japanese egg was buried in the middle of the salad, which was cooked nicely as it was soft and liquidy. The salad was fresh but the flavor of the dressing was not apparent. We could not taste it at all and depended on the egg as condiment. A so-so and bland dish overall. 

Panfried Baby Squid, Datterino Tomato Coulis and Cous Cous (4/5) - loved the bright colors of the plating of this dish. The squid was nicely panfried as it was slightly crispy on the surface. It could be fresher though. The couscous was light and grainy, and went well with the tomato puree sauce. 
After the starters, it started to go downhill as we had to wait 20-30 minutes for our mains.
Parma Ham and Ricotta Tortelli with Consomme (1/5) - what a disappointment! When this finally came, we noticed a strand of hair on one of the tortelli. We had to send it back of course but no apology was given. We waited another 10 minutes for the new dish to arrive. The consomme was poured on the spot. Unfortunately, it was way toosalty! The parma ham was really salty while the skin of the tortelli was thick and hard. The portion was also pretty pitiful with only 4 small pieces.

Kurobuta Milanese, Curry Potato Mash and Chips (3/5) - this was highly recommended by the waiter. The plating was again very pretty with the contrasting colors and symmetrical positionings. Too bad the pork was a bit tough and bland. It was not tender at all. The potatoes were tasty though especially the purple colored chips. Again, pretty small portions with only 2 pieces of cubed pork. 

Finally the desserts came out quickly after we finished our mains. 
Figs and Vanilla Pannacotta +$28 (4/5) - the desserts here were probably the highlight of our meal. The pannacotta was rich with vanilla flavor while the pastry base was buttery and crunchy. The figs were also sweet and delicious to eat. 

Gelato Miramonti (4/5) - I had read that this dessert was highly recommended but it didn't arrive in a little mountain as others have experienced. It came in a martini glass with some chocolate syrup poured at the table. No biggie. The gelato was silky smooth while the chocolate was slightly bitter, which nicely counterbalanced the sweetness of the gelato. 

Verdict - my dining experience at L'altro was disappointing to say the least. For a 1 star Michelin restaurant charging $300+ for lunch per person, the value for money just wasn't there. The food was not impressive while the portions were tiny (even for a girl!). The service could be better as well as the staff just seemed disengaged and standoffish.

10/F, The L. Place, 139 Queen’s Road, Central
2555 9100

Follow me on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/supertastermel


Popular Posts