|VOLUME IX No. 22||W E D N E S D A Y||January 31, 2007|
RESTAURANTS OF HONGKONG ...
AND THE WORST !
|Name of Restaurant||Angelini, Kowloon Shangri-La Hongkong|
|Address of Restaurant||Number 64, Mody Road, Kowloon, Hongkong|
|Date of Visit||Wednesday, January 24, 2007|
|Attentiveness to Customers’ Needs||Excellent||Acceptable||Poor|
|Product Expertise of Serving Staff||Excellent||Acceptable||Poor|
|Speed of Service||Excellent||Acceptable||Poor|
|Cleanliness of Uniform and Serving Staff||Excellent||Acceptable||Poor|
|Presentation -- None||Excellent||Acceptable||Poor|
|Storage of Wine||Good||Poor||Unknown|
|Expertise of Sommelier -- None||Excellent||Acceptable||Poor|
|Total Cost of Meal|
|Very Expensive||Moderately Expensive||Very Reasonably Priced|
|Name of Director of Food and Beverage||Mr Randall Linhart|
|Name of Executive Chef||Mr Michael McCalman|
TARGET concurs because, if anything, the Italian restaurant of Kowloon Shangri-La Hongkong is just about one step up from a free-standing, fast-food shop.
This 90-seater outlet is not expensive, something that surprised this medium because the Shangri-La hotel chain is not known for the price reasonableness at its food outlets.
The service staff at Angelini is something else, however, and it is very apparent that the young boys and girls, trying to look after customers’ needs, either have had no instructions as to how to conduct themselves and/or offer service, or, alternatively, they have adopted the mannerisms of the extended family, working at a mama-and-papa restaurant, located at a small seaside resort in a remote part of southern Italy.
Case in point: Having just entered Angelini and been shown to a table, a youngish Chinese lady asked whether or not the TARGET duo would care for a drink.
Having been told that it was the intention of TARGET to order a bottle of wine, a wine list arrived within minutes.
About one minute later, the same lady asked: ‘Have you decided, yet?’
‘Please give me a little time,’ TARGET begged (the book, containing wine list was still closed!).
‘May I help?’ asked the young lady.
‘Are you the sommelier?’
‘No. But I know something about wines,’ came the immediate reply.
Having been told that no assistance in ordering wines was required, she left, perhaps a little sulkily, it appeared.
Only to return within minutes: ‘Ready to order, now?’
After having studied the wine list and the menu, TARGET ordered a bottle of New Zealand Merlot:
Sacred Hill, Hawkes Bay $HK350
It turned out to be a fine choice to accompany the following dishes:
Set Dinner $HK480
Smoked Italian Tuna and Sturgeon, radicchio tardivo and artichoke salad
Bread and Speck Ham dumpling with Butter and Sage
Stewed Wild Boar, mashed sweet potatoes and baby broccoli
Sheep Ricotta Cheese Tart with candied orange and passito wine sauce
TARGET’s waiter, a young, quite affable Chinese man, when asked about the pizza, explained that the Pizza Rughetta and Bresaola was made from fresh tomatoes and that the outlet does not use tinned tomato paste.
The problem, here, was that Pizza Rughetta and Bresaola, served at Angelini, contains only a thin pizza crust, a thin layer of non-descript cheese, about 6, paper-thin slices of air-dried beef, and some fresh vegetables, laced with olive oil.
Further, the topping – the air-dried beef and the fresh vegetables – are placed on the pizza after the crust has been cooked in what appeared to be a wood-fired oven.
TARGET tasted a few slices … and left the rest.
In a conversation, once again with the outlet’s Manager, Mr Alessandro Argento explained that the reason for the lack of taste of the pizza was because Chinese people do not like too much cheese.
‘In Italy, of course we use 3 … or even 4 kinds of cheese on this traditional pizza. But Chinese people don’t care much for cheese so we make it to suit China taste.
‘But I can assure you, it is real Italian pizza.’
As for the first course of the set menu, the smoked Italian tuna and sturgeon, if one closed one’s eyes, it would be nearly impossible to know what one was eating.
There was, absolutely, no taste to this dish and both the tuna and the sturgeon tasted the same with the one exception that the sturgeon was tougher than the tuna.
In fact, due to the redness of the tuna, it appeared to have the texture of duck tartar (which does not exist, of course) and the consistency of a very soft fried egg.
No points here.
And so the meal progressed, with one course, after another, being more of less insipid than the previous dish.
The most-flavourful thing that passed from the table to the gullet of TARGET’s duo was the New Zealand merlot.
What TARGET will always remember about this restaurant was that, with every dish that was served, a young Chinese lady would bang a plate, down on the table, announcing in almost incoherent English, as though she were selling vegetables in an open marketplace: ‘Dumplings’ or ‘lamb’ or ‘tart’.
One cannot blame this young lady, who was just trying to do her job in a crowded restaurant, because this is, TARGET has been told, authoritatively: ‘Italian dining’.
TARGET noted that, despite the fact that not one of the dishes, which had been ordered, was eaten in its entirety – mostly, it was a nibble here and there – none of the serving staff much cared and not once did a waiter ask the all-important question: ‘Did you like it?’
Just as well.
Angelini’s chef, TARGET has confirmed, is Mr Massima Iarossi, who had been the chef de cuisine at Zeffirino Restaurant at Regal Hongkong Hotel, located in Causeway Bay, Hongkong Island.
It seems to TARGET that the clientèle at this restaurant, located at one of the most-populous parts of Hongkong Island, is a little different from the clientèle who frequent the Shangri-La chain of 5-star hotels.Management of Kowloon Shangri-La Hongkong need not fear TARGET, any more, because this medium will not be sending out any more survey teams to this food outlet – unless things are changed, appreciably.
TARGET makes every attempt to ensure accuracy of all data published,
TARGET cannot be held responsible for any errors and/or omissions.