|VOLUME IX No. 72||W E D N E S D A Y||April 18, 2007|
RESTAURANTS OF HONGKONG ...
AND THE WORST !
|Name of Restaurant||Gaddi's, The Peninsula Hotel|
|Address of Restaurant||Salisbury Road, Kowloon, Hongkong|
|Date of Visit||Friday, April 6, 2006|
|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|
|Storage of Wine||Good||Poor||Unknown|
|Expertise of Sommelier||Excellent||Acceptable||Poor|
|Total Cost of Meal|
|Very Expensive||Moderately Expensive||Very Reasonably Priced|
|Name of Director of Food and Beverage||Ms Floria Trento|
|Name of Executive Chef||Mr Thomas Rooch|
Things have changed at Gaddi’s, the fining-dining restaurant of The Peninsula Hotel (半島酒店) in Tsimshatsui, Kowloon: It has returned to its former glory.
Not that this outlet of The Peninsula has, ever, been really bad, but there have been times when the food and the service deteriorated, markedly.
But those days appear to have been relegated to history, TARGET (泰達財經) is happy to report.
The TARGET duo returned to Gaddi’s on Good Friday, April 6, 2007, at 8:00 p.m.
The former maitre d’hotel had been replaced by Mr Jack Tse (謝志威), a very affable Chinese gentleman who seemed to go out of his way to be helpful, no matter what.
The Chef de Cuisine, also, has been replaced by an Englishman, a Mr David Goodridge, whose name card reads: ‘Gaddi’s Chef’.
Whoever claimed that the English are lousy cooks will, no doubt, have to change his/her tune – because Mr David Goodridge, as the saying goes, knows his onions.
Upon arrival at Gaddi’s and upon surveying the restaurant, this reviewer was struck by the fact that things look, almost, the same as they did on TARGET’s first visit in the early 1970s when Mr Rolf Heiniger was the maitre d’hotel.
The carpet has been changed, of course, and the serving staff have younger faces, the old guard, having long gone, but, other than these changes, things look just about the same as they did some 3 decades ago.
A word of thanks to Him who made it so.
TARGET was shown to a rather small table, sufficient, no doubt, to accommodate 2 people with ease, except that this rotund reporter, due to years of having to endure restaurant food, some good and some terrible, had expanded his personal horizons at the tropic of Capricorn more than just a little.
TARGET asked for a bigger table, stating categorically: ‘I could never fit at this table.’
No question about the situation, with Mr Jack Tse enquiring: ‘How would this one (table) suit you?’
And so TARGET’s duo was seated at a table, sufficient to accommodate 4 people (this reviewer is not admitted to being overweight in spite of the fact that the waist of his trousers have had to be let out a few inches of late).
This table was situated, exactly, 14 inches – that is 2 steps – higher than the main dining area, permitting one to view the other diners, who were, on the night of TARGET’s visit, very sparse.
No sooner had TARGET
been comfortably seated when Gaddi’s chef chanced to come out of
the kitchen in order to look at the paucity of diners.
Dressed in the traditional white garb of a chef and, clearly, being Caucasian, TARGET confirmed Mr David Goodridge’s position in the restaurant and beckoned to him.
Upon confirmation of this
gentleman’s status in the restaurant and upon learning of the
specialties of the day, TARGET ordered the following 2
As for a little libation to accompany the 2 meals, TARGET chose an Australian Chardonnay, labelled as being a Penfolds Organic Chardonnay, at $HK820 per bottle.
It was an acceptable choice.
Upon being seated at our table, TARGET was offered a glass of the pouring wine of the hotel, which is Deutz, a Champagne from Ay.
This is a fine Champagne and one of the favourites of TARGET.
What surprised this reviewer, however, was that there had been a charge for the one glass.
In days of old, the welcome glass of Champagne had, always, been on the house.
Times, clearly, had changed – sadly.
It would be impossible (and, in any case, space does not permit it) for TARGET to describe every course so, without prejudice to the dishes, not mentioned in detail, here were some of this medium’s comments.
The First Courses
The Oyster Tartar looked, at first glance, to be a cup of vanilla ice cream: It was a mirage.
Here was a cucumber mousse, whipped up to resemble a scoop of ice cream into which had been implanted Belon oysters, which had been chopped up, not too finely.
The mousse concoction sat on a bed of Oscietra caviar.
It, literally, melted in one’s mouth, culminating in the multiple-layered flavours of fresh oysters, cucumber and caviar, lingering in the manner of good wine, having permeated one’s taste buds long after the wine had been imbibed.
As for the Bresse pigeon, it was something, completely, out of this world, the meat of the breast of this bird, being as tender as gnocchi.
The pungent scent of the truffles complemented the tender morsels of the meat of this French bird.
The Deutz went down especially well with the first course.
Plates were cleaned, post-haste.
The Main Courses
Of the 2 main courses, both of which were fish, as far as this reviewer is concerned, the sea bass took first prize.
This is not to suggest that there was anything wrong with the turbot. Far from it.
Enjoying strong-tasting food for a main course, TARGET gave half a point more to the sea bass because of the entire dish, due to the flavours of the black truffles and the risotto, especially, tended to make it more palatable, as far as TARGET is concerned.
But this is a personal preference, Subscribers should understand: Both fish dishes were superb.
While the food was being readied on a serving table, alongside TARGET, Chef de Cuisine David Goodridge stood by just in case there was any need of his expertise.
The Australian-produced Chardonnay, a smooth, pale amber liquid of good quality, no doubt, but lacking, to a great extent, in any lingering, fruity aftertaste, something like a not-yet-ready Pouilly-Fumé of the Loire Valley of France, accompanied the fish, gloriously.
(In TARGET’s opinion, it takes a great deal to beat the French when it comes to great wines although, if any country can compete in time, it will be Australia. However, this reviewer, still, can not endorse screw tops for wine)
The Other Courses
In addition to the above-mentioned menus, TARGET tasted the many cheeses on offer.
They were, all, fresh and, unlike some other, allegedly fine-dining restaurants, none of the cheeses had been frozen or even chilled.
As for the desserts, they were, both excellent although, as TARGET explained to Mr Jack Tse, next time around: ‘Please, do not make them as sweet as these.’
Other than that, personal preference, one could hardly criticise the desserts.
In fact, TARGET can think of nothing to criticise the entire evening’s experience.
During the entire meal, there was a 4-piece band, playing music softly and, during the times that they had a break, soft delightful music filled the void, left by the band.
The music wafted throughout this fine-dining restaurant, the tables, being far apart so that one may be romantic, without having to worry about somebody listening to one’s entreaties (a TARGET assumption).
TARGET will not be returning to this restaurant too often because, after all, the traditional tailor of this reviewer has warned that trousers can only be let out to a certain amount.
After that, buy another suit.
TARGET makes every attempt to ensure accuracy of all data published,
TARGET cannot be held responsible for any errors and/or omissions.