|VOLUME IX No. 91||W E D N E S D A Y||May 16, 2007|
RESTAURANTS OF HONGKONG ...
AND THE WORST !
|Name of Restaurant||The Bostonian Restaurant, Langham Hotel|
|Address of Restaurant||Number 8, Peking Road, Tsimshatsui, Kowloon, Hongkong|
|Date of Visit||Wednesday, May 9, 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|
|Storage of Wine||Good||Poor||Unknown|
|Total Cost of Meal|
|Very Expensive||Moderately Expensive||Very Reasonably Priced|
|Name of Director of Food and Beverage||Mr Dominique Artigolle|
|Name of Executive Chef||Mr Mark Banson|
It had been about 3 years since TARGET (泰達財經) had visited The Bostonian Restaurant, the fine-dining outlet at Langham Hotel, Hongkong (朗廷酒店, 香港), located in the heart of Tsimshatsui, the tourist area of Kowloon, the Hongkong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) of the People’s Republic of China (PRC).
The last time that TARGET visited this restaurant, the food was excellent.
That is still the case – for the most part, at any rate.
But the service is something else.
On Wednesday, May 9, 2007, at about 7:30 pm, TARGET’s team showed up at The Bostonian Restaurant, without having made a reservation and was immediately shown to a table.
The restaurant had only about 20 customers at this time, and this situation did not change for the entire duration that TARGET stayed there.
For a restaurant that seats about 120 people, it would not be unfair to state that this restaurant was something of a desert on the evening of TARGET’s visit.
(There was good reason for this situation as will become evident on reading further)
After scanning the rather limited menu and the wine list, TARGET ordered the following:
DUCK FOIE GRAS
POACHED WHITE ASPARAGUS
CEPE MUSHROOM RISOTTO
Philipponnat, Brut, Non Vintage Champagne $HK638
After having ordered the food, the Restaurant Manager, Mr Kalvin Leung, spotted the fact that this reviewer had been making copious notes about the menu and a number of other things.
Realising that TARGET was reviewing the restaurant, he presented this medium with a photocopy of the menu for the sake of convenience.
When TARGET asked for the sommelier, a Mr Matthew Chan came over and introduced himself as the restaurant’s ‘Wine Advisor’.
Unfortunately for this gentleman, this reviewer is not ignorant about wines and, within a few minutes, Mr Matthew Chan admitted that he had only just – about 2 months earlier – been given the title of Wine Advisor.
What a joke!
However, TARGET’s choice of the Champagne was a winner so that the ignorance of the Wine Advisor was immaterial.
(By the way, the wine list leaves a lot to be desired, actually)
Turning to the food, aside from the veal, it was, really, first class.
Unlike some restaurants, which overcook the large, succulent white asparagus, which is in season, at this time, at The Bostonian, it is cooked as it should always be cooked – without the spears, becoming mushy and turning into a thick, soft pulp.
As for the sautéed duck foie gras, it was excellent, seared to perfection so that the outer layer was crispy with the inner layer of the liver, being about 75 percent cooked.
While duck liver is considerably cheaper to purchase, fresh, than is goose liver, this reviewer prefers it when sautéed because it is not quite as fatty as goose liver.
However, for pâté de foie gras, only goose liver will do.
The Main Courses
The veal chop was, however, a disaster.
It was tough and insipid.
The problem with this dish had nothing to do with the cook, but the fault of the purchaser of the meat because it was, definitely, not of the first quality in spite of the fact that one was asked to pay top price of a few ounces of meat.
One could state that the young calf, from whence the meat originated, was, in fact, bordering on, or was, in fact, a mature animal so that its meat should not have been categorised as being veal, but beef.
As beef, it was tough; as veal, it was even tougher.
The risotto, however, was something else, again.
If TARGET had not known better, the risotto could have been passed off as having been prepared by an Italian cook.
This medium could not envisage a better risotto.
In word, the service was abominable.
After the so-called Wine Advisor poured the first glass of Champagne, he was never seen again.
So, not being a cripple, this reviewer poured the Champagne until the bottle was empty.
And nobody appeared to expect otherwise!
Meanwhile, the Restaurant Manager was busy, talking to his 4 friends, at one table, for the entire 2 hours of TARGET’s visit, his back to TARGET’s table, all of the time.
In between glasses of red wine, which his friends had ordered, Mr Kalvin Leung was having a gay time of the evening, his face, turning a deep shade of red as the wine, clearly, ran to his head, as the saying goes.
As for the other waiters, they seemed to have vanished soon after the first dish was served on TARGET’s table.
This medium’s table was, from time to time, serviced by a female trainee waitress who brought over the dishes from the kitchen when called upon so to do.
It was only too obvious that nobody was in charge of the service at this outlet.
The dessert that was given to TARGET, gratis, comprised Vahlrona Chocolate Tart and crème brûlée.
They were, both, terribly fattening. But, Oh! So good!
The kitchen staff is, obviously, good, but is being let down, badly, by the serving staff.
This is an expensive restaurant and, at similar prices to The Peninsula Hotel’s outlets, one should not be exposed to such incompetence and nonchalance, as was clearly evident on the day that TARGET reviewed this outlet.
TARGET makes every attempt to ensure accuracy of all data published,
TARGET cannot be held responsible for any errors and/or omissions.