VOLUME  X  No. 21 W E D N E S D A Y January 30, 2008


Dining and Wining ...
Where To Go ...
Where Not To Go








Name of Restaurant TOTT's - Talk Of The Town
Address of Restaurant 34/Floor, The Excelsior, Number 281, Gloucester Road, Causeway Bay, Hongkong
Date of Visit Monday, January 29, 2008  

TARGET’s Rating

    First Impression Excellent Acceptable Poor
    Attentiveness to Customers’ Needs Excellent Acceptable Poor
    Flexibility 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
          Lighting Excellent Acceptable Poor
          Music Excellent Acceptable Poor
          General Excellent Acceptable Poor
          Presentation Excellent Acceptable Poor
          Taste Excellent Acceptable Poor
          Quantity Excellent Acceptable Poor
          Choice -- French Only Extensive Limited Unbalanced
          Cost Reasonable Unreasonable Very Expensive
          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 Food and Beverage Manager Mr Matthew Thomas  
Name of Executive Chef Mr Franz Dajcman  


If one is serious about the quality of the food that one puts into one’s stomach, then Talk of the Town (TOTT’s), located on the top floor of The Excelsior (Hotel), in Causeway Bay, is not the place to consider for an evening meal. 

The food, served at this food outle, is, generally, very poor; and, to a great extent, it is fast food, dressed up to try to resemble quality cuisine.  

TARGET (泰達財經) visited TOTT’s last Monday night at 6:30 p.m. and, after fighting one’s way through the throng on the ground floor, managed to squeeze into a lift that carried this medium’s duo to the 34th floor. 

Seated at a table, facing Victoria Harbour, TARGET had a beautiful view of The Pearl of The Orient, with the twinkling lights of Kowloon, casting flickering reflections on the water of the Harbour. 

In such an attractive setting, this was that which this medium ordered for a meal: 


Cannelloni of Goat Cheese, Spinach, Tomato

TOTT’s Seared Salmon, Scotch Eggs, Horseradish Cream

Main Courses 

Battered Haddock, Thick Chips, Minted Pea Puree, Champagne Sauce

Pan-Fried Calves Liver, Parsley Bean Mash, Onion Rings, Sage Jus

Side Dishes 

Broccoli Hollandaise

Sauté Wild Mushrooms

With the above meal, TARGET ordered a bottle of Italian wine: Valpolicella, produced by Zenato, at the price of $HK380. 

This wine is created by the blend of Corvina and Rondinella grapes, grown in the hills, north of Verona. 

It was the highlight of the evening even though it was supposed to be Vintage 2003, according to the wine list, but turned out as Vintage 2004. 

The Starters 

The Seared Salmon dish was a complete failure because, aside from the fact that the entire dish was cold, it tasted only of oil, which obscured any flavours that the salmon might have had, prior to it being cooked. 

This situation had to be due to the dish, having been prepared, perhaps 3 hours earlier, and, then, left in a refrigerator, awaiting some unsuspecting customer to order it. 

It was so bad that when Mr Wilfred Lui, the Service Manager of TOTT’s, walked by and asked what TARGET thought of the food (without knowing that his restaurant was serving this medium’s survey team), he went to investigate what had happened in the kitchen. 

(Mr Wilfred Lui did not charge TARGET for this starter, obviously agreeing with this medium’s determination). 

As for the Cannelloni of Goat Cheese, the Goat Cheese turned out to be Ricotta Cheese, which is, in fact, made of whey and is the residue of cheese-making, which used to be fed to animals in days of yore. 

Ricotta, actually, means ‘recooked’ in Italian.  

Be that as it may, this dish was edible if one did not mind eating something produced some hours earlier and, then, reheated in a microwave oven. 

The Main Courses 

The Battered Haddock was the only freshly cooked dish of the entire evening. 

It was excellent in every aspect and rated, if one is keen on rating dishes, at about 8 points out of 10 points. 

However, sadly, the pea puree was described by a member of the serving staff as being ‘pesto potatoes’. 

So much for the knowledge of that member of the serving staff. 

The calves liver was not a patch on the Battered Haddock because, among other things, the liver, after it had been sautéed, was placed on a cold dish and this resulted in the entire dish, becoming cold by the time that it was served to TARGET

The onion rings, however, had not been freshly deep fried – because the oil had congealed on the rings of the poor vegetable, making it inedible … unless one enjoys sucking on cold oil. 

The Side Dishes 

In a word, both of these dishes were ‘disgusting’

The Sautéed Wild Mushrooms were ‘swimming’ in a cup of lukewarm water, measuring about 2 inches deep. 

The mushrooms were completely insipid. 

TARGET offers a challenge to anybody to close one’s eyes and, then, to try to identify any part of this dish without being told what it was supposed to be. 

As for the broccoli dish, what happened to the Hollandaise Sauce?  

Further, the broccoli was of an age that it should have been retired – along with the person in the kitchen, who was trying to pass himself off as a cook. 

The Serving Staff 

Without any hesitation, at all, the serving staff is as good as one finds anywhere in the world. 

They are a credit to the hotel. 

Every serving staff member, with whom TARGET came in contact, tried his or her best to pull the fat out of the fire, but, unfortunately, without the cooperation of the kitchen staff, it was a hopeless task. 

This medium’s duo only ordered 2 courses, but it took from 6:30 p.m. until 8 p.m. to obtain the food that had been ordered. 

And one must bear in mind that, for the most part, the food was fast-food, dressed up to resemble freshly made dishes. 

Lastly, TARGET was told that the chef of TOTT’s is Mr Samuel Lim, a Malaysian. 

Enough said.






While TARGET makes every attempt to ensure accuracy of all data published, 
TARGET cannot be held responsible for any errors and/or omissions.




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