Sunday, March 29, 2009

What happens when the chef isn't around

Whether the chef is at their restaurant is an important question to ask at most non-Chinese restaurants in Hong Kong, because consistency is a HUGE issue.

The folks are currently loving Tuscany by H, which led me to the perimeter of Lan Kwai Fong on a Sevens night (something I would usually avoid at all costs. Side note - I actually went to LKF 2 times over the Sevens long weekend which is crazy - I had't been to LKF in yonks - but the trip on Friday was just to the relatively quiet Lei Dou. Glad I didn't go on Saturday, must've been heaving). Mom asked whether Harlan was there when she called to book - was told maybe, which means no. We confirmed this with the service staff when we arrived and I was a little uncomfortable, but am happy to report that there was no such need. The food was as good as previous visits, when Harlan was around.

White asparagus special - I didn't find the asparagus itself that amazing - a couple stalks were a bit woody at the end (just a little, no biggie) - the scallops (super fresh with that amazing sea-sweetness) and poached egg (thick, gooey yolk) were excellent though.

Mom's entree (appetizer, whatever) - parma salad. Salty, elastic, not too thin, not too thick.

Seafood soup - probably my favourite thing on the menu at Tuscany by H. (Dad's entree, Mom's main - yes, it is big enough to be a main unless you're starving).

Entree-sized (still very generous) home-made spaghetti with olives, capers, tomato etc. Fine comfort food - I like.

Dad's main - slow braised wagyu beef cheek. Looks strangely like a sea cucumber, or just a big doodah of poo (sorry) - but actually awfully soft. You don't even need a knife - the meat gives with the tiniest bit of pressure, leaving soft strands like pulled pork.

Creme brulee (vanilla and orange, I think). A very weeny teeny little too custardy/eggy for my liking, but good nonetheless.

Fantastic chocolate cake - that's the actual name, and yes, it lived up to it. Basically a warm choc cake with a molten centre, with Fior di Latte semifreddo. Also love that the fruit isn't a second thought - not a mere garnish, but a delightful mini fruit salad.

I can't stress enough how important consistency is for restaurants. At least from this experience, it seems that Tuscany's got the hang of it. I still don't get why it wasn't even mentioned in the Michelin guide, tsk tsk. I hope my beloved (and 2-starred, ahem) Amber will be able to achieve this asap too - or perhaps they have, but it's such a pricey risk to take - see, they've already scarred me for life. Listen up restaurateurs, you don't want to be plagued by inconsistency if you're charging upwards of HK$400 a main course...

Tuscany by H
58-62 D'Aguilar St (cnr Lan Kwai Fong)
Hong Kong
+852 2522 9798

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