Sunday, August 16, 2009
SaVoye Bistro, Tin Hau - A Tale of Obnoxious Diners, Mediocre Food, & Inch Server
The anticipation for this meal was one of the major reasons I could survive last week.
My friends saw so many great comments on this place, surely, we wouldn't be disappointed?
The place certainly looks promising. It's tucked near a corner in Tin Hau, quiet, charming, and the magazine articles posted on its entrance boast even more great reviews (...or advertorials? Haha!).
The interior is warm and inviting with a touch of elegance. The chairs are huge and comfy, the lighting was dim, but it says "fun with friends or family" more than "romance". We had a nice spot by the window, great for people (and dog) watching, and we could get some additional lighting we desperately needed for food phototaking.
There were seven of us. Should we order seven set dinners/tasting menu? Should we go ala carte? Should we order extra bits and pieces? Should we go some set-some ala carte?
I am a set dinner girl, so when I saw that there's a "tasting menu", I knew I wanted to go for it, and as a self proclaimed big eater, I wanted each of us to order a set, and still order more bits and pieces. Luckily, my friends weren't as foolish as me. They knew their capacity, they don't waste food, and they don't overeat (like me). Plus, if each of us ordered a set, we might end up with mostly the same things. For more variety, we went for some sets and some ala carte.
Our server recommended this and that, and we gave in most of the time.
Good news, bad news?
Normally, you like bad news first, so here's the good news. ^_^
Hokkaido scallop carpaccio with truffle angel hair. The scallops were fresh, sweet and succulent. We couldn't taste the "truffle" on the angel hair pasta, though.
Warmed wild mushroom salad. The mushrooms were very flavorful, perfect with the roasted zucchini and fresh vegetables.
Mussels in white wine. These are the best mussels I've ever had, fresh and perfectly cooked. The clear white wine broth was bursting with flavors, we soaked our bread with the broth and licked our mussel shells clean.
...now....the not so good news...
The garlic bread received multiple rave reviews, so we ordered some. The bread sticks weren't flavorful at all, you have to spread your own garlic "paste", which we found was underseasoned.
Italian Platter of San Daniele Ham, Salami Milano and Tomato Mozzarella. Not that bad, but not great. One of my friends likened the mozzarella slabs to "tofu", which (no offense to tofu) wasn't great.
Pan seared foie gras with balsamic dressing. Let's put it this way....
We've tried much better foie gras elsewhere.
As for the obnoxious diners...
Dining in expensive, elegant places? No worries, we know exactly how to behave ^_^
Our table manners? Impeccable!
We didn't hesitate lifting our plate and shoving things into our mouth when necessary (kindly note that this doesn't indicate that the food was too delicious)...
Gobble gobble gobble... yak yak yak yak....slurp slurp....(at least we didn't burp).
The thing with ordering only two tasting menu was...
We only had two bowls of soup, and there were seven of us!
The guy who brought the soup to us was confused, he looked at our large table and asked our server "Where should I put these?". Our server said (loudly) "Just place them in the middle and see who get to have them".
At first we thought this was rather funny, we laughed at this "joke", until my friend overheard our server scolded our runner, who were (so kindly) preparing 7 spoons for us. Our server said (within an earshot, for our benefit) "why the heck are you giving them 7 spoons? just give them two!"
Were we gonna let our inch (Hong Kong slang for mean/cocky) server deprive us of a taste of fresh oyster chowder?
Bah! Obnoxious diners like us couldn't care less about these annoying bits.
We care deeply about the food, and this soup tasted like ordinary cream soup...with a piece of oyster in each bowl.
Linguine with snails and shrimp in pesto sauce. This dish was decent, the pasta was well cooked, the pesto sauce was subtly flavored, and the bits of snails were tasty.
Milanese risotto with seared goose liver and crab meat. Subtly flavored risotto, which compliments the richness of the goose liver. The goose liver could've been more flavorful. It lacked the "kick in the stomach" you normally get from seared foie gras.
Pan fried baby sea bass with pernod cream sauce. Nothing I disliked more than an overcooked, fishy fish.
US Natural Black Angus Rib Eye Steak. We ordered a medium. The meat was too thin, overcooked for a medium, lack of seared goodness, lack of flavor, the fatty bits were chewy. We were utterly disappointed by this dish.
Roasted rack of lamb with gorgonzola cheese. The lamb needed a good crust on the outside, and need to be a little more rare on the inside. The lamb was a one note, it didn't match all the great reviews it received.
We didn't get even a subtle hint of cointreau in the cointreau souffle. The tiramisu was nice and creamy, the creme brulee was decent, but nothing extraordinary. The warm chocolate cake was a little overbaked, it is missing the oozing liquid chocolate lava factor, which is essential for such a cake. Frankly, we've tasted better.
We have 3 coffee/tea from the sets...how did we solve that?
Paper, rock, scissors, people~!
We know we were noisy and obnoxious, our apologies to all the other diners that night.
The winners got to taste this cup of cappuccino. Congrats!
We certainly won't be rushing back to this place anytime soon.
The food was a little too ordinary, and the service left a bitter taste to our palate.
9-11 Ng Hing St., Tin Hau
Phone: +852 2503-3222
(We spent HK$260 per person for the above meal)