Saturday, March 26, 2011

Just a Restaurant

I've never actually eaten at 798 but I've come to JAR on 3 occasions now and must say, I'm rather torn. I like the ambiance, which is simple and fresh; the service, which is efficient and friendly; and above all the complimentary bread, which always leaves me wanting more.

On my previous two occasions (once for lunch, once for dinner), I've enjoyed a couple of their dishes, most notably the tagliatelle with tiger prawns, served with a very refreshing lemon cream sauce and sizeable prawns. However, their grilled flatbread (which I had heard so many rave reviews about) was uninspiring and left me craving either a plain pita or at the other extreme, pizza. Perhaps my expectations were too high? Worse though was the Secreto de Iberico which I found dry, tough to chew, and served lukewarm (though to be fair, the apple-rhubarb chutney was a hit and I doused all my meat in it). That dinner ended with earl grey panna cotta which I was really excited about. However, the consistency was a bit strange being more rubbery than creamy - perhaps too much gelatin. Or again, my overly high expectations.

The lunch menu is good value and I enjoyed their salad bar and vanilla bean ice cream, though my main of risotto with slow-braised oxtail was unmemorable.

YET, I still returned for a third dinner visit.

warm bread rolls, served in a sack filled with hot stones :) cute.

baby spinach & sweet corn salad with bacon and poached egg ($88)

i enjoyed everything about this salad except the egg. it was so bland and may have been the biggest disappointment of a poached egg i've had in a while. where's the salt???

chargrilled squid & chorizo ($65)
quite enjoyed this, especially the squid.

half roasted farm chicken ($150)
sorry you can't see much of it but the skillet was too heavy to turn haha. it was a huge half chicken though and the manager was sweet enough to offer to carve it up:

looks like he's carving peking duck! yummmm

he even did the corn :)
though watching him was the most enjoyable part of this dish. the chicken was cold, dry, and lacked the crispy skin i look so forward to in roast chicken.

creme brulee ($5o)
this was huge. not much to complain about.

peking duck carving became the norm throughout the night. though i wished that was what i was eating rather than bland chicken... will I return? Maybe for a lunch as I've been wanting to try their Boston lobster roll, something I've yet to find in Hong Kong elsewhere. But I'm in no rush to head back for dinner.

2/F, 8 Lyndhurst Terrace