Saturday, January 19, 2013

Don Alfonso 1890

Recently, my friends and I went to celebrate our friend's birthday at Don Alfonso 1890.  As usual, we opted to experience their budget friendly lunch set menu.

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A full house!
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so pretty... I wonder what it's supposed to be used for...
a really fancy fruit bowl perhaps?
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petit fours table
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I want a chandelier like this someday 
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Good bread - but I preferred the one with bacon at Robuchon
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My Italian co-worker once told me good olive oil is green.
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my favorite bread from the basket
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Amuse bouche
chickpea puree / octopus (tender!) /cuttlefish jelly (the black cubes) / salmon roe
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Tuscan vegetable soup with clams and prawns
Very creamy and our favorite among the three soups
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Chickling vetch soup with “Falefel” and seared toro tuna scented with spices
The tuna was fishy (but I am very sensitive), loved the falefel, and soup is smooth~
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Veal tongue consommé, baby corn and carrot, Brussels sprouts and sesame sauce 
The soup is clear but you can taste beef in every single bite.
Wish there is a bit more brussels sprouts.
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Linguini with fresh seafood
The linguini was al dente and the shrimp is fresh, juice, and cooked perfectly.
I am not a big fan of the scallops though (but scallops are never my favorite).
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Garoupa “Acqua Pazza” 
The fish wasn't "umami" enough (overcooked?) and the tomato broth was a tad too salty.
I couldn't really taste the tomatoes.  Unfortunately, this was not my favorite.
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Ossobuco in gremolada with marrow and saffron risotto
I tried a bite of the beef and it was very rich and tender.
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Almond “Leuco fagon”, candied apricot in lemon juice, fresh rose sorbet, baby lemon balm
I love the rose sorbet. Very refreshing and delicious!
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Tiramisú
Very creamy! The base is very strong on its own but alright when mixed with the cream.
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All you can eat chocolates - can't beat that!
We enjoyed the food but overall, it was a mixed experience.  Let's start with what I liked:

1.  Servers are attentive.  I didn't feel rushed and my glass is always full.

2.  Food is delicious and portion is good.  Price is reasonable.  (The bill came out to be MOP1,100 for 3 persons, my friends had the 2-course and I had the 3-course.  We had 2 bottles of sparkling water.) 

3.  The chef and the Manager / Sommelier stopped by our table and sang "happy birthday" to our friend.

4.  I enjoyed the "all-you-can-eat" petit fours a lot.  Not that I can eat anymore by the time I am through with my meal but my eyes and imagination appreciated it.

What I didn't like.

1.  The Restaurant Manager / Sommelier was chatting the entire time with the patrons next to us.  I suspect they are all Italians.  Although I understand it's always exciting to see your fellow countryman in a foreign country, I am not sure if the patrons came to talk to you or if they came to enjoy their meal.  If they enjoyed the attention and the conversation, that's great.   Yet as neighbors, we found it pretty annoying.  Towards the end, even the chef came out to join their conversation.  (I personally wouldn't want the Manager to talk to me the whole when I am trying to eat.  A check-up to see if everything was ok is appreciated though.)

2.  Except for the amuse bouche, the servers did not explain any of our dish to us at all other than reciting the name of the dish in the simplest manner. Granted it was all described in the menu and we probably will forget what s/he said moments after, it would still be nice if they take their time to explain what we are able to consume at each course.

I hope I am not turning into a snob but all these fine dining experiences are spoiling me.

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