Saturday, August 3, 2019

Free Corkage Night

It’s hard to say no to Free Corkage promotion offered by restaurants when it presented a perfect opportunity for a friends’ night out on a weeknight and an excuse to pop open some of our own bottles. I have been to Theo Mistral at Intercontinental Grand Stanford at TST East a few times since the change of concept and renovation a few years ago and it’s one of my favorites in this neighborhood.

Seems like the place always drew a crowd no matter which day I am here, and I like the laid-back vibes at this restaurant, located in the basement of the hotel. The menu was simple – typical of any Italian trattoria, with choices in each of the Antipasti, pasta, meat and seafood sections. We managed to share quite a number of dishes among the five of us, and picked a few that we thought worked especially well with the wines we brought in.

We began with two different sets of antipasti platter – one more a selection of charcuterie items with ham, speck, salami and lardo plus sides, and the other with blob of burrata, bruschetta with tomatoes, roasted asparagus and arancini. The creamy and smooth slices of lardo was awesome and worked perfectly well with the mini mozzarella served on the side, and I love the bruschetta (plus the rest of the bread selection served in a basket) – warm and soft and topped with the sweet chopped cherry tomatoes and a generous sprinkle of olive oil.

There’s no specific regional specialty but instead it drew on dishes from different part of Italy. With two substantial courses of meat being picked, we went for a vegetarian pasta. The ravioli was stuffed with swiss char, rocket, ricotta and cheeses, and served with mushrooms and a butter sauce with shaved parmesan on top. As rich a vegetarian dish as it can be.

They got great selection of main courses, with many coming from their grill. Went for the Bistecca alla Fiorentina which was their signature dish and ideal for sharing – menu said 2-3 persons, but in reality it’s good for 4-5. Australian grain-fed T-bone steak, done on the grill and served with mushrooms and roasted baby potatoes on the side. Love the fattier side which seems to be a little more cooked and was the right doneness to me. The meat was rich and tender – just the way a good steak should be. Went for pork as our second main course. The piece of giant Iberico pork chop was pan-roasted and served with a marsala sauce and caponata underneath. Again, it’s cooked just right and was delicious, and the portion is definitely on the generous side.

I wouldn’t leave the place without their Amalfi lemon tart, which is one of the best in town in my opinion. Didn’t disappoint this time either, with good balance of sweet and tartness in the lemon curd filling, and served with a dollop of crème fraiche on the side.

Poured four bottles during the evening – 3.5 to be exact. Starting with a young Barolo which was full-bodied and jammy, then it’s a super Tuscan with 100% Cabernet Franc. A step richer with more black fruit this time with some leather, chocolate and spices on the palate. The bottle of Bordeaux from the same vintage worked perfectly for comparison. Lighter in body but with good complexity. Finished with a half bottle Sauternes which matched well with the lemon tart.

Good wines, good food, and someone at our next table arranged a surprise marriage proposal to his (now) fiancée in the middle of the meal… that certainly made our night.

When? July 8 2019
Where? Theo Mistral by Theo Randall, Intercontinental Grand Stanford Hong Kong, 70 Mody Road, Tsimshatsui East, Kowloon, Hong Kong
Menu Highlight? Bistecca alla Fiorentina
2013 Montalbera Levoluzione Barolo DOCG, Italy
2010 Le Macchiole 'Paleo' Bolgheri, Tuscany, Italy
2010 Chateau La Lagune, Haut-Medoc, Bordeaux, France
2010 Chateau Suduiraut, Sauternes, Bordeaux, France

No comments :