Check it out…

There was a feature in the local newspaper on a new restaurant in town – Italian, no less…and when my young friend, Julia, who is currently back in Sibu on vacation, got in touch with me, I suggested meeting up there to check it out. Justin, another friend of ours, was able to join us that night and I asked Melissa if she was interested in coming along and she was too – so there we were that night, the four of us.

I would say that it was a nice little place and when we entered, they had Adele singing softly in the background. Unfortunately, that did not last very long – when the crowd came in, it became so very noisy that poor Adele was drowned out…completely! I thought that it got a bit warm too (for me, at least) and I definitely would not regard that as something in their favour.

Melissa had their chicken chop with gratin potatoes (RM15.90)…

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…and she said it was very nice.

Julia had the Alfredo di Manzo (RM15.90)…

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…and she too liked her choice from the menu. It was the only one in a long list of pasta dishes with cream-based gravy, in fact and other than the Aglio Olio, the rest were all tomato-based. I was hoping they had seafood carbonara but unfortunately, they did not.

Justin had the All’amatriciana di Manzo (RM13.90)…

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…but he did not say anything so I wouldn’t know whether it was good or otherwise.

I opted for the Cacciatore Italiano with pasta (RM15.90)…

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…and I would say the chicken was good but I did not like the tomato-based gravy which was somewhat diluted. Somehow it came across like some toned-down version of our usual sweet and sour meat dish.

Now, wait a minute! What was that????? The measly bit of lettuce? Hmmmm…I would think that normally, they would put a sprig of parsley, at least, for presentation…especially for those kind of prices!  Tsk! Tsk! If they had run out, they might as well do without it – that would have been better, I think. What about the rest of you?

For our dessert, we shared the poached pear ((RM14.90)…

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…which was a bit too sweet owing to the bed of crushed oreos underneath and I also ordered the panna cotta (RM8.00)…

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…just to see what it was and to give it a try – all I knew at that point in time were the terracotta warriors in China, not this. Melissa liked it but to me, it tasted like…milk pudding and the saving grace was that it was not sweet. I think I would prefer our caramel custard or sago pudding with gula Melaka (palm sugar) syrup anytime.

Another bone to pick about the place was the fact that the sweet and young waitress could not speak a word of English…and when I asked her to suggest the specialties of the house, she was stupefied…and could not name any. We had to resort to pointing to her the items in the menu so she could read the names in brackets in Mandarin…and key in our orders onto her iphone (Justin actually thought she was texting somebody and felt that was somewhat rude). Then when she repeated our orders to confirm, she rattled through in Mandarin…and nobody knew what she was going on and on about so we just nodded and hoped that luck was on our side. Thankfully, it was. Frankly, one would expect the employees at a western restaurant to be, at least, able to speak a smattering of English.

The newspaper did mention in passing that the chef had worked for 8 years in Singapore…and they would be setting up an oven so that they could add pizzas to the menu. Well, the food was all right, not anything that got me jumping up and down with delight but it was good enough…and I guess they could not do much if the regular diners always have that tendency to be loud and boisterous but they should, at least, get one waiter or waitress who is conversant in English to attend to those non-Mandarin speaking customers.

So, would I be going there again? Well, maybe yes…maybe not.