Love me again…

This used to be one of our favourite restaurants in town…

Bistecca & Bistro

– classy fine dining, great service and pleasant ambiance and above all, the very nice Italian delights that would never fail to keep us going back for more. Why, when the guys were here from Kuching in 2015 to pick the winners for the Sarawak Hornbill Tourism Award 2013/2014, I even took them here and yes, they were impressed even though it did not get to win in the end.

However, we do not go all that often anymore as my girl can no longer enjoy their pizzas and pasta dishes as they are not gluten-free. In the meantime, I have heard a lot of people moaning and groaning about the food that they had here but the last time we stopped by, as far as the food went, we felt it was still pretty good.

We were there again that day though not quite intentionally. We wanted to go for the tom yam hung ngang here but they were not open that day, Tuesday. Yes, the people were around but they were busy making their sio bee. It certainly looked like they were in great demand but unfortunately, they would not be available until 3.00 p.m. so I could not buy any home.

Well, since we were in the vicinity, the aforementioned being at the end of the road, a stone’s throw away, and I was not all that keen to try elsewhere, we decided to just go over and have our lunch there.

I had their lasagna (RM18.00)…

Bistecca & Bistro lasagna

…which was slightly overdone on one side, just a bit and quite negligible but generally, it was all right. Unfortunately, my girl, who is so into this kind of stuff, could not have any of it, not even a bit.

My missus had their char-grilled chicken chop with teriyaki sauce (RM16.00)…

Bistecca & Bistro teriyaki chicken chop

…and it was so very nicely done. We could taste the char-grilled fragrance and the slab of chicken was so very big. I did try a bit and yes, I wouldn’t mind ordering that myself should we happen to come back here again.

They have a much simpler menu now, no longer the magazine-like booklet that they had before with pages and pages, a lot of which were slashed right across diagonally with the words, “NOT AVAILABLE”, written across them. Indeed, I do think that this is a lot better – there is no necessity to have too many choices, just a few really nice picks would be good enough to get people coming back for more.

Unfortunately, our happiness was short-lived. My girl ordered their pork chop but after a while, the boy came back to inform us that they were out of the meat so all their pork dishes would not be available. Tsk! Tsk!

Knowing how much she loves salmon, I insisted that my girl had their “air-flown Norwegian” salmon (I do not know why it is shortened to NZ in the slip from their cash register)…

Bistecca & Bistro salmon 1

…and though it did take them a very very long time, it was very nicely done, grilled to perfection…

Bistecca & Bistro salmon 2

…and they were very generous with their potato salad and greens…

Bistecca & Bistro salad


No, it was not cheap (RM58.00)…

Bistecca & Bistro salmon 3

…but it is around half the price elsewhere, the very much cheaper farmed ones from Chile or wherever and I would think it was worth it considering the fact that my girl really enjoyed it a great deal. That was what mattered the most.

The last time we were here I was quite put off by the loud talking in the kitchen but it was all peace and quiet this time around, thank God for small mercies. The music was way too loud then but it was all right that day just that I was wishing they would play their collection of the very soothing Italian love songs or those beautiful ones like this one, for instance. A song or two from Westlife may be bearable but an hour of their greatest hits sure does not help one bit towards creating a conducive ambiance that can contribute greatly towards just the right kind of atmosphere for fine dining.

Iced water was on the house unlike some other places in town and the bill for what we had came up to RM97.50. I just asked them to keep the change even though I did not really think they were worth it as I felt that the waiting staff were in dire need of some rigorous proper training. I browsed through the reviews on their Facebook page and one gave them one star and grumbled that they were busy the whole time with their gadgets and indeed, they were – sitting at one of the tables, so very engrossed in whatever there was in their smartphones.

At some of my favourite places in town, they would be all smiles and very polite and so pleasant but no, do not expect any such thing from the ones here. Yes, they would come and take your orders and serve what came out of the kitchen promptly in stone cold silence, no “Enjoy your meal”, no stopping by to ask if everything was all right and everytime we were served something, I would say “thank you” but I might as well be saying that to the wall – it would be exactly the same, no response! I even had to get their attention to get them to come and remove the plates when we were done…unlike other places where they would do it on their own initiative but only after asking politely, “Shall I remove your plate, sir?” and expressing the hope that the food was to our liking.

When we were leaving, the one sitting there not far from the door did not even bat an eyelid and went on fidgeting with his appliance like we were invisible or something, not a word of thanks and no jumping to his feet to open the door for us and inviting us to come again.

BISTECCA & BISTRO (2.307630, 111.848188) is located off Jalan Sena – you drive into the area of shops directly opposite SMK Deshon and go straight to the end, make a u-turn and head back to where you come from – you will see it in the first block of shops on your left.