Some people have commented on how strict/fussy I am when it comes to food, and how my reviews tend to be very honest. While it can sometimes be bad for restaurants, I like to think that my honest reviews benefit my readers.
I recently attended the Makan@2010 at Doubletree by Hilton, and was impressed with the hospitality and dining experience there. The team at Doubletree also gave me a Tour de Makan passport, and one of the deals in the passport was a 50% off ala cart meals at Tosca.
rif wanted to try Tosca, because I came home raving to him about the beautiful view and its laid-back ambiance. We went there last weekend, because the offer was only valid till end of October 2010.
Tosca is located at Level 10 of the hotel, overlooking the poolside. When I was there previously, I tried the desserts and liked them. The menu is fairly simple, with a selection of starters, pizzas, pastas, soup, and meat and fish dishes. I reserved a table in advance, so we got a secluded spot at the corner with comfy sofa seats.I scanned through the menu, before deciding on the Tagliatelle alla Pescatora (RM34) and rif, the Costoletta d’ Agnello arrosto (RM55). We also shared a Quattro Formaggi (RM34) and Zuppa de Pesce (RM26). The waiter confirmed our order, and returned with a basket of bread and a trio of tapenade, butter, and garlic and paprika spread. The breads were freshly baked, each of them uniquely delicious and went very with the spreads.The kitchen’s efforts were uneven – the food ranged from delicious to poor. rif’s rack of lamb arrived roasted to perfection and supple within. The cannellini salsa was mellow in flavour, allowing the lamb to stand out. Grilled vegetable tart tasted like a vegetable quiche; it was both delicate and satisfying.
I counted only two meagre squid rings, two scallops and one prawn in the Tagliatelle alla Pescatora. This pasta was supposedly their best seller, but the marinara sauce was insipid and missing seafood aroma. The menu stated that it contains clams, but I counted none. That said, the scallops were succulent and fresh.Quattro Formaggi had a wonderful thin crust that was slightly smoky and crisp enough to offer you a good bite. Fragrant from the topping of Gorgonzola, ricotta, mozzarella cheese and smoked scamorza, the pizza boasted a nice balance of pungent flavours, textures and a rustic feel. I really enjoyed this.Zuppa de Pesce did not turn out the way I thought it would. I expected a thick and hearty soup, laden with seafood. Instead, the broth turned out very, very watery and lacking in flavour. It did not taste of seafood at all, which was disappointing. The red snapper was overcooked, and the shrimp was not the freshest I’ve tasted.I’ve tried four out of their five desserts available, so I ordered the one that got away – gelato. Mascarpone gelato luscious and creamy with a faint coffee flavour, while the Madagascar vanilla was sweeter, dotted with tiny bits of vanilla pods. I liked the former, while rif preferred the vanilla.
Service was seriously lacking that night – we waited 40 minutes for our food, and the soup came AFTER we finished our mains. The waiters were not attentive; I had to wave repeatedly to get their attention. A customer got very angry at them, and he started giving them a lecture on service and promptness.
I suspect it’s a teething issue, but they should fix this as soon as possible. The ambiance was lovely; my only gripe was that there were no separate sections for smokers and non-smokers. I had to bear with an inconsiderate couple exhaling their cigarette puffs at me (they blew at my direction throughout dinner!). Dinner was RM100 after the 50% discount.
Costoletta d’ Agnello arrosto: 7/10
Tagliatelle alla Pescatora: 5/10
Quattro Formaggi: 6.5/10
Zuppa de Pesce: 3/10
Verdict: A few hits and misses, and service needs to be improved. But the rack of lamb was good. Beeeekkkkk….