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Located in the basement of the Intercontinental Grand Stanford Hotel, the restaurant is stylish and intimate. The cozy leather armchairs and black-and-white vintage photographs on the wall create a modern friendly setting. We went on a Saturday and there was a buffet table at the entrance that made the atmosphere more lively and inviting.
We started with The Seafood Carpaccio that features tuna, scallop, red snapper, langoustine and mango with citrus sauce. The seafood was fresh yet did not taste much. Fortunately the citrus sauce was refreshing and uplifted the whole dish. The other appetizer, Tuscan panzanella salad was more impressive with the meat of a whole Boston lobster, tomatoes and bread chunks. Light dressing with olive oil and herbs stroke the right balance and not outshine the salad.
For main course, we had one of the restaurant’s signature dishes - Lobster Spaghetti with artichokes. The texture of the homemade spaghetti was just right: soft but not mushy with a bit of eggy flavor. The sauce tasted and looked a bit like minestrone with tiny celery and carrots at the bottom of the dish. We were expecting more lobster flavor. The lobster was fresh but not very sweet. Overall, the pasta passed the benchmark but not outstanding. The same happens to another main course- Pan-fried Orbetello sea bass fillet. The fish had a nice golden crispy skin and tender meat. It was well-seasoned with the capers sauce. The Romain lettuce and cherry tomatoes were slightly charcoal-grilled and have kept the juiciness in the vegetables.
The tiramisu was served in a beautiful tea cup yet it lacked the essential coffee and Marsala wine taste. The other dessert, Mistral’s famous Chocolate Cake was extraordinary with rich chocolate flavor and perfectly moist texture.
Extensive wine list that features reds and whites mainly from Italy. There are selection from Spain and France and other parts of the world but Italy is the main focus. James, the sommelier was keen on introducing us off-menu options that were usual but surprisingly great matches with the food we had. He also offered us to try a few wine and liquor before we decide.
Attentive service though the waiters were very busy during the weekend lunch service. The explanation of the dish tended to be too short. They could have explained a bit more on the ingredients they choose.
A 3 courses meal for two with a glass of wine comes to around HK$2,200. We expected more for this price.