Saturday, April 18, 2009

Mietta's, Arab Street

Angelo Sanelli, formerly of Michaelangelo's and current captain of this culinary ship known as Mietta's (126 Arab Street, tel: 6396 5493) reminds me of a man sized dwarf. Big boned, bearded, gruffy facade and probably a nice guy at heart behind his serious appearances as he makes his rounds about. Executive chef Dennis Sim on the other hand, exudes the personality of a man of the kitchen. I say that because his chef's coat isn't snowy white like what many are wont to romanticize and it actually has food stains. And the first words from the man were to enquire if the food was fine and to explain why was what which way. Impressions.

Before I go into the more interesting topic of the food, I'd like to extend my thanks to fatpig for organizing dinner (again!) and for the arrangement of the interesting starter of blueberry gnocchi with braised venison in a red wine, bitter chocolate jus which was something dredged up and out from days back in Zambuca. That was probably not the only residual item that was plated since the carpaccio di manzo did look quite the same as well from the chef's former restaurant.

Honestly, the starters didn't leave too deep of an impression and I wasn't sure if I was supposed to feel strongly about them. But perhaps, I had wanted to be pleasantly surprised. For starters (pun intended), the venison as explained didn't have enough marinate time and in all likelyhood didn't have as much flavor as the chef had intended. Chocolate sauce wasn't as interesting as it sounded and compounded on that, the only flavor of the blueberries came from the bits of the fruit. I must say that the portions were rather generous. The beef capaccio arrived in portions too dainty and I could have sworn that I tasted lemongrass even though nothing like that was described to be in it. One could say, underwhelmed.

The mains, on the other spectrum of impressions were very commendable. We had an excellent foie gras risotto with porcini, which I think should have been renamed because each mouthful of that rice was infused with a robust taste of the mushroom. Foie gras really stood second place in the department of flavor and second place didn't position itself with as much proximity to the first as I would have preferred. But that would just be me. The rack of lamb which was crusted with "coffee soil" was just awesome. The only revelation from the chef on what made the coffee soil were coffee and cocoa which were probably the reasons for the burnt caramelized aroma of the crust. The sweet and savory rich flavors of the sauce that didn't threaten the moderate gaminess of the lamb were smile inducingly impressive on my part. It was a tad pricey for a rack of lamb on that note, but it also made me want to eat them again.

Desserts weren't too spectacular for me so I'll only be on top of the items which I thought were the better ones. The more memorable being the tiramisu which was probably one of the better ones I've enjoyed outside of home made ones and something that was call orange, orange and more orange. From what I can remember, a shot of blood orange jelly and mandarin sorbet atop a crepe and I remember hearing Grand Marnier in the description. What worked for that was pretty much the appeal of a clear citrus flavor at the end of dinner.

1 comment:

ratatouille said...

that lamb really looked good.