Friday, March 30, 2012

Linguini Fini, The L Place, Central, Hong Kong

Linguini Fini

I read about this place (G/F, The L Place, 139 Queen’s Rd, Central, Hong Kong, tel : +852 2857 1333 ) which appeared in Hong Kong's 2012 Michelin guide for their home made pasta, house baked bread, locally sourced ingredients and their own house cured meat somewhere before, so we decided to give it a try. In my mind, I was thinking that the theme ought to be rustic but I was pretty surprised to see the first floor dominated by a bar with a DJ spinning music.

We managed a slot for dinner without making reservations. I think we just got lucky and managed to land ourselves a table. If only I had known....

Linguini Fini, Milanese
There was a starter, I ♥ Milanese which sounded great on menu, but fell totally flat on the face with the execution. This dish was basically breaded and deep fried pig heart. Unfortunately, the slices of the heart were so thin, there was little identifiable flavour to the organ and whatever measly residual texture that might have been in there were lost in the avalanche of crisp from the breaded exterior.

Linguini Fini, tripe
The 8 Hour tripe sounded like the previous dish rather promising on menu. In fact, I couldn't have known how correct I was about the element of déjà vu going to happen here.

The reality was that the texture was mostly lost in the ragged scraps of tripe. The redemption of the dish was that it packed some nice heat and the toasted pancetta added some dimensions to the otherwise unimpressive tomato flavour. To add on, it lacked cheese which was suppose to be in the dish. It was definitely nowhere in the leagues of La Braceria and Pietrasanta for comparisons.

Linguini Fini, capellini
The first of their pasta was a salt egg cured Genovese capellini. The server had explained that there was salted egg in the dough that was used for their pasta and the same salted egg was also shaven on top of the noodles upon serving. Maybe it was a beer that I had earlier that numbed my tongue. I could only get a salted egg after taste. The coarse hand chopped/blended pesto was well done and the noodles were perfectly al dente. The dish needed a bit more salt and because of the mention of salted egg, had flavour that I felt was underwhelming.

Linguini Fini, chittara
By this time, things were starting to feel a little forlorn. The salvation appeared in the form of their chittara done in a meaty sauce of pancetta, pork liver, brown butter and 30 year old balsamic vinegar. The hearty sauce packed a daring punch of flavours which were sadly lacking in all the previous dishes. This has both richness from the livers and pork belly, tamed by the zest of the vinegar that prevented the said richness from being overwhelming.

As much as I would like to tell myself that I'm never coming back again, I probably would do so just for this!

Linguini Fini, lemon olive oil cake
We opted for a lemon olive oil cake with poppyseed gelato. No lemon taste in there.

It was actually quite a disappointing visit in comparison to what I had imagined the place to be for all their marketing.

2 comments:

red fir said...

Crap. Sounds abysmal. Pity though, heard so much about this place, wanted to try on my next visit. Oh well. Did you manage to check out Butao ramen?

LiquidShaDow said...

I am not sure how many Butao Ramen are there around, but I stumbled past the shop while walking along Central. Didn't get it try it. Maybe on the next trip. Stomach not enough space.