Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Rossini's at Sheraton Grande

We have not been to Rossini's in a very very long time. It used to be the 'best' Italian restaurant when it first opened many years ago. However; with the proliferation of really good Italian restaurants in Bangkok, we simply forgot about Rossini's. But a friend of ours recently had dinner there and told us that there was a very young Italian chef heading the restaurant and the food was really good. That was a good reason for us to return to Rossini's.

What is amazing about Rossini's is that it has not changed since it opened over ten years ago (I have to check the exact number of years it has been open). But what is also amazing is that the decor is still relevant...meaning that it has not become old/ stale. It does not have to be modernised or re-done like most restaurant.

The restaurant is dim with lit candles to give ambiance. The restaurant is comfortable & cozy for having a 'fine dining' atmosphere.

The amuse bouche was a fish & pea puree. The texture was smooth & creamy, but the strange thing about the amuse bouche was that the fish had no fish taste. The flavour was short and did not leave a long lasting impression in the mouth.

The next dish was the chef's creation of Vitello Tonnato. You seldom find this dish in Bangkok, so we were very curious to try this dish. A vitello tonnato is suppose to be 'veal with a creamy tuna sauce', instead the chef's version was tuna with a chunky veal sauce. The tuna was well cooked (still raw in the middle), the tuna had a nice firm texture and tasted good. The veal was so so, nothing special. We were not sure if the dish was suppose to be 'cold'; maybe they let it sit in the kitchen too long...but, anyway the tuna dish was good.

The next dish was pan fried Scallops. The scallops were cooked a bit too long; they were fresh but due to the over cooking were chewy. A forgettable dish.

The next dish was Crispy Calamari. The name of this dish was called crispy calamari; so, we already had something in mind after we ordered this dish. But, when the dish was served and we tasted it, what we got was something very different. The calamari was not crispy at all; it was soft & mushy. It was more like stewed calamari.

We asked the waiter if this was normal and his reply was 'yes'. Then we asked for the menu and showed the description of the dish and he still insisted that the description and what we got was the 'correct' thing. So, told the waiter to try a piece of the calamari. After he chewed & swallowed the calamari; he said...'yes, that is how the calamari is suppose to be'. We gave up and we did not want to discuss the subject any further because it was pure 'non-sense'.

The waiter knew that we were not happy about the dish so he said that he will take it off the bill. We thought that was suspicious because normally the waiter would say...'may I replace the dish with another one or another choice?' But, to give back the money...that can only mean that he knew we were right.

The worst dish of all!

The next dish was Beef Cheeks with Polenta. I liked that they tried to serve the dish in a unique way (cubed beef cheeks on a skewer), but sadly the dish was a disappointment. The beef cheeks were bland which is bizarre because it was suppose to be braised in red wine, onions, herbs etc. for several hours. The texture was fine; soft & tender.

On top of that...the polenta was not cooked right. Every Italian restaurant in town should be able to and know how to cook polenta perfectly. Well we found one that cannot. The polenta was suppose to be rich, thick & creamy. Instead we got polenta soup. I am not sure what happened here.

The last dish was rich Dark Chocolate souffle. The presentation of the dessert was very nice; it looked looked really yummy. The vanilla ice cream was rich & creamy and tasted very nice. We dug our spoons into the soft souffle and had a bite. We were very surprised to discover that there was barely any chocolate flavour. The 'rich dark chocolate' was somehow missing from the dessert. The dessert turned out to be just dark whipped air. A very sad dessert.

Overall; we were very disappointed with the food. We knew something was wrong so we actually asked the waiter if the chef was working...the chef was off that evening.

A friend of ours who is a very famous chef himself and a 'guru' in terms of owning restaurants told us once; 'a sign of a good restaurant is that when the head chef is off; the food that comes out of the kitchen is still fantastic!'. That means either the head chef of Rossini's needs to train his current kitchen sous chefs or hire a new team.

What has not changed is that the staff is still very friendly and efficient. If we decide to give Rossini's another chance, we for sure will check if the new Italian head chef is working that evening.

259 Sukhumvit Rd.
Bangkok, 10110
Ph.: 02-649-8888


Paranoid Android said...

Oh dear. I never could have imagined that Rossini's would have descended to this depths. I have to admit the last time I dined there was years ago. While the dinner was not entirely memorable, it was not this bad. Enjoying your blog immensely as it keeps me updated on the food scene in BKK.

冠陳儒 said...


Thailand Club said...

@Android: i need to recheck this restaurant then, too bad my Starwood card expired, now hv to pay more