Friday, May 29, 2009

PALA Italian Restaurant & Bar

If it wasn't for my friend's reminder, I almost did not realize that Baci in LKF has changed to PALA a few months ago. Tonight we gave it a try. Its neon-lighted name on the building's wall is actually quite visible from afar and I am really surprised I did not notice it even when I had dinner earlier this week at Thai Lemongrass right across form it. We had a table on the 2nd floor near the window which was nice. However, the first thing I wanted to comment on was the seat because it was not very comfortable. Maybe it was just my chair (covered by a red chair cover) but the cushion part I was sitting on seemed a bit too soft that the frame is feeling against my "rear end". (Maybe it was due to my "rear end"?) Anyhow, we ordered a bottle of red wine while we were reading through the menu(s): one for a la carte and one for set dinners. We did not really pay much attention to the set dinners so we just studied the a la carte menu while having some breads.

Let me begin with my friend's orders. Started with a mushroom soup with truffle concentrate and followed by a home made Pappardelle marinated duck and porcini mushroom. If you are not familiar with Pappardelle, it is a kind of fettuccine but larger and a lot broader.

I did not try the soup or the home made Pappardelle myself so I cannot really comment of them. I might come back later to try their set dinners or lunches. I will certainly try the Pappardelle because it looks yummy.

As for myself, I ordered the pan-fried goose liver and apricot with port wine sauce to start and followed by the rack of lamb with porcini risotto, glazed figs & roasted garlic. This was the first time I tried to mix goose liver with apricot and it was interesting. Actually I should say it is pretty good. Goose liver often gives you a very fatty taste but the apricot balanced it pretty well. Some would serve it with apple but I think apricot was a nice pick too. It would be even better if the goose liver was warmer. (Maybe I spent too much time trying to take a better picture?)

I like my lamb or beef medium-rare and they did a fairly good job with that. I have to say though, the portion was not as generous as I had hoped but the fatty goose liver as starter did a good job in filling half my stomach full already. Overall, the lamb was fair and no big surprises. What I did not expect was that I liked the porcini risotto very much. The risotto itself was well prepared with a creamy texture while not too "gummy" or sticky. Also, the use of porcini mushroom was very good and that's why I have to try their porcini Pappardelle next time. Try to have the roasted garlic together with the lamb, not a bad combination.

How can a nice and relaxing meal go without dessert right? I ordered a Napoleon pastry with vanilla cream and mango. It was like a mille-feuille without the custard, but the layers of puff pastry were too thick and a bit too hard for my liking. On the plus side, there were big chunks of sweet mango inside this "mango mille-feuille." One thing I like to stress was their great services. Very attentive and friendly. A big plus for me !

  • Great Service + Very cozy and modern deco
  • porcini risotto - very well prepared
  • pan-fried goose liver and apricot with port wine sauce - interesting use of apricot
  • Napoleon pastry with vanilla cream and mango - puff layer a bit too thick and firm but the fact that the custard was not too sweet was a plus.

Avg Spending
: HKD 200 - 300 per person

PALA Italian Restaurant & Bar
2/F & 3/F, 1 Lan Kwai Fong, Central,
Tel: (852) 2890 6380

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