Tuesday, June 2, 2009

La Taverna

There is such an Italian restaurant on Ashely road? This is the question I was being asked every time I suggest this place for dinner. Yes it does and it is a very low profile one indeed. This traditional country style Italian restaurant has been in business since 1969 and I assume its interior decor pretty much stayed the same over all these years as well. The walls, the chairs, the paintings and the ceiling fixtures give you an antique look and somehow makes you feel you are in Italy. However, how it differs from one in Italy is the cramped seating arrangement between tables, literally back to back with seats behind me. (not to mention being able to hear almost all the conversations behind me throughout of the dinner). Not a very comforting experience.

I remembered that the last time I was here, the menu was so difficult to understand because the name of most dishes (maybe all of them) are in Italian with the ingredients in English. They have changed the menu since then and it is way easier to read. (the items seem different as well)(I think their web menu is still showing the old menu, go check it out or click here)

Dinner stared with some Garlic Bread as starter which was pretty good. The sliced french bread was not over toasted and it has a rather fresh garlic taste (+ butter taste of course). My assumption is that instead of using garlic paste or flavored butter, they used real garlic piece to rub all over the bread before putting into the oven. At least that's what I hope they did. Overall, a fair dish to start off with.

Following the garlic bread was another starter item which I forgot the name of it but it was cocktail-sized shrimps with olive oil and diced onion and dried tomatoes I think. Nothing really exciting about this dish (although it is marked as a signature dish). Note: the shrimps used were fresh shrimps so texture and taste were pretty nice. I wish the sauce can be richer in taste.

For the main dishes, my friend and I ordered a Risotto with Porcini Mushroom and a Tucola Pizza consisting of tomato, mozzarella, rockets and parma ham. Risotto was very good as always. Very creamy throughout the whole dish and the short grain rice was sufficiently firm to my liking (and this should be the way how a good risotto is prepared.) I ordered the porcini mushroom risotto instead of other with tomato sauce because I want to get a better taste of the stocking used make the risotto. Very satisfying indeed but wished it the rice can be abit firmer. This dish is better than the one I had at PALA last week and I am still in the search for an even better risotto dish.

I personally prefer thin crust pizza because I can get more of toppings put of each slice and can have more slices in general. The Tucola Pizza is a thin crust pizza and since I love rockets and parma ham, there wasn't much I can complain about the pizza except more parma ham perhaps? The more the merrier! I never tried the parma ham pizza from Pizza Express across the street, let me give it a try later and see which one is better.

For dessert, we shared a Panna Cotta. I am not very fond of this dessert in general because usually it is very sweet. However, to my surprise, the panna cotta we had was less sweet than expected. It is a dessert worth trying if you are a fan of panna cotta.

La Taverna
36-38 Ashley Road Tsim Sha Tsui,
Kowloon Hong Kong
Tel: (852) 2376 1945


cutieviv said...

I've been to La Taverna before and I love that place!

FigFondue said...

Thanks for the review. Thinking about taking my partner there for some birthday food. I've lived in HK years and have been up Ashley many-a-times, but never noticed this place until a couple weeks back haha :)

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