Restaurant: Rick's Cafe Casablanca
Location: One Bangsar, KL
Verdict: I may not go back, after what has happened. But Rommel says we shd give the place another chance and try the a la carte stuff. Read on to find out!
It was Friday evening and we couldn't decide on where to eat. So I thought, hey, we haven't tried that Casablanca place yet!
When we entered the restaurant at 8.15pm, practically everyone in there turned to look. Not that we were wearing anything spectacular/flashy so I felt really unwelcomed from the glares we were getting... We found out that they were having some wine pairing event so no a la carte menu that night. It seemed we had gate-crashed their party or something.
Still, they said we can have the wine pairing set if we wanted. I said, "That's fine, I don't mine trying out some wine." The waiter then looked snootily and said, "Oh but the meal is RM150 per person." I had to stop myself from rolling my eyes at him. Like "Hello you idiot?? Are you trying to say that we look like we cant afford that?" Of course, I decided to be nice and replied, "Oh that's fine with us. We'll have the set."
When we were getting seated, again the stares from everyone in the place. As we were served the first glass of aperitif and the starter, the same waiter comes back to table and says, "You do know the dinner costs RM150 per person right?"
It's been a long time since I wanted to kill someone but last night, I could have killed this guy by just staring at him.. I mean most of the people there weren't dressed that great and looked like they were ppl with some wine-related job and probably were getting a free meal from the sponsors. Here we are, 2 walk-in customers, eager to try your restaurant to see if what has been written about it is really true. I'd think you would treat us with the same amount of service. (Note: I am NOT asking for better service, just the same as everyone else.)
Anyhow, enough ranting cos I sound like a brat (Okay maybe I am one, but I hate it when ppl look down on others as if they cant afford things.) You'll never know that the next guy that walks in your restaurant in an old tee and shabby jeans could potentially be your best customer ever - Uncle Lee, my parents' godson is someone like that. He doesnt dress up, is very down-to-earth, looks like a typical Cina-man... But he is super duper rich and loves to spend on food. Never judge a book by its cover.
Alright, enough... Here's our dinner menu:
Hugel Wine Dinner
Goats Cheese Beetroot and Walnut Terrine, apple puree and green peppercorn vinaigrette
paired with: Hugel Pinot Gris Tradition '04
Comment: Surprisingly, I liked the goats cheese and beetroot combo. I cant remember now what this wine tasted like which means I didnt like it or dislike it. Just wasn't worth remembering about.
Tagine Spiced Consomme with poached chicken mousseline
paired with: Hugel Gewurztraminer '05
Comment: Very little consomme but that's okay, chicken mousseline was alright only.. If my dad were there, he's say they over-processed it. I liked the wine cos it was sweet and had a nice rose-water aftertaste to it. Rommel hated it.
Lobster and Scallop Ravioli, braised fennel, basil, tomato and sage burnt butter
paired with: Hugel Riesling '05 and Riesling Jubilee '04
Comment: I always love ravioli (I love any form of dumplings really). They were generous with the lobster and scallop portions. We have tried one of the Rieslings previously. Uncle Lee brought over a bottle once. We agreed that we'd rather you give us a bottle of NZ Cloudy Bay Sauvignon Blanc anytime.
Panfried Foie Gras on Caramelised Duck Breast, sweet turnip, leek and potato gnocchi
paired with: Gewurztraminer Vendange Tardive '02
Comment: Again, I love foie gras. Rommel and I agreed that while this isnt the best foie gras we've tasted, they certainly were generous with the portion. Duck was quite good too but not as good as Max's (Max Fine Food and Wine of Tengkat Tung Shin). This was again a sweet wine so Rommel didnt like it. In fact, he said he's rather have the second wine (i.e. the other sweet wine). I also preferred the second wine to this.
Star Anise and Vanilla Bean Flan, passionfruit poached pear
Comment: Nothing great or spectacular. And I dislike the taste of Star Anise.
Ambience: Too noisy, definitely not fine-dining to me. There was another event going on upstairs that included karaoke so you can imagine the amount of noise. I give the place a 3/10.
Cost: Actually, not too expensive at RM150pp given that we had lobster and foie gras. The wine wasn't worth it though. (6/10)
Service: I give this a 2/10. The managers never came to check on us. The waiters were snooty (except for this waitress who was pleasant). The dude who was introducing the wines actually spoke with his back to us most of the time. Extremely rude and I dont care if you're bl**dy French. You should at least have some manners and glance at everyone in the room when speaking. Uncle Lee has actually eaten at Rick's before and he had the same complaint too, poor service.
Oh yes, I remembered that one of the Chinese waiters looked familiar. It took me half the meal to recall where I'd seen him before. He used to work at Le Francois - the French restaurant just a few doors away. I remember I used to ignore him cos I hated the way he spoke and acted and cos he was rude. His attitude and my feelings towards him definitely have not change.
Right after leaving the restaurant, I began to feel funny. Not quite drunk cos we didn't have a lot to drink but I nearly fainted outside while walking to the car. My stomach started to hurt really bad too. I was rushed home, vomited, had diarhhoea and blacked out in the shower. Wow... what a night. I couldnt really breathe too and slept quite uncomfortably the whole night. Rommel had an upset stomach too but nothing else other than that.
I told my dad about this and he thinks it could be the lobster and white wine combo. He said he had a similar experience in the States a number of years back after eating lobster and drinking white wine. It also doesnt help that I am actually allergic to raw lobster. (I can take cooked lobster but only in limited amounts before I start wheezing.)
Blacking out again was pretty scary. I haven't done it in years. Come to think of it, the last time it happened, I had white wine the night before. Anyway, this time, I was getting ready to shower and felt the room spin. I leaned against the wall, closed my eyes and the next thing I know, I woke up to find myself lying down on the floor. I dont know how long I was lying there for.
Okay, that's it. Enough. Did I make you feel like trying this place out or will you steer clear of this restaurant forever? I cant decide for myself. Rommel says we should go back another time and try the a la carte menu... to give it another chance. I dont know. It disappointed me this time around and cost me RM300 for a meal which mostly ended up going down the sink. With so many other restaurants which offer much better food and definitely superior service, perhaps it's a no for me. Ta.
Sunday, 27 January 2008
Restaurant: Rick's Cafe Casablanca