Thursday, November 24, 2011

Princess for a Day!

Victoria Garden Afternoon
2F, 49, Fuxing S. Road,
Sec. 1, Taipei City
Tel: (02) 2771-0998

Happy Thanksgiving!! Ever since I moved to HK, I have regretfully brushed aside this food blog of mine. I know it's mainly laziness on my part, but when you work six days a week...blogging (aka: sitting in front of the computer typing up about food you can't have) doesn't sound all that appealing anymore! However, with my upcoming trip back to the states, I have decided to get back into the swing of things! I've been dining here and there in the past few months and I can't wait to share my experiences with you! Not to mention, I can't believe my last update was in July?!

Today, I would like to share with you a hidden afternoon tea shop located in Taipei called: Victoria Garden. I first discovered this place over the summer where I spent a month of my time back home in Taipei. Before you continue, please note that the tea shop is a "girly girl" type place, so don't be shocked by the pink girly colors and decorations around the room. Once you step in, there's no doubt that every girl becomes brainwashed to thinking they've stepped into dreamland. Everything from the decor to their silverware look like something a fairytale princess would use.

Those princess bar chairs were my absolute favorite!

We dined here on a weekday (early dinner) and even so, there was a small group of people lined up outside the tea shop. Luckily, I made reservations so no wait time for us! The food and cake was nothing spectacular though, so if you are looking for some gourmet food, do not come here.

Dinner Tea Set


We ordered the dinner tea set and it came with assorted cookies, cakes and fruits on the first layer, with sandwiches and simple h'orderves on the second layer. The last layer included fresh green salad and two huge Chinese pork ribs. I thought the tea set was only OK. I also ordered their rose cappuccino and the only complaint there was that the coffee was warm, not hot!

The iconic Princess Strawberry Tart

For desserts we had their famous "princess strawberry tart". The custard in between was soft and not too sweet. I really liked it with the strawberries. Did I also mention the gorgeous presentation for their desserts?!

Overall, the service was good and the food wasn't too bad. It's a fun place to dine and if you're up for a unique experience, I would highly recommend this place! I would come here again just because it is such a getaway from reality! 

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Lau Pa Sat (Singapore)

Lau Pa Sat
18 Raffles Quay
Singapore 048582

Rating: 4.5/5

Black Pepper Crab
One of the oldest hawkers in Singapore, Lau Pa Sat (formerly known as Telok Ayer Market), is another tourist hot spot you do not want to miss. Along the entrance of Lau Pa Sat are numerous stalls selling BBQ chicken wings, BBQ prawns, and Satay. It's quite impossible to pass through these stalls without ordering a plate or two of their satay or BBQ - the smell alone will make you salivate! For snacking purposes, one can choose to eat one's way from stall to stall or grab a seat inside the victorian-shaped dome for more options. For us, we took the easy way out and went straight for the restaurant, Ming Yen, located right at the entrance of Lau Pa Sat (aka: a one stop shop). Since it was our last night in Singapore, we wanted to review a few of our favorite dishes as well as try out some new plates.
Our first dish was the Black Pepper Crab: very similar to the chili crab, but the black pepper crab is cooked in a thick gravy of black pepper. It is also a little spicier than the chili crab.
Delicious Butter Prawn
Butter Prawn: prawn dipped in egg yolk and butter and then fried to a golden yellow color. For someone who doesn't like shrimp, it tasted delectable!
Next, we went for our favorite Stingray - delicious as usual. The stingray comes in different sizes of $10, $12, and $15.

The oyster omelette was "meh". This time they added a hot sauce paste on top of the omelette. It tasted very normal, but was probably also the least oily plate on our table.

After our meal, we stopped by one of the stalls for a plate of satay. Be sure to order some rice cake along with the peanut sauce to go with your satay! For drinks, one must try Singapore's teh tarik - there's a famous stall at Lau Pa Sat that sells teh tarik right along the street (it is the only drink stall so just follow the long line - it will lead you to the right direction).

Food in Singapore can get pretty heavy. Many of their dishes are cooked with a lot of oil. A week long vacation was perfect for my belly. This concludes the trip of my Singapore eating adventures (phew...that took awhile to update). I hope you are living vicariously through my blog :) Taiwan and Thailand eats are next!
The Satay Man doing his thing!

Friday, June 24, 2011

Maxwell Food Centre

Maxwell Food Centre
Cnr South Bridge Rd. and Maxwell Road
Maxwell Road  Singapore 06000

Rating: 5/5 
If I've learned anything from my time in Singapore, I've learned that shabby-looking hawker centers = ridiculously amazing food. Even without the extra frills such as nice silverwares, air conditioner, and fancy decor...Maxwell Food Centre is worth every sweat (especially in the 90+ degrees weather) and minute of your time. Besides the great variety of food stalls available, Maxwell is conveniently located in the heart of Chinatown. A wide selection of Chinese goods and touristy gifts are placed around the area; and not to mention, a big Indian temple that is right across the hawker center. The food quality at Maxwell is great, and the service is surprisingly fast and friendly!
Even Bourdain loves his chicken rice!
Hainanese Chicken Rice is a dish of Chinese origin. Immigrants from Hainan Island brought chicken rice to Singapore many decades ago, and over the years it has become a national icon! Silky smooth poached chicken on top of fluffy rice infused with chicken stock -- a Singapore signature. The fragrant rice is cooked in chicken broth with ginger and garlic, accompanied by three different sauces: chili sauce, ginger puree, and dark soy sauce. There's no rule as to which sauce goes with what, dip them however you'd like!


There's noway you can survive an entire meal without some refreshments! We tried the usual: sugar cane w/ lime and lychee drink. Both tasted great, but I would still stick to sugar cane. I definitely reached my sugar cane drink quota that week in SG :-P. The Singaporeans are also quite clever with their packaging - plastic bags are used to their fullest potential! Talk about saving money and the environment.
Bak Kut Teh is a herbal pork-based soup chock full of pork ribs, garlic, and spices. The soup can also be accompanied by you tiao, or deep-fried dough. When you dip the you tiao into the soup, it soaks up the pork-based soup -- giving foodies a different experience / taste. Personally, I like the soup without the you tiao.
 Oyster Omelette (Singaporean Style): Mixed with eggs, small oysters, chopped spring onions and chives, the oyster omelette is slightly crispy, but not too oily. While also a popular dish in Taiwan, the Taiwanese version is a bit more slimy, where starch is mixed into the egg batter, giving the resulting egg wrap a thicker consistency.

Overall, prices are extremely affordable (approximately $3 ~ $4 per dish). The service is quick at most stalls and the cleaning staff are consistently on top of their jobs. Overwhelmed by the amount of decisions at Maxwell? Here's a rule of thumb: head to the stall with the longest line.

















































Sunday, June 19, 2011

Makansutra Gluttons Bay

Makansutra Gluttons Bay Pte. Ltd.
8 Raffles Avanue
#01-15 Esplanade Mall,
Singapore 039802

Rating: 5/5

Somewhere between my stay in Hong Kong and New York, I made a quick detour trip to Singapore aka food heaven. Aside from their strict rules & regulations and insane obsession with cleanliness, Singapore is known to be one of the most diversed places. The diversity of their people also reflect the foods they serve: Singaporean, Indonesian, Japanese, Malaysian, Indian, Chinese.... the list goes on!  Fast food in Singapore is also widely known. I'm not talking about Mickey D's or KFC, but food courts and hawkers (night markets/stalls). Our first hawkers' market stop was at Makansutra Gluttons Bay. So tasty and unforgettable that we spent both lunch and dinner here!
Satay: Succulent strips of beef, mutton, chicken and pork skewered, grilled, and complemented by cubes of rice alongside a spicy peanut sauce. 
Barbecued Stingray: Smothered in sambal (a chili based sauce) and served on banana leaf. Remember to squeeze the lemon to give it that extra tangy taste! This is one of my favorite Singaporean dishes. A bit on the oily side, but extremely flavorful. Goes great with rice!
Singaporean food can be very heavy, especially in a tropical climate like SG. Thus, it is no wonder that drink stalls are always packed. Two of the most common drinks I ordered while there were the coconut juice (straight from fresh coconuts) and fresh sugar cane drink with lemon/lime. Very refreshing.
Singaporean shaved ice w/ durian paste (dessert): What makes this dessert unique is the durian paste. The durian is a unique tropical fruit that can be either deliciously wondrous to some or intensely disgusting to others. Personally, I do not like the smell, taste, or look of this 'king of fruit', but the durian paste mixed with condensed milk, red beans, and other sweet goodies didn't seem so bad! However, I'd still leave the *perfect* shaved ice to Taiwan ;)
Fried Carrot Cake: Little cubes of rice flour and radish rapidly fried to crispy perfection. The black is sweeter than the white variety. Some of the best carrot cake in town can be sampled at Makansutra Gluttons Bay and Newton Food Centre. The dish is also very delicious and great with steamed bun/bread. Dish is not as salty as it looks!
Seafood Fried Rice: With all the sauces and flavors, a plate of seafood fried rice is necessary! Standard seafood fried rice.
Fried Man Tou: Fried steamed buns (originated in China) can be eaten alone or paired with other dishes. Tastes best when dipped in sauces (i.e. crab sauce).
Chili Crab: Crabs cooked in a tangy, spicy sauce of sweet and sour. The black pepper crab is another well-known dish in Singapore. Although I like both styles, the chili crab's sweetness is more flavorful in my opinion. The thickening flour and egg ribbons give the sauce a thick and gooey texture. As mentioned earlier, dip the man tou (toasted buns) in the sauce and I promise you'll be yearning for more!
Chicken Wings: Glazed honey sweetness on the outside and juicy chicken meat on the inside. A plate that was made to serve four people, but we managed to finish everything (along with the other dishes) with only two people. 

I would highly recommend this hawker center. Along with the great food, it is also conveniently located right next to the Esplanade Shopping Mall, a great skyline view of SG, and their newest hotel/architecture - The Marina Bay Sands...this place is great for families, gatherings, and even dates. Best of all, it is open until 2am, which is perfect for those who crave those late night munchies!

More SG adventures to come..Stay tuned!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Macaron Parlour

My personal favorite: Candied Bacon with Maple Cream Cheese
Photo Credits: Macaron Parlour's Website
Summer is here and the flip flops are out, which also means that I've been enjoying myself much more than trying to keep up with this blog. Hence, this is going to be another long overdue entry.

When my cousin visited Hong Kong in March, she brought along a box of French Macarons which were made by her friend, who owns a macaron shop called Macaron Parlour. I've always loved macarons, even the fake ones they sell in Taiwan (will talk more about this next time), but ever since my macaron encounter in Paris, my taste buds have become a bit more picky than they used to be. After trying a few of Macaron Parlour's macarons however, I can say that they make one of the most unique and original macarons I've ever tasted, with each macaron carefully handmade and spread with fillings that are beyond the traditional flavors. The shop makes adventurous flavors such as: Candied Bacon w/ Maple Cream Cheese, Caramel Fleur de Sel, Cinnamon Pistachio with Morello Cherries, Coffee, Sesame, Peanut Butter Cup, S'Mores, Thai Chili...and many many more for the curious taste buds. 

A Macaron Rainbow :)
My ultimate favorite is the Bacon with Maple Cream Cheese - a successful incorporation of something salty and sweet packed into one bite size heaven. The macaron shells are made perfectly, smooth in texture and crispy and chewy when bitten. The fillings are not too sweet either. Another favorite would be the Caramel Fleur de Sel: buttery cream that melts in your mouth just after the first bite. There are some flavors in which I couldn't decipher, though. For instance, the blue colored earl grey macaron that looked & tasted more like blueberries. Perhaps it's the colors, but it can get confusing!

You won't want to miss out on these fun flavored goodies. Visit them at the Hester Street Fair on the lower east side and try them out for yourself! Otherwise, you can order online on their website: http://www.macaronparlour.com.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Herb-Baked Eggs Recipe



 A few days ago while surfing through the Food Network, I came across a *Herb-Baked Eggs* recipe on the Barefoot Contessa show. Super ecstatic about the simplicity of the dish, I decided to give the recipe a try, while also adding my own twist to it ;)





Ingredients:
* 1 teaspoon minced fresh garlic
* 1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme leaves
* 1 teaspoon minced fresh rosemary leaves
* 1 tablespoon minced fresh chives
* 1 tablespoon of freshly grated Parmesan
* 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
* 2 tablespoon of milk
* 3 organic eggs
* Freshly ground black pepper & sea salt, to taste
* Toasted bread (or brioche), for serving
Preheat the broiler for 5 minutes and place the oven rack 4-6 inches below the heat. Combine the garlic, thyme, chives, and Parmesan and set aside. Place 2 tablespoon of milk and 1 tablespoon of butter in the gratin dish and place under the broiler for about 3 minutes, until hot and bubbly. 

Crack the eggs into a small bowl, but make sure to keep the yolks whole! Carefully pour the eggs into the gratin dish with the milk and butter. Sprinkle the top of the eggs evenly with the herb mixture and Parmesan cheese, then sprinkle with salt and pepper (not too much!).

Next, place the dish back under the broiler for 5 to 6 minutes, until the whites of the eggs are almost cooked.

The eggs will continue to cook after you take them out of the oven. Allow to set for 60 seconds and serve hot with toasted bread. I simply love the slight herb taste that is mixed into the eggs. If only cooking is always this easy!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Spoiled for the day, dinner at Caprice!

Caprice
Podium 6, Four Seasons Hotel 
8 Finance Street 
Central, Hong Kong
Tel: +(852) 3196-8888
Hello foodies! I can't believe I've been in Hong Kong for almost three months now! I've been enjoying life and exploring Hong Kong's culture, architecture, fashion, and of course, their restaurant scene. There's so much going on here that I just can't seem to keep up with everything! To make up for my lack-of-updates however, I wanted to share with you my recent experience at Caprice, a classically elegant French restaurant that is located inside the Four Seasons Hotel.  The restaurant is led by Chef Vincent Thierry and his team of 25 chefs. The team works 7 days a week to create innovative dishes with 80% of their produce coming from France (air-flown 3 times a week). With their seamless quality, service, and three Michelin Stars under their belt, they have definitely earned this honorary title fair and square. Of course, this doesn't mean that the restaurant is light on the wallet - Caprice may be one of the most expensive meals that I've had in my life (second next to Per Se).

Since reservations were made in advance, we were seated at one of the corner tables, which also had an awesome window view of the harbor!
I might have mentioned in my previous entries that I love the idea of open kitchens - not only can you watch the chefs in action, it also shows that there's nothing to hide - it's all about the food and nothing else. The open kitchen at Caprice is situated right in the center of the restaurant. As you can see from the picture, dangling strings of small crystals surround the kitchen area to create a sparkly and bright lighting. The rest of the dining area are also lit by these gorgeous, Chinese-inspired Czech crystal chandeliers.

To start off, we had a choice between four types of buns. My favorite ones were the olive bread as well as the croissant roll..mm, buttery. The servers were very attentive and friendly - they came instantly whenever we needed them and were constantly on their toes. For drinks, we shared a bottle of red and I also tried their lychee martini. Their red wine was nice, but the lychee martini wasn't the best - a bit too sweet, in my opinion.
For our amuse-bouche, we were served with three bite-sized hors d'oeavres. One of them consisted of fried potato with foie gras (tasted like very high-end hash browns). Unfortunately, this meal took place so long ago (2.5 months, to be exact) that I forgot the ingredients for the other two (oops!).

Instead of choosing the tasting menu, we went straight with the a la carte option. We had the Pâté en Croute: wild game, foie gras and green leaves in black truffle dressing. The various chunks that you see were made from venison, pork, pheasant and foie gras. The gelée on the side was made with wild game consommé. Very delicious, especially with the gelée!
I was excited about our second appetizer, Périgord Black truffle Tart with poivrade artichokes and aged parmesan emulsion, because I was craving truffles. However, the dish was only so-so, I'd much prefer shaved truffle as opposed to huge chunks of it. The thin plates of truffle were way too overwhelming and therefore, less flavorful than I hoped it to be. 
Our third and last appetizer was the Scallop Seaweed and Nori - a very Japanese-inspired dish. The scallops were very fresh and topped with a dab of caviar. The nori were not thin sheets of seaweed that we're used to, but very finely mashed seaweed that's neatly placed next to the scallops. I would recommend this dish!
For my entree, I had the Périgord Milk-Fed Veal with Grenaille Potatoes, Green Peas and Sucrine Salad. Every entree came with a silver plated dome cover - it made the entire experience ever so medieval/royal. The veal was soft, tender, and juicy. The veggies on the sides were well also well seasoned and marinated with herbs and garlic.
My bf got the French Beef Rib Eye with Gratin Dauphinois and Wild Mushroom Pastry in Merlot Wine Sauce. The meat was exceptional and  even  more tender than the veal. Everything about it was perfect - even the spaghetti carbonara on the side. If you like huge portions - this is the dish for you!

After a satisfying meal, the waiters came out with a complimentary dessert: Pineapple with crumble and coconut & Pina Colada Sorbet. The sorbet was a nice dessert after a heavy meal; and the pineapple and pina colada was also a nice mix.




Rather than ordering the cheese platter (which, by the way, is HUGE) - we ordered the Guanaja Chocolate Soufflé with Cactus Flower Jelly and the Citrus Cocktail Sorbet Pistachio Profiteroles with Cranberries, Sicilian Ice Cream and Warm Berry Sauce. Both were great desserts that fills the tummy.

We ended the meal with a drawer of complimentary chocolates and coffee/tea. I would highly recommend Caprice for its food, ambience, service...and just an overall phenomenal dining experience :)

Overall: 4.5/5

Saturday, March 26, 2011

I do not heart Joël Robuchon (HK)

L'Atelier de Joël Robuchon
Shop 315 & 401, The Landmark,
Central, Hong Kong
(852) 2166 9000

Rating: 2.5/5

L'amuse bouche - Robuchon's version of "amuse bouche"
Valentine's Day was a spontaneous one. Unlike many couples, we didn't have our whole day planned, nor did we make reservations 12847 days prior to this Hallmark holiday. Instead, while walking aimlessly around Hong Kong's central, we walked randomly into Joel Robuchon for lunch. Located in The Landmark, the restaurant is composed of two main colors: red and black, which set a tone of boldness and character. We sat at the regular dining area, which I thought was more private and comfortable. However, you can also opt to sit at the bar area which is noticeably more casual and chill.

Duck Foie Gras Terrine
Their lunch menu was extensive, with different combination starters and entrees to choose from. We went with the set that included soup, appetizer, entree, and desserts for $640HKD. Like any other French restaurants, the waiters came in with a basket filled with a variety of complimentary bread. I particularly liked the bread with bacon bits. Prior to our appetizer,  they served a palate cleanser which consisted of three layers: foie gras mousse, pumpkin and corn puree. To eat this dish, you would dip the crispy crouton, straight into the three layers of flavors; and the rest could be scooped up with a spoon. The taste of it was very light but flavorful - there was also a really nice  pumpkin aftertaste that I liked. For our appetizer, I got the scallops (served cold) while my boyfriend got the Duck foie gras terrine with figs marmalades and spices. My scallops were light, but a little below my expectations. I couldn't really taste anything - I thought the dish needed a pinch of flavor. The duck foie gras terrine was standard and best paired with bread to avoid the heavy and fatty taste of foie gras (although the figs also served as a good complement).

Row of scallops
We had two choices for soup: foie gras ravioli in warm chicken broth or broccoli soup. We both decided on trying the broccoli soup, but while my boyfriend liked the soup, I didn't enjoy it at all. I always had the impression that a vegetable soup will prepare your stomach for a heavy meal (which we were about to have), but unfortunately, the broccoli soup at robuchon failed to do so. For starters, the soup wasn't hot enough for me. I did not expect to drink lukewarm soup, especially from an upscale restaurant! Secondly, the soup literally tasted like raw broccoli thrown into a blender (boyfriend agreed). In my opinion, they could have at least cooked the broccoli and then blend it - that would have given this dish many more points! It is the raw aftertaste that really threw this dish out of the window. As a person who usually finishes her food, I could not get myself to finish the broccoli soup - and mind you, the soup was cup-sized!


For our entree, I ordered the Smoked Pork. Prior to ordering, the waiter warned me about a "strong" taste/smell to this dish. Knowing that my taste buds are naturally inclined to stronger tastes, I told the waiter that it wouldn't be a problem. WRONG! I didn't know the definition of "strong taste" was equivalent to a smokey, urine-smelling aroma (I apologize for the explicit description). Moreover, the meat wasn't tender; and I wasn't impressed. On a brighter note, the mashed potatoes on the side was awesome! The potatoes tasted like it's been whipped 109834 times - very refined, buttery, and soft. Too bad the serving was so teensy-weensy (if you ever go, ask for more as they scoop the mashed potatoes right in front of you!) that I had to steal my boyfriend's portion as well. The steak that my bf ordered was made much better than my pork - the meat was tender and juicy; and it was nicely sauteed. I guess the meal wasn't a total failure after all.


For desserts, we were given the option of a cheese platter, à la carte desserts, or two choices from the dessert cart. The bf chose a strawberry dessert with ice-cream (I know, manly - huh?) Inside the tall, martini glass was freshly whipped cream, cake crumbs, and an ultra thin and crispy biscuit. The ice-cream was placed inside a half-cracked egg shaped bowl - super cute! As for me, I chose two desserts from the dessert cart, which had pretty decent selections, too. In the end, I picked the lemon tart (topped with gold flakes and a mini macaroon/raspberry) and a bowl of fruit. To end the meal, we ordered coffee and tea - with complimentary macaroons and sparkly golden sugar balls.

I wouldn't say the experience was a complete disaster, but it wasn't the best food either. The Joël Robuchon in Vegas has been getting raving reviews, but the branch in Hong Kong definitely does not live up to its hype. Perhaps it's because they specialize in their desserts. It's fair to give this restaurant another try since I've only experienced their lunch menu. I would come back here for their a la carte menu, which may be better than their set menus. Furthermore, I would order a full side dish of those delicious mashed potatoes!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Locanda Verde "Green Inn"

377 Greenwich St 
New York, NY 10013
(212) 925-3797
www.locandaverdenyc.com/
 
http://tasteshop.files.wordpress.com/2011/01/kitchen.jpg
The spacious and beautiful kitchen @ Locanda Verde
Although we dined here two months ago (Yes, it's been that long - my computer crashed and it took me awhile to retrieve all my pictures) I still want to dedicate an entry to Locanda Verde as it left us with a very memorable dining experience. Ever since my cousin started to work at Locanda Verde, the restaurant has been on top of my "to-dine" list. Disgracefully, it wasn't until we actually did our research did we realize that the restaurant is a highly rated and popular dining spot in NYC! As one of Robert De Niro's capital ventures, Locanda Verde, formally known as Ago, is run by executive chef and co-owner, Andrew Carmellini. Reservations are definitely recommended as the restaurant fills up fast - even on the weekdays and before dinner hours! Luckily, I had inside connections (ok, my cousin was the one with the connections) and we were able to squeeze in on a Tuesday at 5:45pm.
Famous Lamb Meatball Sliders - hold your drool!
Despite the freezing rain (remember, this was back in January), we braved the weather and headed to the restaurant. The inside of the restaurant was warm and beautifully designed. It felt like a high-class night club; minus the tight crowd. We were led to the bar area where we ordered a few drinks to start - I had some sort of peach tea mixed with a small dose of alcohol. For a non-alcoholic person, it was weirdly satisfying. Along with our drinks were complimentary assorted nuts for guests to munch on while we waited for our tables to be ready.
 
Once seated, we noticed the open kitchen right next to the bar area. We watched the entire crew work seamlessly together to prepare the perfect meal - I love open kitchens! We were given warm bread with olive oil as dips. For starters, we ordered their signature Lamb Meatball sliders with caprino and cucumber (yay to no pickles!). The mini-burgers were deliciously tender and juicy. Moreover, the slider sauce  didn't sog up the buns as they were evenly spread and seasoned. The caprino was melted underneath the meatball. The cheese wasn't overpowering, but just enough to make it a remarkably enjoyable meatball slider! The dish also reminded me of the meatball sliders from The Little Owl in West Village - both delectable and heavenly! Unfortunately, there were only two sliders between the two of us, which made me slightly sad as I craved for more! In addition to sliders, we also ordered their other signature dish: Sheep's milk ricotta - my foodie partner enjoyed this appetizer because the ricotta had a good creamy texture that wasn't too overwhelming. It was like cream cheese, but a much lighter and fluffier version; and without the strong, gamey taste.

Looking pleased with the chicken & potatoes on the side
Our first entree came as a complimentary dish from the chef (VIP status, yo!!)  Regrettably, I was too excited about our complimentary dish that I completely forgot the dish's name (clearly, not an experienced VIP). The pasta was cooked al dente and mixed with clams. The serving size was enough to cleanse our palate for the next dish.

Our main entree was the Fire-Roasted Garlic Chicken (for two) which came in as a whole plate of different chicken parts. The chicken was well-seasoned with garlic and herbs rubbed on the skin of the chicken. While I usually prefer dark meat over white meat, the chicken at Locanda Verde was so well-cooked that even the white meat tasted juicy. We were able to taste the garlic flavor at every single bite. Along with the garlic chicken, my cousin also suggested a side of Crispy Garlic Potatoes with cheese. These cubed, bite-sized potatoes were fried to perfection and piping hot. The potatoes, along with the red wine, complemented the chicken very well, I'm glad we ordered it!

Free desserts for two - we were pampered silly!
Just when we thought we couldn't eat anymore, the waitress came out with three fully plated desserts!  (moral of the story: knowing someone in the restaurant business can get you fat) In spite of being full, I immediately grew another stomach and began to dig into dessert heaven. We finished the dinner off with coffee and tea.

In general, the food was delicious, the service was exemplary, the price was not absurdly expensive...and it certainly doesn't hurt if you know somebody who works there ;) Highly recommended!

Overall: 4/5
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